So, is it better to buy a townhouse than a condo?

Asked by Megh, Union City, CA Wed Sep 19, 2007

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Jeri Patrick, Agent, Pooler, GA
Fri Feb 3, 2012
Yes, We believe a townhome is better than a condo. Insurance and financing is usually easier to obtain. A townhome is a great way start for a first time homeowner. It is a way to ease out of renting into home ownership while not taking on the full responsibilty of maintenance and repairs. It is great for busy professionals who do not have time for maintenance yet realize the benefits of hoem ownership over renting. It is all good for Militarary Buyers who are deployed several times a year. Townhomes can also be great for empty nesters who want to downsize perhaps travel without giving up square foot and the American Dream of Home ownerships.

Condos consists of multi-unit dwellings where each unit is individually owned and the common areas, such as hallways and recreational facilities, are jointly owned (usually as "tenants in common") by all the unit owners in the building. In a townhouse, the owner owns the whole unit, the exterior surfaces such as deck or yard and the land on which it is built.

In a condo, the owner does not own the piece of land on which the condo is build in, the owner owns from the four walls in (think of a box). In a townhouse, the owner owns the piece of land, its interiors and its exteriors. Detached condos may have rules similar to townhomes.

Condominiums usually turn out to be cheaper than townhouses. In general, the same square footage will cost less in a condo setting than it will in a single family home or townhouse, mainly due to the cost of land. When you buy a townhome, you also pay for the land where only one structure is built, thus increasing the cost. In a condo, the owner does not own the land and in that same space, many more condos can be built making them cheaper.

While the exteriors of a condo or a townhouse are maintained by the home owners association, it is up to the owner to maintain the interiors. This may also depend on the agreement of the homeowners' association. Generally, a townhouse owner has more authority is changing the interiors of the land and other structural changes as the land is also owned by them while the power of a condo owner is limited.

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Netdragon, Home Buyer, Smyrna, GA
Thu Sep 20, 2007
For the best investment, buy an older single family home in an area where they are beginning to do tear-downs (examples are Smyrna, GA around 2003-2004 and Decatur, GA 2005-2006) and update it. Townhomes and condos are designed for convenience, and there's usually already priced near the top of the market for their size. If you don't want to pass up the pool and tennis court you saw in your favorite townhome community, you can find single family home communities with that in the Atlanta area. Though already priced high, what you do avoid as opposed to buying a townhome is a steep association fee.
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Steve Miller, Agent, Rome, GA
Thu Sep 20, 2007
Differences in Townnhomes and Condos are quite different when it involves taking title to the land which the building is sitting on as well as who actually owns what part of the building. In a townhome situation, there are many cases where the building includes a complete fee-simple interest in the land itself and the entire building, in and outside. However, in "Condo" ownership, all land is likely owned by the development or homeowners association. There are also differences in the exterior ownership and how the exterior maintanence of the building is maintained. In short, in a condo situation, you almost always only own from the sheetrock, in and your monthly association fees cover exterior repairs, lawn care, maintenance etc. Where as in a townhome, you could have complete ownership in your entire unit and land it is situated upon.

I would suggest befoire making an offer to purchase, you look into how and what you're taking ownership in. And would further suggest you work with a good Realtor in your area whom you have trust. If an agent isn't involved, please consult an attorney before making any decision to buy either so you will have a complete understanding of what it is you're attempting to purchase. Have a great day - Steve
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James Dudley, Agent, Suwanee, GA
Thu Sep 20, 2007
My suggestion is to not purchase either. You are much better off purchasing a single family home here. Townhome/Condo's have very poor resale value and time.

If you cannot afford a single family home at this time, but still want to own your dwelling keep saving until you can.
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Joshua Jarvis, Agent, Duluth, GA
Thu Sep 20, 2007
In Georgia, the differences in those words is very little. However, typically, apartment style condos perform poorly in markets that are like the current one. Townhomes (like attached homes) always sale for more and are in more demand in most markets.

In short, yes - in most markets.
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