Home Buying in Tampa>Question Details

nvidia425, Home Buyer in Tampa, FL

Townhouse vs. Cond--what are the differences with HOA with regard to Master Policy for insurance. buying a condo and unsure if HOA covers building

Asked by nvidia425, Tampa, FL Sat Sep 29, 2012

Help the community by answering this question:


Condominium is a legal entity. Townhome is a property style. Either can be the other or niether. The expenses covered by associations are varied, best not to assume anything.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 30, 2012
If you're buying a condo then you should already have the governing documents in your hands. The Declaration, Articles of Incorporation and ByLaws will clearly list the insurances the Condo Association pays for. If you have not received these governing docs and financial statements make sure you get them right away! Your Realtor can help you. If you're buying from a FSBO then ask the Seller to provide a copy.

All the best,
Alma Rose Kee, PA
Future Home Realty
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 30, 2012
Condo and townhouse by-laws determine how and if the master policy insures the property . When buying property, you really should have the expertise of a Realtor to explain the differences of the properties you're considering.

Best wishes,

Margaret Hassani
Broker, Lightning Realty
Phone/Text: (813) 766-1501
Email: Marg@tampahouse1.com
Website: http://www.TampaHouse1.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 29, 2012
Also...just be aware that a multi level "townhouse" style property may be organized as a Condominium so don't let the layout mislead you. Condos are VERY difficult to get financing in Florida so you may need a substantial downpayment whereas a townhouse in an HOA can normally get an FHA mortgage with the minimal 3.5% down.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 12, 2012
Nvidia425, The difference between a Townhouse and a condo? Stairs.

Each association has their own declarations, rules, regulations and financial portfolio. The appearance of the exterior of the structure has nothing to do with the way the developer submitted the documents to the State of Florida to register the project; HOA or condo.

You will have to go case by case, subdivision by subdivision.

Best regards,

Lynn Brock
Brock Realty Inc.

If you'd like to search the MLS like an agent in real time, you can visit our website and sign up for a free Listing Book account. You will be able to change the search criteria to suit yourself and received morning reports regarding new listings, price changes and recent pendings.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 12, 2012
A townhouse is a 'style' of home. Examples of different styles are ranch/garden, split, etc.

A condo (or condominium association) is a form of ownership. This is where a group of property owners come together to maintain common elements of the property. This usually happens when walls are adjoining, although standalone single family homes may also form an association.

Therefore, a townhouse is usually part of a condo association, and a condo may or may not be a townhouse

I would read the condo bylaws to determine what is covered and what is not. Usually though, in an association, the external building, roof and common grounds are covered. Windows, Doors, etc may/may not be covered. Inside the walls is almost never covered.

Hope this helps, feel free to contact me anytime

Nick Gandhi
Equity Capital Real Estate
(203) 280 3838
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 30, 2012
In Florida a townhome is usually a two story condominium product. Occasionally, a townhome which is attached to another property is considered a single family home. If that is the case the owner may pay the building insurance. In a condominium the association pays the building insurance and the owner insures the inside of the condominium, usually from the drywall in. Check the documents while you are under contract on a condominium to find out where the owners liability begins on the property if it is considered a condominium.

A homeowners association (HOA) is typically an umbrella association over a number of small associations within a community. The homeowners association may be all single family homes or there may be a mix of condominiums associations within the community. The HOA fee may be paid at different intervals or annually. Sometimes the condominium fees include the HOA fee if there is one and sometimes when the condominium has a HOA the fee is paid separately from the condo fee to the HOA. Any variable is possible in a Florida development.

Be sure to check before you make an offer if you think a property is just in an HOA and not a condominium association. If it is in an HOA you do not get a 3 day rescission period to check these fees. If the townhouse is in a condominium association Florida law gives you 3 days to check all the fees in the community.

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Florida Buyer Broker
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 29, 2012
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