What if the difference between a townhouse and a condo?

Asked by Susan F., Central Business District, Newark, NJ Thu Feb 19, 2009

Is one better than the other? Are there any advantages/disadvantages to buying this over a single family house?

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John Sacktig, Agent, New Jersey, NJ
Thu Feb 19, 2009
Susan the answer would be Stairs.
1 vote
William Leigh…, , New Jersey
Thu Feb 19, 2009
Susan: A townhouse is a style of home. In the trend MLS data, one category is "Row/Townhouse." Get what that means? In the old days wealthy farmers would have had farmhouse and for the "social season," a house in town. Since London was THE town and mostly built of rows or terraces, the name was stuck to that style. Sounds ever so much better than tenement, don't you think, my dear girl?

Condominium ownership means that you own something out right and something in common with others. How much depends on structure. A single house may be owned along with its immediate land but the common lands and recreation facilities may be held in a condominium association, with dues and rights of use. Each condominium is governed by by-laws, so you have to get them to figure out exactly what you are getting.

Some sloppy definitions of condo refer only to apartments that take a single floor as opposed to a "townhouse" that takes up all floors in one slot of a row of similar buildings. While this may be useful, technically it is not correct. A townhouse can be as much a condominium as anything else.
0 votes
Jillian Mason, Agent, Monroe, NJ
Thu Feb 19, 2009
Hi Susan...wow, you've been on here for a while now, but glad to see you are doing your research and are still in the market to purchase. To answer your question, condo is a form of ownership. A townhome is primarily two levels as John stated, while a condo is all on one floor.

Jillian Mason-Sales Associate
Direct: 732-586-5488
E-Mail: jillian@jillianmason.com
Web Reference:  http://www.jillianmason.com
0 votes
Tina Dubrule, , Gainesville, VA
Thu Feb 19, 2009
I am a realtor in Virginia, so you may wish to consult with a local agent to verify my accuracy on the subject:

All will depend on your particular needs:

With a condo, you typically have no yard maintenance to be concerned with, any exterior items that need addressing would be covered by your condo fee and in some cases the condo fee includes your water consumption and your Hazard Insurance.

It is a great purchase for someone that doesn't have a lot of time on their hands for home maintenance. in many cases you will also find condo communities have a greater walkability score over other home types. I've referenced a site below to figure out how walkable your home of choice is.

With a townhome; great for a first time home buyer.

Single Family is great for a larger family and someone looking for more privacy. Additionally, some purchase single families out side of an HOA to avoid the dictatorship issues like parking of work vehicles, boats, RV's.
and avoiding approvals for fencing and additions, exterior color changes to their home. Also avoiding the fee for the HOA.

The flip side of no HOA is, depending on where you are looking; cars parked in the front yard, chickens in the yard; home not being maintained properly, so on and so on....
Web Reference:  http://www.walkscore.com
0 votes
Tina Dubrule, , Gainesville, VA
Thu Feb 19, 2009
The main difference between a townhome and a condo is the ownership. With a condo ownership, you only own the inside of the structure, not the outside. On a townhome you will have land rights to the property as well as the whole structure. You can also consult with your local zoning authority for more info on a particular community, you can also look to see if your state has a website for the licensure board and put in the zip code for the community of interest to pull up the HOA or Condo Association to get accurate information.
0 votes
John Sacktig, Agent, New Jersey, NJ
Thu Feb 19, 2009
That was the funny answer in case you did not get it.

Sorry I don't have time at the moment.. I'll post the real answer later!

: )
0 votes
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