If you are buying in the Rockford market, I would NOT buy either one if you are only going to stay in it for three years! They are cheap, but the resale value, in my opinion, will not be enough in 3 years to recover your money and pay the closing costs. If you want to buy, rather than rent for three years, buy a smaller house, not a condo. It will not be as new as the condo or townhouse, but there are some great buys in good areas. And, if you fix it up and it's sharp, you'll make money in three years, even if the market doesn't improve much. If you would like ideas, give me a call and we can talk about it.