Dariya409, Home Buyer in Chicago, IL

whats best a condo or a town home?

Asked by Dariya409, Chicago, IL Sat Oct 16, 2010

im here and its my 1st home whats best? im 27 and hoping for kids?

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


Kathy Meyer, Agent, Darien, IL
Wed Oct 20, 2010
Hi Dariya,
I have been working with several buyers looking at townhomes vs. condos. Townhomes usually have a separate entrance and a backyard you can access. Condos usually have a common entrance and no backyard access (with some exceptions). For my buyers recently, who are planning on starting a family, the townhouse has been the better choice. I probably show 10 to 20 units a week and have found some fabulous condos, particularly in the west and southwest suburbs, that have more square footage for the money. So as my colleagues have said, you really need to go out there and see for yourself. See what fulfills your "wish list". You couldn't pick a better time than now to buy. Good luck!
0 votes
Robert Pratt, Agent, Chicago, IL
Wed Oct 20, 2010
Hello there, Dariya!
Congratulations - it's an exciting time to be looking for your first new home. :)

As some of our colleagues mentioned, the question is really one of personal taste.

If you prefer open spaces, combined rooms, an open kitchen - a condo may be better for you.
With a town-home, the living spaces are separated and on different floors - that provides a little more privacy as you go room to room.
Web Reference:  http://www.dreamtown.com
0 votes
John Gall, Agent, Chicago, IL
Sun Oct 17, 2010
Are you sure about those kids? :-)

Perhaps you would like to rent in a condo building for 1 year to see how you like it. The real estate market will still be around next year and with better prices.
0 votes
Jerry Grodes…, Agent, LOda, IL
Sun Oct 17, 2010
You are asking a lifestyle question. I always answer first time buyers this way: Do you find comfort living with people on the other side of your wall or upstairs from you? If so, a condo may work. Townhouses (we'll imagine the 2 story kind) may be a nice intermediary- the best of bioth worlds, if an outside unit.
Do you like to play your stereo a litttle loud? Do you lilke to dabble with nature or want a yard for your future children? Then a detached home may be in order.
0 votes
Jack Lewitz, Agent, Lincolnwood, IL
Sat Oct 16, 2010
The biggest difference is a Condo will usually have a Home Owners Association (HOA) and fees typically referred to as Condo Association Fees for Common Area Space which covers landscapping, snow plowing, janitorial, security, etc. Most Townhomes do not have HOA but do have some Common Area fees but they usually cost less than condos. Townhomes usually have some backyard. End units are more desirable than other units. I like townhomes over Condos.
0 votes
Lyle Wolf, Agent, Morristown, NJ
Sat Oct 16, 2010
It is really a lifestyle question that involves not only the type of dwelling space, but the location (neighborhood) of it as well.
0 votes
Monir Mamoun, Agent, Denville, NJ
Sat Oct 16, 2010
Too general a question Dariya. A nice condo beats a run down town home, and vice versa. Gotta look at all the fees, taxes, privacy, parking, amenities, etc.

Another approach -- let me get you a colleague of mine who knows Chicago and can help you decide between specific properties. Can also probably help with a loan. Send me a note with your contact info via the trulia form (click on my name) and I will do my best to help you.
0 votes
Philip Sencer, Agent, Chicago, IL
Sat Oct 16, 2010
Well, with respect to real estate you might get more for your money with a townhouse, although the neighborhood can make a difference. In a condo your neighbors might be able to hear your kids running around or making noise. The assessments tend to go up every year. If the townhouse does not have some sort of homeowners association, you have no control over your neighbors if they are obnoxious or messy and that reflects on your units value.
I would think you would want to be near a park or in a school district that you like, yet also easy to get to work.
All of the above assumes that you will be living in that property for many years. If you plan to sell in 3-5 years you need to think about how property values might or might not appreciate and seriously consider just renting until you can afford a house.
Either way, you should probably speak with an agent or two to see what you can afford and what you might get for that money. Once you see your choices you may or may not need to adjust your thinking.

0 votes
Matt Laricy, Agent, Chicago, IL
Sat Oct 16, 2010
Wow, thats a pretty person question. Its really only something you can decide. A condo that is large enough in space could be better because its open and there are no stairs for your young kids to injure themselfs on. A townhome could be the same size, but have more floors. Could be nice for you to be able to "get away" from your kids! Its really only a decision you can make. I suggest going out and looking at both and seeing which one fits you best.

Matt Laricy
Americorp Real Estate
Brokers Associate, e-PRO
0 votes
Mike Yun, Agent, Chicago, IL
Sat Oct 16, 2010
I prefer townhomes, I have 2 kids myself and townhomes offer more room for them to run around.

Mike Yun, Broker
Jameson Real Estate
(414) 526-8998
0 votes
Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Sat Oct 16, 2010
Unfortunately, a decision only you can make based on your finances, wants, needs, lifestyle, etc., where would you be happiest living....
0 votes
Suzanne Hami…, Agent, Orland Park, IL
Sat Oct 16, 2010
Dariya -

Well, it all depends on taste. With condos, you have someone typically above and below and either side of you. However, condos do sometimes provide more amenities than townhomes, especially in the city, like fitness rooms, club rooms, etc. And often in the city, condos are closer to the hot spots. However, condos rarely ever have yards.

Townhomes often have some grass and are on the street level - no elevator. This often lowers their monthly assessments. They are sometimes larger and only usually share two walls with others, at maximum.

One other consideration is financing. If you have a downpayment less than 5 or 10%, you will need FHA approval on a condominium. Townhomes can be condo ownership, but also can be Fee Simple, which can be easier to finance.

Insurance requirements are difference based on condo or fee simple ownership too. Condo ownership includes insurance in the assessment. You only have to pay for contents insurance to protect your belongings.

Again - a few differences, but mostly a matter of taste. Good luck!
0 votes
Noah Seidenb…, Agent, Evanston, IL
Sat Oct 16, 2010
I am going to say townhouse in your situation. Why because you mention wanting kids and a townhouse could offer you some outside space for them to play. Feel free to browse my web site and search the market.
Good luck
0 votes
Search Advice
Ask our community a question

Email me when…

Learn more