Condo vs Townhouse

Are you in the market to purchase a condo or townhouse?  These are two of the most popular options and deciding whether you are best suited for a condo or townhouse is a big decision to make.  Here is a break down of each property type.


CONDOS



Condos are residential units that are owned by individuals instead of landlords. Condo units are in buildings or owned as part of a community and typically only condo owners have access to the interiors of the property.  Here are some pros and cons:

Pros

Benefits of buying a condominium:


  • Maintenance – The maintenance required for a condominium is very minimal. Residents will only have to look after their houses and not the open spaces. The corporation or HOA owns most of the condos as well as the communal and other spaces within the building. However, any condo fees will cover all maintenance work that might be required. Overall, the money spent on maintenance fees is cheaper in a condo.
  • Benefits of neighbours – Another added benefit of staying in a condominium is that residents will live around lots of people. Living in a condo is great for building social circles and during emergencies or if you are away for a holiday or work, having good neighbours can be really beneficial.
  • The location – Most of the condos are in bustling neighbourhoods. Homes in popular areas tend to have better public transportation, making your condo location convenient for reducing your commute from your home to work.
  • Amenities – The number of amenities that a resident gets while staying in a condo is unrivalled. Facilities can include gyms, party rooms, rooftop BBQ areas, open and green terraces, meeting rooms and yoga rooms.
  • Cost – The cost of staying in condos is cheaper compared to other real estate properties. Usually, fees for maintenance are divided between all the residents and the owners. Therefore, the cost of living in a condo is more affordable for most people.
  • Safety – Condos have higher security for residents, as units are close together. 

Cons

Living in a condominium is not all about benefits. There are cons and other things to consider too.


  • Higher fixed costs – Residents staying in condos have to pay monthly fees for all the standard space amenities. This might be an issue for most residents since not everyone uses these spaces or amenities.
  • Less freedom of choice – Condos are subjected to the bylaws stated by the condo corporation. Due to this, residents might not be able to make changes to their homes. They might not even be allowed to decorate their home during holidays.  Also pets are either not allowed or have to pass board approval.
  • Not easy to customize – In a townhouse, it’s fairly straightforward to extend your property or even knock through some walls. In a condo… not so! If your family grows you can’t just build another room onto your condo. Plus, your neighbours won’t appreciate the noise and inconvenience of any work you do carry out.
 
TOWNHOUSE


A townhouse is a housing style where there are multiple independent and identical houses that are usually in a row. Townhouse owners own the land as well as every interior inside the townhouse. Townhouses are a perfect single-family home.


Homes that have a townhouse style usually come with a front and rear yard, giving plenty of private outdoor space.

Some families prefer to stay in townhouses due to the independent nature and freedom they create as detached homes. Though, as they are conjoined with another property they will share walls and outdoor boundaries.

The work required to maintain townhouses can incur sharp fees, especially if it’s an old property in need of modernizing. If you’ve owned a townhouse before, you’ll be all too familiar with the amount of work involved in the upkeep...same as a single family home!  Here are some of the pros and cons:

Pros

Benefits of buying townhouses:

  • More choices – Residents have the freedom to make changes to their townhouses without any issue. As they are detached homes, they can alter the interiors as well as exteriors. This is one of the main reasons why homeowners prefer townhouses. They can decorate and personalize their townhouses as per their liking.  There is also usually more flexibility with pets. 
  • Higher value – Townhouses have higher resale values due to demand. Townhouses offer residents freedom and independence. People are willing to pay a higher price for this.
  • Selective maintenance charges – Residents staying at townhouses pay maintenance charges depending on their requirements.

Cons

Like condos, townhouses also have their cons that some residents cannot compromise on. Here are the things to look out for if you prefer a townhouse:

  • Responsibility – Residents have higher responsibilities when living in townhouses. They do not have the luxury to call the maintenance for any sort of repair work that might be needed for the property. So, townhouse owners will have to carry out all the repairs and maintenance that’s required themselves. This includes everything from plumbing issues to lawn care. All the fees are on the owner, not the entire building.
  • Security – Townhouses, with their windows and doors leading onto the street, are not as secure. Since these are individual properties, residents don’t have security services like those available in condos. Buying your own security systems to protect your home can be expensive.
  • Higher expenses – Not only will people have to pay a higher amount to get a townhouse, but people will also have to pay more for the services as well. Townhouse expenses are greater than condos overall, due to being a single-family home.

Ultimately the best way to decide is to get out and look at a few of each type of property to get a feel for the space and surrounding environment.  When interested in a condo, it is always important to hire a condo document review professional to review the documents before firming up an offer to give you an inside look at how well the building is run.  Either way, I am always there to help you make a decision that is best for YOU! 

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