Condos vs. Townhouses: Which Is Better?
When it comes to affordability and a maintenance-free lifestyle, people often have to choose between a new condominium or a new townhouse. The two are similar in many ways, so it’s hard to see the problem.
However, there are some key differences that can help you make your decision. After reading this, you’ll have a clearer idea of your best choice.
When you buy a condo, you own the unit itself but don’t own the land it sits on. It’s an acceptable arrangement for some, but many people prefer the feeling of owning the land beneath their feet. That’s what you get when you buy a townhouse. Townhomes also usually have a small front and back yard that you can use as you see fit. You can plant a small garden or set up a patio table. If you want to be a landowner, not just a homeowner, a townhouse should be your choice.
Whenever you buy a home, you must consider affordability in your decision. Townhouses and condos are affordable compared to hallway or attached-front single-family homes. Sometimes, however, you must research whether a condo or townhouse costs less.
For example, the cost of building a condo tends to be cheaper than the cost of building a townhouse. However, you must also pay a homeowners’ association fee for a condo. This monthly payment is usually at least $100 – sometimes much more – and covers the cost of exterior repairs and maintenance of shared spaces within the condo community. Most townhouses do not have this fee. This means that the monthly cost of owning a townhouse could be less than that of a condo.
It would help to ask your builder for a detailed estimate of all costs before making your decision.
Flexible floor plans
Whether you are building a condo or a townhouse, you usually have a choice regarding floor plans. Builders have a variety of layouts, and floor plans are available in a variety of sizes. Generally, condos have fewer square feet, and the bedrooms are all on one level. This can work well for people with limited mobility as long as an elevator is in the building to get to the unit.
On the other hand, townhouses are typically multi-story homes with bedrooms on the top floor and a living room on the first floor. Many include an attached garage, which you can’t get with a condo, and some would allow you to finish the basement to create a master suite. You have more options when it comes to townhouse design.
For many, the biggest drawback to owning a condo or townhouse is sharing walls with your neighbours. In a townhouse, you will share walls on one or both sides of the house. In a condo, you will probably share walls on both sides, and you will also have neighbours above and below you.
Although modern construction techniques minimize sound propagation through walls to give you a greater sense of privacy than in the past, it is still something you should consider when deciding.
You want to get back what you put into your home. Many people buy condos and townhouses because they want to build equity to make it easier to move into the bigger home they’ve been dreaming of. If this sounds like you, think carefully about the resale value of your home.
Condominiums tend to hold their value, but townhomes are generally more desirable and will increase in value faster than condominiums. With attractive floor plans for single professionals and young families, townhomes are usually the smartest choice for those looking to move up.
Now that you know the difference between condos and townhouses, make your choice and don’t forget to write in the comments below.