Have you ever wondered about the differences between detached homes, townhouses and condominiums? From a standpoint of comfort it is a matter of choosing the lifestyle that best suits your needs. However, from legal and practical standpoints there are numerous things that clearly mark out the distinctions between one and the others.
The main division is between the ownership of a single, detached property and one in which there is a common, shared interest with other members of the community. This shared interest is governed by the condominium agreement, a relationship that dates back to ancient times. You are said to own a condo, or a unit, meaning a unit of space when it is part of a legal condominium community; the name refers both to the unit and the contract.
The HOA Advantage
The organization that supports and operates the community, the homeowners association or HOA, is the main feature of the difference. If you own your own detached home you are responsible for all of the bills and maintenance issues.
In a condo communities the shared assets are the responsibility of a management team. Oversight of the management is provided by a board of directors that is elected by all of the members of the association.
The use of condominium rules is something that is applied to a wide range of housing needs and building types. The most familiar is the unit that is most commonly associated with the word condo and it usually brings to mind an apartment in a building that stacks up the units like shipping containers. In fact many condo complexes start out as apartment buildings that convert at a time when it is best suited to get the best return on the developer’s investment.
Different Structures Still Strictly Condominium
A townhouse is an attached home that has is like the close-packed row houses in many urban communities. They are arranged side-by-side and usually consist of two levels or more. They have an HOA to take care of the common areas and some of the amenities. Landscaping for each unit might not be included.
Detached houses in gated communities and in some privately developed subdivisions are another type of community that share responsibilities and costs. The same services as with condos and townhomes but homeowners may be expected to contribute more in the upkeep of the exteriors of their homes as well as adhere to strict rules on appearance.
For the avid gardener who is keen to create a unique and distinctive look to their home this may be a restriction that prevents them doing what they really desire. In such cases the independence of a traditional home might be much more preferable. For other buyers, the sense of community and grooming of the common areas might be just right. There are many types of ownership options because there are so many different needs of people seeking to own their own homes.