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what is the difference between a condo & a townhome???

  • May 12 2013 - Southwest Colorado Springs
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Answers (12)

Land ownership is a major key to the discussion.  Is the land owned that the unit sits upon? - Townhome    Is the land common ownership only? - Condo  There are a few other pertinent details, but that is the nutshell. 
  • May 22 2013
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Typically a condo is a on floor unit and a townhome is a multiple story unit usually with deeded property underneath it but seeing from the other post their is not a consistent way that this is being relayed on Zillow.
  • May 20 2013
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I agree with Joe Domino and Dorene Slavitz, but we have had this argument on Zillow before, and my opinion may be a "southern thang". In SC, town-home indicates less common ownership than a condo regime would entail. You own your yard and the land under your unit. There are thousands of two story condos in SC. There are thousands of one story condos. The word "town-home" when it was introduced, meant a single family attached unit where the property under it belonged to the occupant, not the regime. This concept has been diluted over the thirty years I've been licensed, by yankee developers mis-characterizing town-home as an architectural style.
  • May 20 2013
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 In Colorado Springs, most condominiums for sale tend to be multi story, with units above other units, or below other units. If a client says to us he /she does not want anyone above or below them..then we don't show them any condos. Town homes are multi story attached units. Where a person wont have a neighbor above or below them. They will just share a common wall.
 





  • May 20 2013
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Yes, multi-level condos are called "townhouse style" even when they don't have their own outside entry.

Basically, I think we can simplify things this way: a condo can be any type of architectural style; a townhouse is a multi-level property with a separate outside entrance.

What do you think?
  • May 13 2013
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Joseph Domino is correct,  "A true "townhome" is one that the land the unit is on (including any yard) is titled to the owner not shared."
 
The land owner ship is the  difference between a "Townhouse' and a Condo.
 Unfortunately...the line has blurred and multi level condo's are being  called a townhouses,but  this  was not always the case.
 Please ask your realtor so that you are clear about what you are buying.
  • May 13 2013
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Usually a condo is one story and a townhouse is two stories.  As well financing can be different whether the townhouses are fee simple or if the association has reserves.  These are questions to ask your realtor and mortgage broker.
  • May 13 2013
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Yes, Jay, yes.

Condominiums come from assigning ownership rights to apartments and air spaces; I think every state has a "Horizontal Regimes Act" that was later morphed into a "Condominium Act."

Sometimes, you don't need to own the land itself.
  • May 13 2013
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Condos I've often times found are stacked vertically on themselves.  This means that there is no way for you to "own" the actual land you are sitting on.  It also usually means that there is an HOA to take care of common area and overall upkeep of the property.  While Townhomes, often times only share a wall on either side of itself, thus it owns the ground it sits on.  Often times you may still see an HOA but sometimes you'll get lucky and only have a Party Wall agreement (which in my opinion is preferred).
  • May 13 2013
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A true "townhome" is one that the land the unit is on (including any yard) is titled to the owner not shared. Only the common areas are shared amongst the community owners.  Even if it has adjacent common walls.  A condo you only get the fractional share of the land the unit is on and the common areas.

Architectural style has nothing to do with it.  Many properties called "townhomes" because they look like stand alone (no one above or sharing space) are in fact condos since your title only grants you fractional shares of the land.

Most REALTORs will call a unit a townhome because it sounds better. Ask your lender.  Underwriters know the difference between condos and townhomes.
  • May 12 2013
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Townhome is an architectural style; usually tall and relatively narrow and often sharing common walls.

Condominium is a way of putting owners of properties together in one association, as in an apartment or office building. But stand-alone properties can be part of condos, too. 

  • May 12 2013
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For the most part, it has to do with the style of the building.  Condos are units that are individually owned and share ownership of the "common areas" (halls, lobbies, grounds etc.) with the other condo owners.

Townhomes are usually 2 to 4 units that look like houses stuck together.  They may or may not have a front and back yard.  Most times have garages and driveways.

Here's a link to a better explanation of the difference

  • May 12 2013
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