What is the difference between a condominium and a townhome?
A CONDOMINIUM is a form of real estate ownership; a TOWNHOUSE generally describes a style of structure.

A CONDOMINIUM, condo for short, is a single unit that is usually attached to other units within a larger complex. Condos come in a wide variety of architectural styles, from two- and three-story buildings arranged apartment-complex style with carports to luxurious high-rise properties with sweeping views of the surrounding city or natural landscape. However, not all condominiums are attached units. In fact, detached homes are now being sold as condominium ownership.

In a condominium, the purchaser owns only the interior, while the building itself is owned by a condominium association. The association is jointly owned by all the owners, and charges them fees for general maintenance and major repairs. Condo communities may provide such shared facilities as a pool, gym, tennis courts and clubhouse, all maintained by the condo association, which takes care of all day-to-day management tasks. The common areas, such as the land and parking areas, are also owned by the condominium association. Each condominium complex has a master deed which outlines the percentage of ownership each unit in the development has invested in the entire complex. That percentage determines residents' monthly dues to the association.

A TOWNHOUSE is a type of attached dwelling unit normally having two or more floors connected to other units in a row. The terms townhome, row house, and townhouse are often used interchangeably. A townhouse can be either owned outright similar to a detached home, known as Fee Simple, or it could be owned as a condominium. In most cases, people who own a townhome in Fee Simple not only own the home’s interior and exterior, but they also own the land beneath, and in front and back of the property, as well as having some rights to the air space above the property. If there are common areas, they are usually owned by the townhouse development’s association which maintains them for the benefit of and use by all the owners of townhouses in that development.

Posted By: Rolf Kramer on Saturday, November 28, 2009

Brought to you by Ask-A-Guru.com • Answers to your real estate questions!

Guru answers are believed to be accurate, but are not guaranteed. Our guru lawyer made us say that.