Moving into a new home is always a big decision; that’s why it pays to know exactly what you want. If you don’t know the differences between a condo, a townhouse, and a single-family home, you are going to have some trouble when deciding between these types of homes. Each kind has its pros and cons, which might make them the perfect choice or a terrible one. In this article, we will go over the differences between these three types of homes.
What Are Condos?
The first thing to understand about a condo (which is short for “condominium”) is the fact that it isn’t a building style. A condo could technically be built in any style because a specific type of ownership defines this type of home.
A condominium is a group of independent living spaces that are technically part of the same community unit. In most cases, this will be a building full of apartments with a jointly-owned common area that all residents can enjoy. Unlike regular apartments, however, condos can be bought and sold like any other real estate.
In essence, a condo is a community of homeowners who share responsibility for matters that affect the common areas. These common areas include walkways, hallways, laundry rooms, swimming pools, and other aspects of condo living. Ownership of this area is shared, as are financial obligations. These obligations are usually enforced and overseen by a homeowner’s association.
When you buy a condo, you will be required to join a homeowner’s association of some kind. As part of that association, you will sign an agreement that sets your rights and responsibilities in relation to the other occupants. You will have to pay HOA dues every month, but that money will be used for community needs like maintenance, emergency repair, insurance, and (sometimes) shared utilities.
What is a Townhouse?
You might also describe a townhouse as multiple homes in a shared building. A townhouse will share one or two walls with the other townhouses, and these will likely have a uniform design. By using consistent design, these homes can be fitted together like building blocks and used to create custom-sized housing blocks.
While it might sound a lot like an apartment, a townhouse is distinctly different. First, a townhouse has more than one floor, while apartments seldom do. Again, it’s more like a modular house than an apartment. A lot of people choose townhouses because they’re a great way to get a relatively large home without having to pay a great deal of money.
In most cases, townhouses will have to share a yard. For some people, this isn’t a problem; for others, it could be a deal-breaker. For instance, people with a lot of pets might find this kind of arrangement to be impractical. Still, a lot of families find townhomes to be the ideal solution for their needs.
Unlike condos and single-family homes, a townhouse is more likely to be a rental property. If you are looking to buy a house and rent it to someone else, a townhouse might be just the thing. They are low-cost enough to attract a wide variety of renters but nice enough to attract tenants of a higher quality.
Another characteristic of townhomes is their tendency to be located in the middle of town. As you might guess, this tendency is the source of the term “townhouse.” You don’t see these kinds of homes in rural areas very often, as they aren’t necessary. In the city, however, these homes fill a particular need, and that is the need for decent housing in a cost-efficient and size-efficient package.
What is a Single Family Home?
A single-family house is just a way of describing the “normal” type of home. It stands alone, not being connected to any other structures, and sits on a plot of land that is owned by the same person that owns the house. As the name implies, a single-family unit is not subdivided in any way. It is meant for one set of occupants and one owner, and the responsibility for paying utilities is never shared.
In many ways, the term “single-family home” is just a legal term. It’s a way to designate the standard self-owned home for tax and regulatory purposes. The name has nothing to do with the methods of your home’s construction, as any home with multiple units will not fall into this category. For instance, let’s say you are a homeowner, and you decide to rent your basement or attic to someone. Even if you make no changes to the home itself, it will no longer be regarded as a single-family home.
This type of home is the kind that most people dream of owning, and there are reasons for its popularity. First of all, this type of home will often give you a little more privacy. You aren’t sharing walls with anyone else, so you don’t have to worry about the noise level quite so much. Because these homes tend to have large yards, your closest neighbors won’t be quite as close. Speaking of those large yards, a lot of people like to have outdoor space for various activities or entertaining.
Of course, these are not the only three types of homes on the market. You have many options from which to choose, but these are three of the most common. Without a proper understanding of these terms, there is more of a chance that you won’t get the kind of home you want, so we hope that our article has helped you in your home-buying journey. Southdown Homes is here to help you as well. Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions.