Station A Apartments

Condo, Townhouse, or Apartment: What's the Difference?

If you’re considering moving, you may want to consider choosing a condo, townhome, or apartment. But choosing between these property types may not be a simple matter of looking at their price tags, or getting the nearest option. You need to understand what each stands for, and how each fits into your housing needs.

Here is a run-down of each of the three property types:

What’s a condo?

A condo or condominium refers to a privately-owned housing property within a community of other similar units. Before you move into a condo, you need to know you only take care of the interior — the rest is the responsibility of the homeowners’ association.

As a condo owner, your own the interior, but share all the exterior amenities with the rest of the community. The homeowners’ association manages these facilities and oversees any conditions, covenants, and restrictions applying to the property.

Condos are also relatively cheaper compared to sing-family homes. They appreciated at a slower rate in 2020, costing up to 17% less than single-family homes. They are cheaper when it comes to taxation: smaller spaces translate to smaller bills from the county.

What’s a townhouse?

A townhouse forms part of multi-floor homes sharing one or two walls with other properties, but with their own entrances. They may be uniform, as is the case for suburban townhouses, and have their own homeowners association.

But newer ones in cities have a more traditional outlook with no affiliation to the homeowners association or have less restrictive homeowners’ association — for those that have them. Because of this, they may be more appropriate for a large family compared to condos.

Despite a recent decline in the number of new townhouses, they have a long history spanning centuries. This doesn’t mean their supply will come up short any time soon. If you enjoy living close to your neighbors, they would be a great fit.

What’s an apartment?

What sets this property type apart from the others is the concept of renting. You can’t own an apartment, but you rent it and decide how long you would be there, or the frequency of payment. You can pay monthly, or for several months, or even a year. The rental lease options are flexible, quite appropriate if you don’t intend to stay in an area for a long time.

Like their condo counterparts, apartment renters have access to common spaces and facilities such as gym, trash disposal, covered parking, and pool, among others. If you prefer to own an apartment, rather than rent it, you’ll have to find out if you can meet the price. Many people prefer to rent because apartments in some cities, such as New York, are quite expensive.

Condo vs. Townhouse vs. Apartment

If you’re trying to find out which between a condo, townhouse, apartment, would be the best for you, you’re likely weighing the strengths of each property type. But all three have a point of convergence: all require a down payment, as well as a monthly mortgage payment. Condos and townhouses also attract homeowners association fees.

Condos are best for first-time homebuyers, and seniors on a downsizing trend, while townhouses would do well for those who need more. Go for an apartment if you want the flexibility to relocate, or are saving for a down payment.

Another important factor in the differentiation of the three major property types is ownership. You have no ownership in an apartment because it doesn’t require a down payment, but you do need to make a security deposit in addition to the monthly rent. But you have ownership of the unit if you choose the condo, or both the unit and the property it sits on if you go for the townhouse.

If you’re still wondering which to choose between a condo, townhouse, and apartment, we at Station A can help you. We look at your budget and housing needs to determine the best choice of a home for you. Contact us today and get the conversation started.

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