Townhouse vs Condo: What's the difference?

By Jared McKinney

When it comes to buying property, townhouses and condos throw a unique curveball to the equation and the definitions of each might seem to blur on your first look. For example, what is the difference between a condo and an apartment? Can you buy a townhouse or are townhouses only for rent? What’s so special about a townhouse to rent?

We put together this infographic detailing the difference between a condo and a townhouse. While they have their similarities, they also have their differences. Condos, for instance, are by definition individually-owned apartments that can sometimes be rented. Likewise, you can find townhomes for rent and for purchase - though condos for rent are a little less common.

We hope that our infographic has helped you settle your townhouse vs. condo debate and has given a little meaning to what they entail. Overall, the main differences between a townhouse and a condo boil down to the type of community you want, your desire to being a homeowner and if you want HOA fees. Condos are generally on the more expensive side with more active resident communities while townhouses are a little more low-key, though offer a living experience much more similar to that of a single-family home. Meanwhile, each is a great alternative option for owning in urban areas where traditional, single-family homes are impractically priced. But, if you want to rent, by definition, condos are purchased while townhomes can mean renting or owning.

To sum it all up:

The definition of a townhouse is:

  • A multi-story home similar in style to a single-family home while a part of a multi-unit complex whose walls border neighboring units
  • The living quarters (kitchen, living room, dining room, etc.) are commonly found on the bottom floor while private quarters (bedrooms) are found on the top floors
  • Occupants are more commonly renters, however some townhomes can be purchased

The definition of a condo is:

  • Short for condominium, condos are an apartment owned by one individual within a building of other condos
  • Condos often include HOA fees that contribute to community maintenance and amenities
  • HOAs (Home Owner Associations) are comprised of condo owners that meet together to discuss the maintenance and rules of the condominium community

If you are still unsure what a townhouse or townhome is, or what a condo is, leave a comment below.

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