IS A TOWNHOUSE OR CONDO THE RIGHT HOME FOR YOU?

By
Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Peak Properties

If you have followed the local real estate market the past year you know that townhomes and condominiums have become popular with home buyers.  Town homes are more affordable than single family homes, making them more attractive to first time home buyers.  Town homes and condos are gaining appeal not only for primary homeowners but also for second home buyers who are looking for a weekend get-a-way to Flagstaff as well as for parents looking for a place that their kids can live in while they attend NAU. 

In many cases a town home or condo may be a better investment than a single family home.  To ensure that you make a good investment, review what your objectives are for purchasing the unit and what location would work best for you.  Is it going to be a second home, will it be a place for your kids to live while attending school, is your objective an investment property that you plan to use for a rental, will it be your primary residence? 

The difference between a condo and town home is sometimes a bit hard to discern.  The best definition I have for a town house is that it is a type of ownership where individuals actually own the building or unit they live in and the ground below it, but common areas are owned jointly with the other members of the development or association. In a condominium, an individual owns the airspace in the unit, but the buildings and common areas are owned jointly with the others in the development or association. 

When you purchase a condo or townhouse you automatically become a part of a homeowner's association to which you pay dues. The dues cover the cost of maintaining and insuring the common areas.  The complex where the property is located is governed by CC&Rs (Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions), which restrict your ownership rights.  Read and understand the CC&Rs and any other pertinent governing documents before you complete a purchase. 

The past few years have seen a number of local apartment complexes converted into Condominiums.  Many of theses projects have an abundance of amenities such as swimming pool, basketball courts, and fitness centers.  These units are especially popular with young people. 

There are many bargains in our town right now so if you are in the market for a Townhome or Condo it is a good time to start looking.  As in any real estate transaction it all comes down to location and what works for you.

Comments (3)

Tim Lorenz
TIM LORENZ - Elite Home Sales Team - Mission Viejo, CA
949 874-2247

It's the same in our market the lower cost home and condos are were the value is at this time

Aug 17, 2009 10:22 AM
John Rakoci
Eagle Realty - North Myrtle Beach, SC
North Myrtle Beach Coastal Carolinas

Just don't forget to factor in the association fees. Paying in advance for a roof to be replaced in 20 years or a parking repave in 35 years may have a bigger impact than thought. Still if a roof is needed and the HOA really has the money to pay for it from others paying in advance, great! Always be prepared for an assessment too. I have seen them from a few hundred to $45,000 recently.

Aug 17, 2009 10:28 AM
Anonymous
John

Thanks for the feedback.  You are right on with the association fees.

Aug 18, 2009 08:13 AM
#3