What Suits You Condo or Salt Lake Townhome
What suits you, condo or Salt Lake townhome?
If you’re like many folks looking for a home you know that condos and townhomes are not the same. The differences are small but some folks find them hard to understand. This is because there are also similarities. Townhomes are frequently governed by a homeowner association and condos almost always are.
Even though I know better, when I think about condos, I imagine a large structure with lots of units. When I think about Townhomes, I envision rows of 2 story structures attached to each other in pads of 4 or 6. (usually by the garage) The problem with describing the home in this manner, however, is that the word “condominium” is a form of ownership, not a type of structure.
There are three main types of homeownership:
- Fee Simple: Ownership of the land and the home
- Condominium: Sole ownership of one unit in the community and joint ownership of common areas.
- Cooperative: Ownership of shares in a corporate-owned building with the right to live there but the person doesn’t actually own the unit.
The condo owner owns only what is between the walls of his or her unit, in the trade referred to as 'paint to paint' and has an ownership share in the common areas. Generally this is called an 'undivided interest'.
The term townhome, or townhouse, on the other hand, is a structure that usually has at least two stories, it is attached to at least one other home but each home has its own front door to the street, not a hallway as many condos do.
To make it even more confusing, townhomes can be owned as condominiums or fee simple ― meaning the homeowner not only owns the home, but the land on which it sits as well.
Here are two of the most significant questions you should ask when you’re considering buying a townhome.
1. Homeowner Association
Buying a home in a managed community means that you’ll be required to pay monthly HOA dues and other fees. These can be quite significant, so take them into account when determining how much you can afford to spend on housing every month.
Also, ask questions about anything in the HOA documents that you don’t understand.
2. Getting Financed
If you’ll be taking ownership of a townhome as a condominium, rather than fee-simple, the lending process is a bit different.
- The lender may look at the owner-occupancy rate in the community. If the tenant-occupied rate is more than 30 percent, you may have to search long and hard for a lender who will take it on.
- The lender will also peruse the documents to determine the number of homeowners that are behind in their dues payments. If that number exceeds 15 percent of all homeowners in the community, you’ll have trouble finding a loan.
Townhome and condominium living is ideal for those that want the benefit of homeownership at a cheaper price and without some of the maintenance chores that come with a detached home. Do a bit of homework, however, before agreeing to purchase.
Condos or Townhomes Listed in Salt Lake
Here is a list of condos or townhouses available to buy around Salt Lake, sorted by city.
Now you know the difference between condos, and townhomes in Salt Lake as well as some of the most important things to look for when shopping for maintenance free living.
If you have other questions, give me a call . Either I, or one of my associates, knowledgeable about the condominium market in Salt lake and surrounding cities will be happy to help you find out what suits you, condo or Salt Lake townhome. Gordon Sloan 801-567-0946.