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The Difference Between Condos and Townhomes

Real Estate Sales Representative with Top Agent Internet Marketing

If you are confused about what differentiates a condo from a townhome, then you are not alone. Many people do not know the difference between these residences because they are often referred to as the same. Condos and townhomes do have similarities but there are also some stark differences. For starters, the biggest difference is ownership. Read on to learn more about the differences between a condo and a townhome.

Who Owns the Condo or Townhome?

Condos and townhomes are both “owned” by the buyer. However, the extent of ownership varies. For condominiums, the buyer owns the interior of the home, but the exterior is owned by the HOA or homeowner’s association. This means that the buyer can change the inside of the home but the outside, i.e. grass, siding, etc., is maintained by the association. In a townhome, you own the interior and exterior of the home, but you pay the HOA to take care of snow removal, trash removal, lawn maintenance, etc.

For example, you can paint the outside of your townhome any color you wish but you would have to ask for permission to paint the exterior of your condo.


  • The buyer owns the interior of a condo but not the exterior.
  • The buyer owns the interior and exterior of a townhome.

What Is an HOA?

The Homeowner’s Association, or HOA, is a collective of homeowners that reside in the complex. It is customary for residential complexes to have an HOA. Their duty is to maintain the property and general area. They make sure snow is cleaned, trash is picked up, the pool area is maintained, etc. The HOA essentially maintains the premises of the housing complex. The dues or annual fees paid go towards this upkeep. Therefore, it is required that all owners pay their dues or they risk penalization.

Typically condo owners have higher HOA fees than townhome owners. This is mainly due to the fact that the HOA duties are extensive in a condominium complex. The HOA is responsible for exterior repairs. This includes a leaky roof, siding, broken window, etc. The HOA also provides other amenities such as a gym, pool, etc., for the owners to enjoy. Townhomes can also have these amenities but it is not always common.

Buying a Townhome or Condominium with Maple Ridge Real Estate

If you are looking into Maple Ridge Real Estate, a condo or a townhome might catch your eye. Maple Ridge has many wonderful complexes that offer one or both of these housing options. It will be very wise to have a realtor with you to further explain the differences between the two types of residences.

Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Nice post... and to make the entire issue even more confusing, here in Charlotte we also have townhouse condos.

Oct 26, 2016 03:59 AM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC

Nice job differentiating between the two. This is really good information for buyers especially the one's that wish to make changes to the exterior. Thanks for posting!

Oct 26, 2016 05:07 AM