Monday, June 14, 2021 / by Teresa DiPeso
When buying a home at the Shore, properties are divided into three primary categories: single family homes, condo/townhomes and multi-family homes.
Although condominiums and townhomes get lumped together for very good reasons, there are a number of major differences between the two. Depending on what you are looking for, one or the other may work best for you.
Here are some of the key differences to know:
What Makes A Townhome Not A Condo?
Essentially, an individually owned unit in a complex of units and consisting of one living level is a condo, and a property with shared ownership of land or a shared wall and consisting of more than one living level is classified as a townhome. Some condos do have steps, mostly when your entryway leads up to a single living level. This would still be a condo even though there are steps inside the unit.
(A typical "condo-tel", a former hotel converted to private ownership)
Condos are always subject to a Home Owner’s Association, the governing body that determines the rules and regulations for the condo owners.
Townhomes that are built as “side-by-sides”, meaning two townhomes that share a a wall, usually don’t an HOA. Instead, they simply split the cost of exterior insurances. However, when there are more than two townhomes in a single complex, there will be an HOA involved.
(A typical "side-by-side" townhome set up)
Usage and Restrictions
Sometimes, condos at the Shore are seasonal-use only, meaning that they are generally open from April-October, weather depending. Many are year-round, but not all. So, it's important to ask when shopping.
Townhomes never have usage restrictions when it comes to the time of year. But, they may have other restrictions such as how often you can rent, how long the rentals must be, what color you can paint the exterior, etc.
All other things being similar, a townhome will generally sell for more money than a similar condo. Why? The answer is fairly simple: a townhome offers a second living level, whereas a condo offers just one living level. Even if the square footage is identical, townhomes are generally higher in price.
With a condo, or a townhome with an HOA, exterior maintenance and upkeep will be performed for you. You won’t have to worry about fixing anything on the exterior of the property.
Townhomes with no HOA (side-by-sides) require the owners to take care of these things themselves.
Condos with HOAs often enjoy at least one utility being paid for through the HOA. Some “condo-tels”, former motels/hotels converted to condos, will cover all or most of your utilities. Some owners enjoy this because it simplifies the process, especially if rentals are involved.
These are some of the biggest differences between a Shore condo and a Shore townhome. I’ve been helping clients buy both for decades.
Put my 25 years experience to work for you and call/text 609-780-1434 today!