Lions Realty Group
Taunee English, Lions Realty Group
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The Differences Between a Condo and a Townhouse

by Taunee English 02/02/2020

Photo by Pixabay via Pexels

When it comes to home ownership, you have many options beyond buying a single-family home. A condominium and a townhouse are two such options. Before you consider making one of these your permanent home, it's important to understand the differences between them.

Condo Ownership

When you purchase a condo, you own the entire inside of the structure. The condo association owns the exterior, all common areas, and the land where the condo sits. Condo owners are not responsible for exterior maintenance. However, you need to budget for condominium association fees apart from your monthly mortgage payment. This covers the cost of repairs and maintenance in common areas. Most condos are in multi-story buildings.

Townhouse Ownership

When buying a townhouse in a traditional manner, you must pay dues to its homeowner's association. This fee goes toward outdoor maintenance, such as mowing the lawn and shoveling snow. Your fee may also include landscaping services. Townhomes typically appear as conjoined single-family homes.

If you choose to purchase a townhouse in a non-traditional manner, you own the land it sits on as well as the physical structure of the home. This means you are responsible for repairs and maintenance both inside and outside of your townhome. The association that owns a townhouse complex is only responsible for communal repairs such as potholes on the street.

Financial Considerations

You can't deduct homeowner's dues if either type of property is your primary or secondary home. The only exception to this is if you rent it to others. If you occupy the condo or townhouse, you can deduct real estate taxes and mortgage interest if you itemize deductions on your tax return. If you plan to use the condo as a second home and rent it the remainder of the time, make sure that you occupy it less than 10 percent of the time that you rent it. If you don't, the IRS considers it personal property.

The non-mortgage fees for a condo are almost always higher than they are for a townhouse. This is due to more shared areas and additional amenities that most townhomes don't have. These may include a swimming pool, a recreation room, or an area on the roof to suntan or host a barbeque for your neighbors. These amenities all carry an additional risk, which necessitates the need for additional insurance coverage.

The property taxes and initial down payment are typically higher for condos as well. Even so, some people prefer a condo over a townhouse because they feel that not being at street level offers them better security.

If you’re in the market for a non-traditional home, feel free to schedule a consultation. We'll go over your options and find the best home to suit your needs.

About the Author
Author

Taunee English

Taunee English is both a Principal Real Estate Broker and a Business Broker of Lions Realty Group Dba Business Caretaker Inc

She is a third-year award winning Real Estate Broker experienced in Trust and Probate transactions. Taunee is deeply passionate about helping families after a loved one has passed away because she had personally experienced the unexpected challenges of settling both Probate and Trust estates for her family. 

Besides representing families as their Realtor, Taunee also has acted in the capacity of Personal Representative/ Administrator and Successor Trustee of Probate and Trust Estates for both family members and clients due to her 20+ years of experience in real estate, accounting, business management and trust administration. She was an Enrolled Agent certified by the Internal Revenue Service as a Tax Specialist and ran a CPA firm for six years before starting Business Caretaker Inc., with a Real Estate Division - “Lions Realty Group” and Business Brokering and Management Division - “The Business Caretaker”.

Taunee proudly served our country and is an U.S. Naval Veteran.

As devoted as she is to our country, she is AS devoted to the IMPORTANCE of EDUCATION and has over eight Real Estate Designations which includes: Certified Probate Real Estate Specialist, Seniors Real Estate Specialist, Certified Negotiation Expert and National Commercial Real Estate Advisor designation. She provides monthly real estate educational classes as Chair of Professional Development Committee at Beverly Hills/ Greater Los Angeles Association of Realtors®. At the state level, Taunee is a State Director of California Association of Realtors® and serves on the committees: Taxation and Government Finance, Investment Housing, Education and Communications Advisory Committee.

A side note, Taunee is a avid fan of Shark Tank which has earned her three social media titles of #1 Fan of Barbara Corcoran ,#1 Fan of Marc Cuban and Shark Tank Social Media Guru.