Condo or Townhouse: What Is the Difference?

susanlerner Real Estate FAQ's

Philadelphia is one of those unique cities where you can drive around for just 15 minutes and see a wide variety of different housing styles in that short span, from single family row homes in West Philly on to large sprawling houses on the mainline. When home shopping in the City of Brotherly Love you might want to consider a condo or townhouse. While either is a perfect starter home for first-time homeowners, small families, and single people, and both usually require owners to pay association fees, they also have a number of distinctions that you should keep in mind as you’re doing your research.

When you buy a condominium, you’re purchasing one living unit that is located on a common piece of property that is co-owned by a number of other condo owners. You purchase the individual living space as well as a portion of the land, property, and amenities. In other words, a condo owner shares ownership of just about everything located on the property with others, including the roof and staircases.

When you purchase a townhouse, you take sole ownership of the home, the roof, and the land that lies below it. Though the townhouse is usually a part of a community association, each person has his own separate living space.

Home Style
When deciding between a condo or townhouse, you’ll find that the general floor layout is the main point of difference. Many condos in Philadelphia resemble standard apartments in that the living space is commonly consolidated to one floor or a portion of a floor depending on the format of the building. The condo buildings in Rittenhouse Square and the museum area are an example of this. Some high-rise condominiums resemble skyscraper buildings.

On the other hand, townhomes usually have multiple floors—sometimes as many as three or four in one …read more

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