As you look at homes for sale in Irvine, you will likely see many listings for townhomes and condos. Many first-time buyers are understandably confused about the difference between the two, especially considering a two-story condominium can look just like a townhome. While condominiums and townhomes are both a type of shared housing, there are a few differences between these two homes that are important to understand before you begin your home search.
Condo vs Townhome: What’s the Difference?
A condominium is a type of shared housing that’s part of a larger complex with connecting areas shared communally among all owners. A townhome, on the other hand, is more like an individual home that shares one or two walls with adjacent homes. Condos are usually associated with multi-story buildings like an apartment complex, but they can also be part of conjoined structures like a townhome with two or more stories.
The main difference between a townhome and a condo is ownership. When you buy a condominium, you only own the interior of the condominium. Your ownership does not extend beyond the walls of the unit. A townhome owner owns the entire home and roof as well as the land and any deck or yard attached to the property.
Common Areas and Maintenance
Most townhomes and condominiums in Irvine are part of planned communities with a range of amenities for owners. Common areas of both townhome and condo developments may include community parking, fitness centers, walkways, tennis courts, pools, and more. Condo owners share ownership of these common areas jointly, but the common areas of a townhouse development are usually owned by the homeowners association.
In general, condos usually have more common spaces and amenities, which means higher HOA fees. While townhomes generally have HOA fees as well, townhome owners will be responsible for more property maintenance. This is because townhome owners actually own the roof, structure, and land. Condo association fees tend to be higher because the condo association is responsible for more common areas. The roof, exterior walls, walkways, and the land are all community property and owned jointly by all owners who share financial responsibility for maintenance in the form of HOA fees.
Condos and townhouses offer many of the same benefits: both offer a range of amenities and reduced maintenance and repairs for homeowners. Despite their similarities, it’s important to understand the difference between the two to understand your responsibilities and ownership rights before putting in an offer on a condo or townhouse for sale in Irvine.
Learn more about the difference between these two types of housing or find the help you need to kick your home search into high gear by calling (714) 454-6304 and making an appointment with an experienced real estate broker in Irvine. We’re experts in all things Irvine and can help you find just the right property to call home.