difference between a condo and townhouse

The Key Differences Between a Condo and a Townhouse

When it comes to investing in real estate, the options can be quite overwhelming, especially for first-time buyers. Two popular housing options that people often get confused about are condos and townhouses. Yes, they may look similar at first glance, but they do have some key differences that you should know before making a purchasing decision.


One of the main differences between a condo and a townhouse is the type of ownership. When you buy a condo, you own only the interior of your unit, and the rest of the building is owned collectively by all the unit owners. This means that you have shared responsibility for the maintenance, repairs, and upkeep of common areas such as hallways, elevators, and parking lots.

On the other hand, townhouses typically offer more ownership rights as you own the entire structure, including the land on which it’s built. This means that you are solely responsible for maintaining the exterior of the building and the surrounding grounds.

Privacy and Space

Another difference between the two is the level of privacy and space they offer. Condos are usually built with shared walls and are often located in high-rise or mid-rise buildings, offering limited or no outdoor space. This can make it difficult for residents who enjoy outdoor activities like gardening, barbecuing or sunbathing.

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Alternatively, townhouses offer more privacy and outdoor space, as they are mostly built as multi-level units that share a wall with only one or two neighboring units, much like traditional single-family homes. They also offer outdoor space like a backyard, patio or balcony, providing residents with a space to enjoy fresh air and sun.


Another significant difference between the two is the costs involved in buying one versus the other. Generally speaking, condos tend to be less expensive compared to townhouses, although this depends on various factors like location, amenities, and overall upkeep of the property.

Condo owners typically pay a monthly fee or maintenance fee to cover the costs of common area upkeep and repairs. However, owning a townhouse means you are responsible for maintaining the entire property, which means footing the bill for any repairs or upgrades that may be needed.


In conclusion, the difference between a condo and a townhouse comes down to the ownership, privacy and space, and costs involved. Understanding these differences will help you make an informed decision on which one to invest in. Ultimately, the choice will depend on your lifestyle and preferences, so it’s important to consider all options and choose what works best for you.

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Table difference between a condo and townhouse

Condominium Townhouse
Definition A unit in a building or development owned by an individual, with shared ownership of common areas A multi-level residence attached to one or more houses, owned by an individual
Ownership Ownership of individual unit; common areas owned by a homeowners association (HOA) Ownership of individual unit and the land it sits on; may belong to an HOA
Costs Monthly HOA fees for maintenance and amenities; individual unit owners responsible for repairs and renovations Homeowner responsible for maintenance, repairs and renovations
Amenities Shared amenities, such as a pool, gym, or common room May or may not have shared amenities; may have private outdoor space, such as a yard or patio
Privacy Varies depending on building layout; may have shared walls or hallways with neighbors More private than a condo, as it is an individual residence without shared walls or hallways