Condo vs Townhouse: Similarities and Differences


According to a poll, one in three first-time home buyers cried at some point during the process – but that doesn’t mean navigating real estate has to be stressful for everyone!

For many, looking towards condos or townhouses is a practical and attractive alternative to a single-family home. There are plenty of reasons to choose one of these for your family, but do you know the difference between the two?

When it comes time to compare a condo vs. townhouse decision, there may be more differences between the two than you think.

If you live in Alexandria, Virginia, or you’re considering moving here, read our guide here. It will help distinguish between the pros, cons, and differences between these two property types.

Consider Maintenance

There is a huge difference between condos and townhouses when it comes to the amount of upkeep needed. Especially if you are moving from an apartment!

As anyone who rents an apartment knows, maintenance is the easiest part of the experience. You are not responsible for maintaining anything outside of your apartment.

You’re responsible for cleaning your apartment, but property owners arrange for the upkeep of the outside areas, gardening, and fixing broken utilities.

If this is the kind of living you are used to, but you’re looking for something that feels more like a home, a condo might be right for you. Condos are convenient when it comes to maintenance because a homeowner’s association takes care of all of it.

If you don’t mind paying an HOA fee, and you don’t want to take on the task of up-keeping the outside of your home, you may want to look for condos as your new home.

Townhouses come with both more freedom and work when it comes to maintaining the areas in and around your home. You will be responsible for keeping up your garden, cleaning your yards, and fixing or maintaining utilities.

With this added responsibility comes the freedom to make more choices, however. You have the freedom to decorate or design your yards and home as you please.

How Important Are Amenities?

When it comes to additional perks that come with your home, decide what kind of amenities you are looking for.

Typically, condo units are very close together and have a community feel to them, and that also applies to any amenities your condo comes with.

Swimming is the fifth most popular activity among Americans. So, if you want a guarantee that you’ll have access to a swimming pool, a condo will most likely come with that.

A condo is more likely to have certain amenities like a pool, gym, playground, tennis courts, parks, and other recreational spaces.

Some townhouse neighborhoods feature amenities as well. It’s important to check for that if it’s important to you when you are shopping for townhouses.

Townhouses will more likely come with more independent or private amenities. For instance, a backyard that is all your own or a private garage may be more important to you than having access to a pool.

Privacy and Space

Some major differences between condos and townhouses are the size of the property and how much freedom you have to do what you want with that property.

Both properties will have you living closer to your neighbors than a traditional house would. In a condo, you are more likely to be surrounded by neighbors directly next door to you as well as above or below your unit.

This means you may deal with more neighbor noise if you live in a condo. You will also have to take more consideration of the amount of noise you’re making.

Townhouses offer more privacy when it comes to neighbors. Townhouses are usually still situated close to neighbors, sometimes even sharing walls, but they also come with private spaces that are all your own, like a yard.

Condos tend to be smaller in size while townhouses usually offer more space and room. Townhouses may generally be pricier than condos for this reason.

Since condos are smaller they are more likely to be found in dense, urban areas and busy cities. Condos are perfect for you if you enjoy being in the middle of city life and don’t mind having neighbors close by.

If you are looking for a slower pace or a more traditional, suburban feel and value a more quiet neighborhood, a townhouse might be right for you.

Townhouses usually offer a living space set in the quieter part of the city, or even just outside the city. There will be more space, less noise, and more privacy.

Freedom and Restrictions

When it comes to doing what you want with your space, a condo will have more restrictions than a townhouse.

Both condos and townhouses can come with HOA fees, but condos will have stricter rules and regulations. Deciding whether or not you are comfortable having more or less rules to abide by will come down to what kind of environment you are looking to live in.

If you want to have the freedom of choice when it comes time to decorate your yard and house, a townhouse will offer more freedom. In some situations, you may still have to abide by certain HOA rules, but you will have options.

A townhouse is a good choice for the homeowner who values individuality and choice.

A condo will have more restrictions and rules when it comes to custom decorations. If you like to see homes that look more uniform and orderly, then a condo will be a more comfortable choice for you.

Talk to an Expert About Condo vs. Townhouse Today

Looking for a home is a big step, and now you know the difference when it comes to a condo vs. townhouse so you can make an informed decision.

These types of real estate both have pros and cons, but the pros at The LizLuke Team are here to help you on your journey to finding the right home for you.

Read our client reviews for yourself and you’ll see that we are dedicated to finding the perfect home for you today.