A condominium is a housing structure that is a part of a bigger unit or building and the owner of the condo own the interiors independently and the other services in the building jointly with other condo owners. When you purchase within a condominium you are agreeing to follow the rules and regulations that are specific to the community as well as covenants, restrictions and by-laws that govern the community. These rules and regulations are governed by a condominium association with a board of directors from within the community. There is usually a general manager who may be part of a large company off site who orchestrates the day to day operations and maintenance of the building’s exterior and the common grounds of the community.
A townhouse is a style of housing where a row of identical houses share walls. Here the owner owns the whole unit as such. Different from a condominium you actually own the land as well as the interior. Usually you own the deck and patio private to the townhome. A Home Owners Association governs the property and will take care of the common area maintenance. The HOA may take care of the exterior maintenance of the building and grounds around the unit but these various with each community. Sometimes they maintain the painting but not the roofs or vice versa so it’s a good idea to be investigated thoroughly before you make an offer to buy.
The restrictions and rules and regulations are also very important to scrutinize before making and offer because they associations on a condo or townhome may dictate a pet policy, or whether your work vehicle can be parked at your home.
As part of the purchase agreement for either a Condo or Townhouse you will be given a period of time usually 10 days to review the documents and resale certificate from the association. I realize it’s a cumbersome process, but it’s one of the most important steps in the process before your buy in to a situation. It’s extremely important to inspect the communities’ financials, and specifically the defaults and delinquencies. You do not want to carry other dead beat owners.