What's the Difference Between a Townhome and a Condo?
If you've been house hunting for a home in Redondo Beach CA or will be, invariably you might be looking at some Townhomes and Condos which collectively comprise around 50% of the market at any given time.
Pro TipDepending on your loan amount and type of loan i.e ARM, 30 year fixed, etc your lender might quote you a higher rate for condos and from a lender perspective Townhomes and Condos are in almost all situations condos from a lending perspective because that's what they are from a legal description. Confused? Here's what's going on.
You will find 3 legal descriptions for residential properties:
- Single Family Residence
- Planned Unit Development (PUD)
A Single Family Residence (SFR) is a house on its own lot. One house, one lot. A variation might be a legal duplex, triplex or quadplex but for now lets keep zoning out of the equation.
Any residential property with a shared ownership on the lot is a condominium from a legal and lending perspective. Condominiums will have recorded CC&Rs and a Homeowner's Association (HOA).
Now we get to the explanation part.
- Condos are flat - think apartment style.
- Townhomes are multi level and can either be attached or detached.
- 3 on a lot and 2 on a lot refers to home many townhomes share the same lot.
Just to make matters a little more confusing, sometimes you will find multi-level units in much larger buildings and they may be classified by the listing agent as condo or townhouse.
But to keep it simple, what we are talking about is a style difference - flat versus multi level.