A Comparison of Buying a Condominium vs Buying a Townhouse
- February 13, 2019
- Posted by: @dmin
- Category: Uncategorized
As a first-time homebuyer, you’ll find that many of your top real estate choices constitute townhouses and highrise condos.
That isn’t surprising.
According to the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB), townhouses and highrise condos cost less to purchase than single family homes such as semi-detached and detached houses. And with mortgages more expensive to take out due to the Bank of Canada’s key interest rate increase in 2018, you’re obviously not working with as much financial room as new homebuyers of yesteryears.
However, selecting one over the other depends on your lifestyle and needs. Those factors will, in the end, make one a better investment than the other.
We can’t speak to your preferences, but we can offer insight about the advantages high rise condos and townhomes bring to the table and how they fare in the housing market.
So if any of that is going to tip your decision in one direction or the other, then keep reading!
Highrise Condo vs. Townhouse Pros and Cons
Before continuing, we should note that townhouses are condos as well. You own the unit, but the communal areas belong to the condo corporation. Thus, the difference is actually between condo highrises (i.e., multi-story condo buildings) and condo townhouses.
Condominiums vs Townhouses
|Ownership||Only the interior of the unit. The exterior and communal areas are owned by the condo corporation.||Only the interior of the house, but the communal areas (e.g., driveway) are owned by the condo corporation. The condo corporation may also own the exterior.|
|Condo Fee||Monthly fee — also known as a homeowners association (HOA) fee — to cover the cost of maintenance of the building and amenities.||Monthly fee to maintain the communal areas, amenities, and possibly exterior. The fee is typically lower than highrise.|
|Architecture||Multi-story. The owner must share all four walls with other unit owners.||Multi-level. The owner shares their right and left walls with other unit owners, but they also may have a yard.|
|Square Footage||Space will vary; you can get condos of around 600 to 800 square-feet to large suites in-excess of 1,000 square feet.||Like condos, the space available in townhouses will vary. But in general, townhouses are more spacious than condos.|
There are freehold townhouses as well. Unlike condo townhouses, you own both the unit and the plot of land it occupies. While there are no maintenance fees, you are responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the unit, and that includes roof repairs and snow removal.
They are also costlier to purchase than condo townhouses. This — along with your upkeep and maintenance obligations — make freehold homes similar to detached/semi-detached houses.
This comparison doesn’t include freehold townhouses, but only condo highrises and condo townhouses.