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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

What is the difference between a townhouse and a condo? Why are the condo fees so much higher than a townhouse community fee?

Many home buyers confuse condos and townhomes although these are these two distinctly different forms of residential properties.  From the outside many of these are indistinguishable.   

But the differences can be significant.

In a condo you own no land individually.  You own your unit from the interior walls. You own an interest in all the common area and property.

The condominium association usually provides a master insurance policy and the owner individually insures their personal belongings, interior unit, personal liability [talk with a licensed insurance professional].  Additionally the association usually provides maintenance, electricity, taxes and upkeep for the common areas and property.  Your condo association dues are most likely higher than you would find in town home communities because of all these added services.

In a townhouse you own the land your unit sits on although the amount of land is likely minimal. You are responsible for your own exterior maintenance, roof, insurance, etc.

As a townhouse owner - you are largely responsible for it all - basically the same as a single family home owner!  I have seen some townhouse communities where the association takes care of the exterior paint and lawn care.

When considering a purchase in a condo or townhouse community obtain (and read) the rules and regulations.  Do not rely on a non-attorney (I am not an attorney nor do I play one on TV.) to interpret these documents written by an attorney!

Obtain and review financial reports.  Attend association meetings if you can arrange to do so.  Contact members of the Board of DirectorsKnow before hand what you are buying into.

Understand what you will receive from your association as well as what your obligations will be financially. 

And once you purchase - become an active member!

If you are considering purchasing or selling a condo or townhouse in Suntree or Viera, Florida, give me a call directly at 321-693-3850 or email me.  

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