Common-Interest Housing - Condos and Townhomes

by Virginia Lindstrom 04/28/2021

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Common-interest housing includes individually owned spaces and common areas shared by all owners. The common areas can include clubhouses, landscaping, parking lots or pools. Multistory buildings share lobbies, stairwells, and elevators. Any community that shares property including single-family free-standing homes in developments, falls into the common-interest category. 

The two most familiar types of common-interest housing terms are condominiums (or condos) and townhomes (or townhouses). Although both belong in the category of common-interest housing, condos and townhouses may mean different things depending on regional or legal definitions.

The Difference

A condo is a shared building or group of buildings and common spaces in which housing units are owned individually. This could be a single unit within a tower building or a conjoined home having its own ground floor with exterior entry. Other homes in the condominium category include single-family cottages or even modular homes inside planned communities. When you purchase a condo, you own the unit itself while you are a co-owner of the common areas.

A townhome is a style of house that is connected to another structure on at least one side. It may be solely owned by an individual as part of a CID, part of a multi-family apartment dwelling, or individually owned without property in common. A true townhome is built with independent sidewalls that stand alone even if they touch the walls of another townhome. When you purchase a townhouse, you own the unit itself and whatever yard area is affiliated with it as you would with a detached single-family house.

While condominium units might incorporate elements like private outdoor spaces, individual ground-floor entry options or design elements that resemble those of a townhome, it is ownership that truly defines them. 

Homeowners’ Association 

All CID properties have a homeowners’ association (HOA) of some sort. While some are mainly hands-off with regard to individual units, others have specific regulations regarding renting, remodeling, and exterior décor. 

If you are trying to decide between purchasing a condominium or a townhouse, have your agent explain the differences in common ownership between them, and make certain to factor in the HOA fees to your monthly budget.

About the Author
Author

Virginia Lindstrom

Hello and welcome to my website!

My Real Estate sales career began on June 18th 1985 at the age of 29- a wife & mother of 2 young children.

Within the 1st year I closed 5 sales and in January 1986, began my monthly marketing in the Lakewood Village neighborhood in Sunnyvale, where I made my very 1st sale and also took my 1st listing!

Over the last 3 decades, I've helped well over 450 families purchase and or sell their "American Dream".

I specialize in both Lakewood Village in Sunnyvale and the Cambrian area of San Jose, where I've lived for over 20 years. 

I now primarily help sellers with the sale of their property- whether it is their primary residence, or an investment cash out or 1031-Exchange, an Estate Trust sale or a Probate sale of a loved one who's passed away, I have vast knowledge and experience in all these areas of Real Estate.

I began my Real estate career with Century 21 Community Realty in Sunnyvale, until that office closed. Since then, I've been with Re/Max Real Estate Services in Cupertino and recently celebrated 26 years with Re/Max in October 2019.

I pride myself in being the best Real Estate professional I can be with integrity and honor at the forefront of my business career and my clients.

Thank you for visiting my website and I look forward to an opportunity to serve you and your family with all your Real Estate needs too!

Warmest Regards,

Virginia Lindstrom, Realtor