If you have been driving around Denver lately, you may have noticed a bunch of new residential buildings going up that don’t have “rent” signs on them but have “for sale” signs on them. Denver is about to get a whole new wave of condos in the next few years and that is exciting news for a lot of buyers out there who have been looking but couldn’t find anything with the shortage of condos. When I have clients looking for that type of living, they are usually choosing between a condo or a townhome to live in. Both of these provide my buyers with what they want and also cater to their needs of not wanting to own a home necessarily. So what is the difference between the two?
Condo – a condominium building is one in which the units are owned individually by the residents who live in them and not by the landlord.
· Condo owners only own the interior of their unit while the exterior, lawn and community areas are property of what is known as the Homeowners Association or HOA.
· Every condo owner has to pay monthly HOA fees to cover the expenses of maintaining these areas. The fees for a condo are usually higher then a townhome because they also take care of things such as lawn care, trash removal and pest control.
· Condos come in many different styles such as high-rise or cul-de-sac, they have no set style.
· Condos usually have amenities that residents can enjoy such as a club house, pool, gym facility etc.
· Home insurance on condos are usually lower then a townhome because the resident is only paying to insure the interior of their home.
Townhomes – is conjoined units that are owned by individual tenants. Architecturally they are similar to row homes and owners usually share al least one or more walls with their neighbor.
· Townhome owners own both the interior and the exterior of their home so they are responsible for their roof, lawn and driveway but not any communal areas.
· Townhomes are designed in rows.
· Townhome owners pay lower monthly HOA fees because they pay for a lot of their own upkeep. Certain maintenance is still covered by the HOA fees but most is done by the owner.
· Townhomes will usually have a higher insurance rate because the owner is insuring both the interior and the exterior of their place.
· Townhomes can be quite large and often are multiple stories high.
With many of my buyers looking at buying a townhome, I always try to talk to them about a PWA or Party Wall Agreement. It is an agreement signed by two parties who share a wall in common. The main objective of this agreement is to outline who will handle any repairs, maintenance or changes to the wall since it could affect both parties involved. This also can be something if the parties share a yard with a fence is used to separate the spaces. This is such an important document for people to have in place before they purchase a spot so when/if an issue arises they can go back to this document to figure out who will pay for the expenses.
There are so many great condos and townhomes around Colorado, if you are wanting to check a few out, give me a call today and let’s start scouting places for you to see!