What’s the Difference between a Townhome, Twin-home and a Condo?

A townhome, twin-home or condo could be perfect for you.

Many people want to own their own place, but don’t necessarily want the responsibility or expense of taking care of the yard or exterior of the home. What are their options? Typically, people turn to townhomes, twin-homes or condos. Aren’t they just about the same? Not really. What is the difference between a townhome, twin-home and condo?Townhome

Townhome

Generally a row of identical or mirror image houses sharing side walls (except for the end units who have just one common wall). They are owned separately and are allowed to maintain their small yard that is in the front or back of their home, but they also pay association dues, which usually cover the costs of shared property (common space, roof and exterior) and snow removal for the common driveways. Townhomes pretty much look just alike.

Twin-home

A twin-home is basically 2 homes that share a common wall, with 2 separate owners and two yards. The property line runs down the center of the home. You can do what you want with your side of the house and yard…they can have different roofs and be different colors and have different landscape designs.

Condos

Condos are in multi-level buildings and not only share walls, but they have units above and below them, as well. They own their own unit and patio or balcony, but don’t own really any land. They pay association dues which covers all the maintenance of the lawn and grounds, parking lot or garage, as well as any recreational areas like workout facilities, tennis courts or a pool.

One other multi-home dwelling is a duplex.  A duplex is most similar to a twin-home, but its 2 homes that share a wall are on ONE lot and are owned by one person, who has control over the entire 2 homes and yard. Often times the owner lives on one half and rents out the other as an income property.

There are benefits to every one of these properties, it all depends on what you want in your home, how much time you want to spend working on your home or yard, or how much you’ve got in your budget for association dues. Look at all types of properties when you’re out with your real estate agent and it’ll become clear just which kind of home is right for you.

The Minnesota Association of REALTORS® is the largest trade association in the state with more than 17,000 members. MNAR is the voice for real estate in Minnesota.

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