If you’re not in the Real Estate, Mortgage lending, or any other industry on the periphery of Real Estate it might be difficult to draw the line and differentiate between “Condominium” and “Townhouse.”  Here are a few key differences between the two to give you a better understanding:

  1. Because “Condominium” is a legal term in our country, condo owners are governed by a set of legal statutes regarding their creation, sale and purchase, and ownership, whereas townhome owners are not.  In addition to that, each state has its own Condominium statutes.  In the eyes of the law a townhome is looked at the same as any other single family residence.  As such, Condominium is a legal type of ownership.  Townhouse is a type of housing.
  2. Townhouses start on the ground floor, and can be one or multiple stories high.  Condominiums can be on any floor in the building, not necessarily starting on the ground floor.  Townhome owners may have common walls with other townhome owners, with no one living above or below them.  Condo owners may share walls, AND may have other condo owners’ units above and/or below them.
  3. Condo owners own the interior of their unit.  Townhome owners own the interior of their unit, plus the land, plus any exterior features like a deck, patio, yard, etc.  The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is another good source of information on the legal differences and common area ownership issues associated with Condominium Associations and Townhouse Home Owners Associations (HOAs).

This article is not intended to offer expert legal advice to our Northwest Indiana neighbors concerning condominiums or townhouses but to be used for informational purposes only.  Please consult an attorney with regard to your own individual situation.