Townhouse, Condo or Detached House?

Glenview and surrounding towns have a lot of townhouse and condo communities so you might be considering going that route over a single-family or detached house. But what's the real difference? Is one more or less expensive? Which is the right option for you? If you're new to homebuying or if you're upsizing or downsizing, this is a common question. We'd love to help you answer it and find the perfect home for your needs. Let's talk about the differences and what's available in Glenview and surrounding towns. 

Townhouse, Condo or Detached House

Understanding the Differences Between a Condo, Townhouse, and Single-Family Home (A.K.A. Detached House)

What is a Condo?

A condo, short for condominium, is a housing option that attracts individuals looking for a lifestyle with minimal upkeep. When you own a condo, you have ownership of the inside of your unit but not the land or external buildings. The building and shared spaces like the lobby, corridors and facilities are owned collectively by all the condo residents in the community.

Advantages of owning a condominium;

Advantages of owning a condominium;

  • Easy Maintenance; Condo owners do not have to worry about taking care of the exterior or landscaping, as the homeowners association (HOA) handles these tasks. This is particularly convenient for individuals leading busy lives or those who prefer not dealing with home maintenance.
  • Amenities; Many condo communities offer various amenities such as swimming pools, fitness centers and communal entertainment areas. These shared facilities add value and convenience to condo living.
  • Affordability; Condos are often more budget friendly than townhouses or single family homes, especially in urban areas where space is limited. The lower purchase price and reduced maintenance expenses make condos an appealing choice for first time buyers or those seeking to downsize.

Additional: 10 Questions to Ask When Buying a Condo

Considerations when opting for a condo;

  • HOA Fees; Condo owners are required to pay monthly HOA fees that cover maintenance, repairs and amenities. The costs of these fees can vary depending on the community and the amenities provided.
  • Rules and Regulations; Living in a condo means abiding by the rules established by the HOA, which may cover aspects like noise levels, pet regulations and restrictions on renovations within your unit.

What is a Townhome or Townhouse?

What is a Townhome or Townhouse

A townhouse is a unique housing option that combines the convenience of condo living with the ownership benefits of a single family home. These multi level homes are often connected to neighboring units in a row and have a shared wall. Unlike condos, townhouse owners usually have ownership of both the inside and outside areas of their property, including any front or backyards.

Advantages of a Townhouse:

  • Ownership: Townhouse owners have more control over their property compared to condo owners. You own the land your home sits on, and you’re responsible for its exterior maintenance.
  • Space: I spoke with Erika Rogers of Red Rock Realty for her input on the advantages of a townhouse and she had this to add: "Townhouses often offer more living space than condos, including multiple levels and sometimes private outdoor areas. This makes them a suitable option for families or individuals needing more room."
  • Community Feel: Townhouses often belong to communities with shared amenities, fostering a neighborhood atmosphere. These communities usually have an HOA to manage common areas and enforce rules.

Considerations for a Townhouse:

  • HOA Fees and Rules: Like condos, townhouses come with HOA fees, although these are often lower than those for condos. Additionally, the HOA may impose rules regarding exterior modifications and landscaping.
  • Maintenance Responsibilities: While you have more autonomy compared to a condo, you’re also responsible for maintaining your home’s exterior and any outdoor spaces, which can add to your workload and expenses.

What is a Single-Family or Detached House?

What is a Single-Family or Detached House

A single family home, also known as a detached house, is an independent building that offers the highest level of privacy and autonomy compared to other housing choices. These houses are separate from neighboring residences and usually include a yard as well as potentially extra land.

Benefits of Living in a Detached House

  • Independence and Flexibility; As a Glenview Realtor for years this is usually the #1 reason folks choose this type of home: "When you own a detached house, you have complete autonomy over your property. You can personalize, renovate and utilize your living space according to your preferences without the need for HOA approval (unless applicable)."
  • Spaciousness; Detached houses typically provide ample living area, both inside and outside, making them perfect for larger families or individuals seeking plenty of space for various activities and interests.
  • Financial Growth Potential; Detached houses often experience more substantial appreciation over time compared to apartments and townhomes, offering the possibility of a profitable investment.

Considerations when Buying a Detached House

  • Increased Expenses; Single family houses typically have higher buying prices and maintenance costs. You'll have to plan for property taxes, insurance and all upkeep tasks, including lawn care and structural repairs.
  • Maintenance Duties; Having a separate house entails taking care of all property maintenance yourself, which can be both time intensive and expensive.

Choosing the Perfect Home for You

Deciding on whether to go for a condo, townhouse or single family home really comes down to your lifestyle, financial situation and personal preferences.

  • Condos are great for those looking for a hassle free lifestyle with access to amenities. They're perfect for busy professionals, first time buyers or older individuals wanting to downsize.
  • Townhouses offer a nice mix of space and responsibility. They work well for families or individuals who desire more independence than a condo but less upkeep than a single family home.
  • Single family homes are ideal for those who prioritize privacy, space and independence. Be ready for the added responsibilities and costs that come with it.

In the end, each type of home has its own unique charm. By taking into account your lifestyle requirements, budget constraints and future plans, you can discover the ideal home that strikes the right balance between comfort, convenience and potential investment value.

Have more questions? We'd love to bat some ideas around with you and figure out what will work for your needs. While condos are typically less expensive they do come with HOA fees so you'll need to consider that. Call us anytime or browse all listings here

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