February 8th, 2021

Which is better – a condo or townhouse? What’ s the difference?

A townhouse or condo is a popular option for a first time home buyer, a second home crash pad or for someone who is ready to downsize and give up the responsibility that comes with owning a single family home. Condos and townhomes are similar in that they are usually attached to multiple units but there are some differences. The main difference between and condo and a townhome is the portion that you own. In a condo, you own “from the studs in”. Simply put, you own the interior of your unit and a homeowner’s association owns the outside of the building and any shared spaces/buildings. A townhouse refers to a type of architecture – multi level with shared walls on one or both sides. With a townhome, you own the interior, exterior and land that your townhome sits on.

Home Owner’s Insurance for Condos and Townhomes

The homeowner’s insurance for your condo only covers the interior of your unit, so it’s much cheaper compared to insurance for a detached single-family home. Aside from your personal homeowner’s insurance for your unit, you’ll also contribute to the building’s insurance in your HOA fee. That covers the shared spaces outside your unit. For instance, if the roof needs repair after a bad hail storm (hello Montana!) the HOA insurances covers that. If you have a fire inside your unit, that would be covered under your individual policy.

Homeowner’s insurance for a townhouse is essentially the same but may also include the exterior of your home and the land it’s own. Because the coverage is for more, the insurance amount may be more than a condo.

What Are the HOA Fees Like for Condos vs. Townhomes?

The Homeowner’s Association is typically made up of residents that live in your building or neighborhood. They hold meetings and vote to make decisions on how to maintain the building and community grounds. Who’s going to pay for new siding or paint in a condo or pay for lawn care/snow removal? Your HOA fee! Your HOA fee can cover exterior upkeep, landscaping, park space, gym space and sometimes water and garbage. HOA fees can vary so before you purchase a townhome or condo, ask for the HOA contact to verify what the fee is and what it covers. Generally speaking, the HOA fee for condos can cost more than townhomes, mainly because it’s covering the upkeep of the exterior of the building and grounds.

When you purchase a condo or townhouse, you’ll want to take a look at the HOA’s finances, history and covenants/bylaws. It’s important that the HOA is healthy with money in reserves.

Financing a condo vs. townhome

Another difference to note in buying a condo vs. townhome is financing.  Put simply, financing a condo looks like qualifying you as an individual as well as the condo association. One of the factors that may affect lending on condos is owner occupancy ratios. Talk to a lender to get prequalified and to talk through the differences in lending on condos and townhomes to decide what options are best for you. Contact us for a list of local lenders that we work with often.

Below are the townhomes on the market in Bozeman between $200,000 and $600,000. If you’re looking for a condo, townhouse or house, give us a call!

$599,000 10  Gallatin Drive  A, Bozeman 10 Gallatin Drive A
Bozeman, Montana
3 Beds | 3 Baths | 0.166 Acres
$549,900 // Pending Sale 2312  Blue Silos Way, Bozeman 2312 Blue Silos Way
Bozeman, Montana
1 Bed | 1 Bath | 0.0463 Acres
$535,000 // Pending Sale 1612 S Tracy Avenue, Bozeman 1612 S Tracy Avenue
Bozeman, Montana
3 Beds | 2 Baths | 0.1097 Acres
$525,000 1486  Mae Street, Bozeman 1486 Mae Street
Bozeman, Montana
3 Beds | 3 Baths | 0.0541 Acres
$499,000 2241  Buckrake Avenue, Bozeman 2241 Buckrake Avenue
Bozeman, Montana
3 Beds | 3 Baths | 0.069 Acres
$477,000 409 N Hunters Drive, Bozeman 409 N Hunters Drive
Bozeman, Montana
3 Beds | 2 Baths | 0.0946 Acres

 

What our clients are saying:

Jody was awesome to work with. We were new to the area and she was helpful and knowledgeable about not only the housing market, but schools, and lenders. She worked with my work schedule for showings. Jody also stayed late to write an offer to meet our schedule. I would recommend Jody to anyone needing a realtor.

M.L.

Jody is amazing. She knows the market and was able to advise us on all our many concerns. We so appreciated how responsive she was; within minutes of submitting an online request for realtor contact on a house, she had called us. All our communications with her were like that; we never had to wait long to hear back from her. She was patient and always willing to sit down and meet with us. When we found the house we wanted, she worked tirelessly to secure it for us, and she was extremely patient with us. She was easy to communicate with, understand, and a pleasure to work with – I highly recommend Jody!

J.T.

My wife and I used Jody Savage for the sale of our home in Gallatin Gateway, MT. Jody was exceptional in all phases of our sale. We had multiple offers over asking price and sold our home in two days! Jody uses up to date modern marketing, was extremely professional and knowledgeable regarding our market and addressing our needs. She was great to work with and very responsive to any questions we had. Jody is the best in the business and we highly recommend her services!

G.B.

Jody is FANTASTIC!! We were first time home buyers and she was with us ever step of the way! She never made us feel silly for being new to the process. She definitely knows the area, always kept us up to date on new listings and was just a delight to work with. I would have absolutely zero hesitation recommending her to anyone. Thanks for all the hard-work Jody! We love our house!

K.G.

Jody Savage is knowledgeable, trustworthy and tireless. I purchased a property this spring (2017) near Bozeman; Jody represented me as well as the seller in the transaction. Jody led me through the entire process because this was the first property I had ever purchased. HOA complications and other details made the purchase more difficult. Jody undertook a boat-load of legwork to make the transaction go smoothly. I hope to work with Jody again.

J.D.