Condos versus Townhomes: Which is Better?

When it comes to affordability and living a maintenance-free lifestyle, people often find themselves choosing between a new condominium or a new townhome. In many ways, the two are quite similar, so it’s hard to see what the big deal is.

However, there are a few key differences, and those differences may help you make your decision. After reading this, you’ll have a clearer idea which is a better choice for you. 

Condos versus Townhomes: Which is Better? Exterior Image

Land Ownership 

When you purchase a condo, you own the unit itself, but you don’t own the land it’s on. That’s a perfectly suitable arrangement for some, but many people prefer the feeling of owning the land beneath their feet. This is what you get when you buy a townhome. Townhomes also typically come with a small front and backyard you can use as you see fit. You could plant a little garden or set up a patio table. If you want to be a landowner and not just a homeowner, the townhome choice is the right one for you. 

Affordability 

Any time you buy a home, you have to factor affordability into your decision. Both townhomes and condos are extremely affordable compared to laned or front attached single-family homes. Sometimes, though, you have to do some digging to find out whether a condo or a townhome has a lower cost. 

For instance, the building cost of a condo tends to be less expensive than the building cost of a townhome. However, in a condo, you also have to pay homeowner association fees. This monthly payment is usually at least $100 – sometimes much more – and it covers the cost of exterior repairs and maintenance to shared spaces within the condo community. Most townhomes do not have these fees. This means the per-month cost of owning a townhome could be less than the per-month cost of owning a condo. 

You have to ask your builder for a detailed estimate of all costs before making your decision. 

Condos versus Townhomes: Which is Better? Interior Image

Flexible Floor Plans 

Whether you’re building a condo or a townhome, you usually have a choice when it comes to the floor plan. The builders have a variety of layouts, and floor plans come in a variety of sizes. In general, condos have less square footage, and the rooms are all arranged on a single level. This can work well for people with mobility issues as long as there’s an elevator in the building to get to the unit. 

Townhomes, on the other hand, are usually multi-storey homes with the bedrooms on the top floor and the living area on the main floor. Many include an attached garage, which you can’t get with a condo, and some would allow you to finish the basement to create an in-law suite. You simply have more options when it comes to townhome designs. 

Neighbours 

For many, the biggest downside to owning either a condo or a townhome is sharing walls with your neighbours. In a townhome, you’ll share walls on either one or two sides of the home. In a condo, you’ll probably share walls on either side, but you’ll also have neighbours above and below you. 

While modern building techniques minimize sound travelling through the walls to offer you a greater sense of privacy than times past, this is still something you should think about as you make your decision. 

Community Choice 

When you build your home, you get to choose the new Edmonton community you want to live in. Sometimes, this is limiting because you can only live in communities that allow the type of home you want. Condo owners tend to have even fewer choices when it comes to neighbourhoods, but most condo buildings are in desirable areas. 

Most of the new developments throughout Edmonton feature townhomes, so you have the freedom to select a neighbourhood that’s right for your family. 

Resale Value 

Many people who purchase condos and townhomes are doing so because they want to build up equity to make it easier to move into the larger home they’ve been dreaming about. If this sounds like you, you have to think carefully about your home’s resale value. You want to be able to get back what you’ve put into your home. 

Brand-new homes in Edmonton tend to retain their value, but townhomes are generally more desirable and will increase in value faster than condos. With floor plans appealing to both single professionals and young families, townhomes are usually the smarter choice for those who want to move up later in life.

It’s important to find the home style that’s right for you. Sterling offers a number of affordable townhomes with a sleek, modern look. We think you’re going to be impressed with what you see.