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Townhouse vs condo: What's the difference and which has better resale value?

“Always pick your yard based on your Summer lifetstyle.”


September 9, 2019 - Karl Yeh

Not sure about the difference between a condo or townhouse? How do you find out which one is right for you? In this episode, we discuss the differences between the home types, property tax implications of each and which has a higher resale value. 

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What we discussed:

Hi everyone, I'm Karl. Welcome to another Homebuyer's School video, a channel where you get the latest strategies, tactics, and tips from home buying experts. And remember if this is your first time on this channel and you want to get the latest strategies from the experts, hit the subscription button below. [00:00:30] Hit the little notification bell so you don't miss anything.

So today I'm joined by Karen McDonald, community manager with Brookfield Residential and today we're going to talk about buying a townhouse or buying a condo. So Karen, I guess the first thing is

What's the difference between a townhouse and a condo?

Karen McDonald:         

It would be your levels of ownership, Karl. So in an apartment style, you would own the air or the space in between your four walls and with a town home you can either own the land that it sits on, being a bare land, or [00:01:00] you would own from the dry wall in, being a redivided or barely blended.

Advantages and disadvantages of owning a townhouse and a condo

Karl Yeh:                      

So what are some of the, I guess, advantages or disadvantages of owning a townhouse versus a condo?

Karen McDonald:         

Yeah, well, owning a townhouse you might have number one, a little bit more space. You might own the land, so you would have a little bit of outdoor space, grass, greenery to maintain.

And a condo, you would definitely have people all around you, but single level living. [00:01:30] So it's really just a different lifestyle, completely, between a town home and a condo.

Karl Yeh:                      

When you talk about lifestyle, is it more of like the number of people that you have living in the townhouse?

Because usually, I would imagine the townhouse would be bigger. Right?

Karen McDonald:         

Typically they are bigger and they would be at least two story for a lot of them.

So you would have a little bit more space to have a little bit more people living in the house possibly than a condo. It would also be the amount of people in the building.

So in a condo [00:02:00] style, you would have ... like we have parkade, again, you could have amenities within that building as well too.

So lifestyle being that in a condo you could have amenities and everything but living in a higher high rise, low rise kind of situation with a lot of people within that building.

Or a townhouse you have more like a single family residence in comparison to an apartment because you're up and down and maybe possibly [00:02:30] just one neighbor.

Karl Yeh:                      

But you don't need ... Obviously against a single family, you don't have to have the entire yard or you don't have as much, I guess, autonomy over your house.

Karen McDonald:         

No. And again that's determined by your level of ownership.

If you are owning from the drywall in, landscaping in the yard space that you have will be maintained by the management corporation.

So a condo, everything else from outdoor space to common hallways to parkade, that's all [00:03:00] managed by your corporation as well too. So yeah, different for each stage of life I guess you're in.

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Karl Yeh:                      

And if you want to know more about buying a townhouse for the first time, check out our video above and I'll leave it in the description below.

I guess in terms of property taxes or fees that you need to pay from a townhouse perspective, you

Do have to pay property tax on a townhouse?

Karen McDonald:         

Yes, you do. And you have to pay taxes on apartments as well too. You have to pay it on everything. Any [00:03:30] kind of home ownership, you'll pay taxes on it.

So it may be a little bit more, again, based on unit factor shares and the size of space that you own.

It may be a little bit more in a town home, but that's something that you can do research on based on the community that you live in as well too.

Karl Yeh:                      

And how about in terms of ... So let's go back into property taxes though.

Are property taxes folded into your condo fees?

Karen McDonald:         

No, they're not. They're always separate because they're paid to the municipality [00:04:00] or they're paid to the corporation.

So they're separate.

They are something that you can possibly roll into your mortgage payment on a monthly basis. Talk to your mortgage representative about that one.

Karl Yeh:                      

I guess the final question, in terms of resale value,

Which has more resale value, a condo or townhouse?

Karen McDonald:         

It's going to be something that's individual to each and every person. Somebody's going to love an apartment for it's single level, for possibly the amenities, for the location [00:04:30] that it's in, proximity to work or school, whatever.

People are going to love a town home for having a little bit more space, maybe having kids upstairs while you're downstairs. It's depending on where you are in life, where are you, and the life stage you're at right now that will determine whether you buy a condo or a townhouse.

Karl Yeh:                      

And do you have anything else to add, I guess in the differences between buying a condo or a townhouse?

Karen McDonald:         

No, I mean, as far as [00:05:00] the actual ownership of them, again, determined by the ownership level and what you buy.

But no, I mean, condo living is going to provide you with some sense of security just as a town home would provide you with some independence, maybe a single family with a little bit more as well too. So where are you?

Question of the Day

Karl Yeh:                      

Perfect. And the question of the day I have for you is:

Did you buy a condo or a townhouse and why? And what is your experience with either?

Let us know in the comments [00:05:30] section below.                      

If you want to know more about buying a townhouse for the very first time, check this video here. We also have a playlist on buying a condo for the very first time. Check those videos out here. And don't forget to subscribe to keep learning from the experts. We'll see you in our next video.


Your turn:

Let us know if you have additional condo and/or home buying related questions that we can answer by submitting them in the comments section below. 

Homebuyer's School publishes new content weekly so subscribe or check back regularly for the latest information, strategies and tips from home buying experts.  

About Karen McDonald:

This is my 12th year with Brookfield Residential.  I have been involved in 8 sites now with 7 in multi-family and 1 Single Family.  I received my certification as a New Home Sales Professional from PHBIA in 2008. 

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