Townhouse, Condo, or Single Family Home?

Created with Sketch.

With the low interest rates we’ve seen lately, there’s an opportunity for those who thought they were previously priced out of the market to afford a home. Entry level purchases are townhouse or condos, or single family homes. We oftentimes work with buyers considering the differences between each of these options. Sometimes the decision is very simple for particular buyers, as one of these fits a specific need better than the other option. It is helpful to look at some of the defining characteristics of each of these in order to determine the best fit.

In general, condominium owners own property in common. While the owner owns the actual building unit, the property under and around the land is owned in common (driveways, recreation areas, etc.) Many owners prefer to own a condo when they want specific amenities or desire to live in a more urban area. For example, in Durango, the Rivergate condos face the river, offering a spectacular view. Other options, like living in Downtown Durango, are typically a great fit for condos, as they offer this urban lifestyle. Condos are also oftentimes more affordable than townhomes or single family homes; however, there is also a full spectrum of price points in this market segment. They are also great as investment properties, and oftentimes tend to be used as rentals.

In a townhome, a person typically owns the land under the property, although there may be some common property shared in a complex. Townhomes are similar to condos in that they both have the “lock and leave” mentality. For homeowners who desire to travel often or for long amounts of time, these are a great fit. There is typically less landscaping, and also less surface area to clean. For homeowners who want to downsize or simply their lives, condos and townhouses offer simplicity as well as affordability. They are also great starter homes for anyone looking to enter the real estate market.

Single family homes offer the most freedom in terms of how to utilize a property. There is typically more owned land in a single family home (although some townhomes are detached and function like single family homes, they were just developed as townhomes). Single family homes are an excellent fit for those with kids and people who like to entertain and utilize significant outdoor space. With the freedom oftentimes comes more responsibility, most notably in the upkeep and maintenance of the home and yard.

Typically, townhomes and single family homes are the easiest to finance; sometimes it is more difficult to finance condos on 30-year financing. For affordability, this consideration may make a difference.

Homeowner Association Fees (HOAs) are a key factor in considering the type of purchase to make. HOAs vary per property, but typically the HOA will enforce certain Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CCRs), and homeowners will pay a fee for specific upkeep and maintenance. The provisions, requirements, and fees vary. Usually, the HOA fees for condos are higher than townhouses as they cover more duties for the owners. It is crucial to ask some educated questions prior to any purchase made.

We are available for any questions you have, and we are always willing to help our clients find the right type of purchase for their lifestyle and affordability. La Plata County offers a lot of variety in these areas and we are seeing a strong townhouse/condo market this year. We will be hosting open houses this weekend and would love you to stop by! We have of our Hay Barn listings open on Saturday from 9-4 (101 Hay Barn Road, 117 Hay Barn Road, 135 Hay Barn Road, and 151 Hay Barn Road) and 2625 W. 2nd Saturday from 1-3.