Condo versus Townhouse or Villa
What’s the difference among a condo, a townhouse, a condo townhouse, a duplex, a villa, and lord knows what other name they can think of?
First, condominium is a form of ownership, NOT a type of property, but in practice, when people say condo they mean an apartment in a multi-story building. Plus every search site out there includes condo in the property type menu.
Townhouse, Duplex, and Villa are all pretty much the same thing. They are all houses that share at least one common wall with their neighbors. A Duplex is just two houses with one common wall between them. Townhouses can come in units of 2, 3, 4, 5, or more in a row. The end units share one wall with a neighbor, while inside units share two walls. If anyone can really figure out what a Villa is, let me know, too. Technically, it’s a one story townhouse, but the term gets used every which way, especially in the vacation market. These properties share walls, fences, and obviously the roofs are attached, but that’s about it. Insurance and maintenance are separate. They may have a common service area (for example, in Celebration) to provide common lawn service and to set up reserves for painting and roofing, but for the most part you are on your own.
Condominiums are part of a Condominium Association, a specific legal structure. The LANDand common structures, like roofs, walkways, hallways, steps, etc. are jointly owned. They have a Board of Directors and pretty much you’re all in it together when is comes to insurance, maintenance, reserves, property taxes, and assessments. In recent years, the total of these costs have increased substantially.
Townhouses, Duplexes, and Villas do NOT have to be set up as Condominium Associations, but they can be, so always check. The difference between the cost required fees and association membership can be huge.
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