Condo Vs Townhome: How to Choose

Posted by Edmonton on Wednesday, July 27th, 2022 at 10:13am.

Buying a Condo or a TownhomeCondo vs townhome: which is right for you? Both property types are great for first-time home buyers, but deciding between the two isn't always easy. Condos are typically found in multi-family buildings comprised of numerous units. Townhomes more closely resemble single-family houses and are either semi-detached or fully detached. They often have more than one story and generally include private outdoor spaces.

Both offer unique benefits but also come with their own set of drawbacks. Factors to consider when making this choice range from available amenities to maintenance requirements, the desired level of privacy, and the overall cost. Here's how to choose between the two.

Shared Spaces & Amenities

Many people choose condos over houses because of the convenient, communal living. Condos may offer access to shared amenities such as pools, gyms, clubhouses, and common areas like lobbies or hallways. While many newer townhouses may offer access to neighbourhood amenities like a small park or pool, the level of access to shared spaces and amenities is typically smaller than that offered by condos. Townhomes typically feature private outdoor spaces like gardens and balconies.

Condo living can be an excellent option for those who enjoy being part of a larger community. With condos, you typically find yourself surrounded by neighbours who live in the same building, which can make for a lively and friendly atmosphere. Townhomes are often part of larger communities or developments but can still provide a great sense of community.

Privacy Levels

The level of privacy offered by condos and townhomes will vary greatly depending on the particular unit. Townhouses usually offer more privacy since they are stand-alone or semi-detached dwellings with at least one wall separating them from other units. Condos are typically stacked on top of each other, which may make it more challenging to maintain a full level of privacy.

Security Measures

Condos and townhomes also have distinct features when it comes to home security systems. Condo residents may have access to a secure lobby with an intercom system for visitors and a full-time security guard or staff. They also tend to have more extensive video security systems, including hallway and PTZ security cameras.

Townhomes usually have a security system monitored by the homeowners, who are directly responsible for any related fees and upgrades. This means having more control over their residences' exterior doors and windows. Condo owners don't have this flexibility since the building's exterior is managed by the homeowners association.

Maintenance Requirements

The amount of maintenance required for a condo or townhome can vary widely. Condo ownership rights often require the owner to pay association fees that cover the cost of standard area maintenance and other services like property management. On the other hand, the owner is usually directly responsible for all maintenance and repairs in townhomes. This can include everything from landscaping to roof repairs.

Degree of Customization

Townhomes usually offer more flexibility when customizing homes since they are not as closely connected to their neighbours. This means homeowners can make changes and updates without worrying about many condo ownership laws. Condo owners are generally more restricted in what they can change due to restrictions set forth by the condo association. While they're still free to implement design ideas that increase square footage, they have fewer options for major home remodelling.

Fees & Other Costs

Condos typically require a higher monthly association fee to cover typical area upkeep and management, while townhomes usually don't have such a fee structure. On top of that, condo owners may need to pay additional assessments for repairs or improvements on shared areas, while townhome owners generally take care of their property expenses. The overall cost of a condo or townhome will also depend on its location and condition and the availability of amenities.

Real Estate Values

Location is always a crucial factor for determining real estate values. However, all other things being equal, condos tend to appreciate more quickly than townhomes due to the shared amenities and services. Townhomes can also be an excellent investment but usually have a slower appreciation rate than condos due to their limited access to shared amenities. In addition, condos may offer more tax benefits for homeowners in certain areas.


Some people may want to buy one of these two properties and rent it to long-term tenants. The rentability of a condo or townhome depends on the individual setup, location, and amenities. Generally speaking, condos offer a larger pool of potential renters since they are usually more centrally located and have access to shared amenities. Townhomes may offer a higher potential rent but often require the landlord to incur more maintenance and upkeep costs.

Choosing Between Condos & Townhomes

There are many factors to consider when making the decision between buying a townhome or condo. Ultimately, the choice comes down to what you value most and what will work best for your lifestyle. If you prioritize privacy and space, a townhome is probably the better option. If you prefer convenience and amenities, then a condo might be right for you. Weigh all of your options carefully before buying your first home!

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