Condo vs. Towhouse

4 Replies

What are the major differences between a condo and a townhouse, with regard to the HOA? I've seen some well priced townhouses in my area, but am still scared of the HOAs. Are they are unpredictable as that of condos? Is it the same thing? What do the fees usually cover? How common are special assessments in townhouses vs condos? Any other info would be great. I'm looking in Miami, FL.

I don't have much experience in the arena, but everything I know tells me HOAs are more about amenities than condo vs townhouse. I would think the difference is in special assessments. In condos, any major repair to the structure is a common cost and could trigger a special assessment. With a townhouse, you own and are responsible for your house and the HOA covers amenities. Therefore, if a large repair is needed for your home, you pay that expense. You, however are not responsible for other structures.

Make sure to read the contract as townhouse vs condo should be more of a legal difference than a design difference.

I've been advised to avoid condos and townhomes because of the HOA for investment property. They have to much control and can change things at anytime. It's also unlikely that your going to attend any board meetings and stay in the loop with things.

I have both condos and townhouses. The key is to get them at a discount compared to a single family home to cover the expense and hassle of dealing with the hoa. In my area, the condo hoa covers structural issues vs the townhome hoa leaves the structure repairs and unit insurance to the homeowner. Beyond that they both cover grounds and amenities. Try to find a professionally managed hoa. I find they are better to work with. Some smaller volunteer managed hoa(s) tend to run the community like their personal kingdoms and ignore the rules and laws. And generally, the smaller the community, the more the hoa dislikes rental units, even though we serve a valuable purpose in the community.

Any thoughts on buying a apartment within a building. I am not looking at buying the whole building complex, just 1 unit which is listed on MLS for 18K for 3 bed and 1.5 bath about 1050 Sqft.
I am looking for this as my first investment and am looking for a buy and hold to use it as a rental property.
The price point looks attractive to me so I am interested. I am told that it is rented at 750/month and has a condo fee of $210.
Its a 1971 building so am scared of the condition and repairs needed. Any exit strategies suggested.
Thanks for helping a newbie.

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