I don't know why this is eating at me, but I strongly dislike the fact that "townhome" has two different meanings. Half the people I talk to think townhome is an architectural style; the other half think it's an ownership scheme (similar to condo except you own your exterior and section of the land). It becomes annoying trying to wade through this ambiguity in my real estate dealings.
Which is the correct definition so I can start correcting people?
Legally, a townhouse is not a form of ownership. A townhome can be a condo/HOA form of ownership.
Hi @Jim Macedon ,
Condominium is a definition of ownership, meaning you own from drywall in, and the exterior belongs to the association. With that being said, you can have a property that looks like a townhouse, that is in fact a condo.
A true townhouse is a structure that can be 1 or 2 stories, that is conjoined to more than 2 other properties. In a townhouse, your legal description will include "Lot and Block", meaning you own the land the structure is on, and you own the structure. Depending on how the HOA is structured, you may own the exterior, but the HOA may maintain it. You will only own the land the structure is on, rather than the yard, driveway, gardens etc.
If you are ever confused about a property, look up the legal description, a townhouse will be lot and block and a condominium will either have condominium, condo or common elements.
If the property is a single story, and joined to just 1 other property, it is then a Villa. Same ownership as a Townhouse.