Planned Unit Development vs Condo vs House: Which is Best?

Housing options are plentiful, particularly in metropolitan areas, leaving many first-time homebuyers unsure of which style of home to purchase. There are advantages and disadvantages to living in a condominium, townhouse, or single-family detached home. Buyers should think about their budget; how much time they can devote to house care; and how much of an involvement they want to play in the selection (whether searching for the real estate themselves or using an agent) before making a final decision on the sort of property they want to purchase.


The Differences Between Planned Unit Development and Condominium Townhouses

The primary distinction is in the underlying ownership structure of each option. To own a Planned Unit Development townhouse is to own both the building and the surrounding land. The only part of a condo townhouse that you own is the space inside. All of the condo units in a building are individually owned, but the building itself and its grounds are owned by a condo organization. Let’s delve into the distinction between a townhouse and a condo a bit more below.

What is a Townhouse?

Potential buyers who are less familiar with housing terms may be curious about what distinguishes a property as a townhouse. Some locations include condominium complexes with two- and three-story linked properties, so the physical description alone—a narrow, multilevel property attached to other dwellings on a street—isn’t necessarily an obvious giveaway.

Townhouses are distinguished by their individual ownership. The front and back yards of a townhouse, no matter how tiny, are typically owned by the homeowner. The exterior of the house is likewise owned by them.


Mortgage agreement with house keys on it.

What Is a Condo?

Owning a condo is the least stressful way to become a property owner. Some condo developments have the appearance of multi-story townhouses, while the majority seem quite similar to flats for rent. Condos are often less expensive than townhouses since they don’t include any land. The outside of the condos, as well as the property around them, are designated common areas and are jointly owned by all condo owners in the community.

Condominiums are characterized by their monthly fees and upkeep. Condominium owners pay monthly HOA fees, similar to townhouse owners, although these payments may be much more. Condominium association charges pay for things like garbage collection and snow removal, as well as major repairs and replacements like roofs, elevators, and parking areas. Condominiums are a great option for those seeking affordable housing in a convenient location.

The board of directors of a condo association is responsible for managing the building as a whole under the direction of the condo association. Given that you don’t own the building’s exterior, you’ll need the corporation’s approval before making any alterations or additions, and even then, you may be restricted in your actions. You can’t just go out and buy a new fence and install it yourself, for instance. It is the responsibility of the condo management to decide whether or not all of the fences they are responsible for need to be repaired or replaced.


Something to Know About Condos Before Purchasing

When purchasing a condo, you must consider more than simply the sales contract. There is also an agreement or statement that governs how the condominium operates. Before purchasing your apartment, you should obtain and study the complex management documents.

Take note of the following: What are the most pressing concerns for this complex? What is the size of the condominium’s reserve fund? How does management handle requests and complaints from owners? Is the condo board imposing harsh regulations and standards on owners that might irritate you?

It is important to understand if the condominium you are contemplating is well-managed and whether the regulations and limits enable you to live the lifestyle you choose in a condo community. It is also critical to ascertain if the condo building or complex is suffering any issues that may affect the value of your share of ownership in the future.


House vs. Townhouse vs. Condominium

Detached houses, since they sit on their own pieces of land, often provide their owners more flexibility when it comes to making changes to the house or the surrounding property. Detached houses may be any size, from somewhat small to mansions, but what sets them apart from attached homes is that they stand on their own, without any common walls or neighbors.

People who value space for recreational vehicles or other facilities in addition to spacious yards for their children sometimes choose detached homes. People who like spending time outside and who dream of tending a large garden will also find that detached homes are the optimal choice.

Some detached properties, particularly in urban and suburban regions, may be subject to HOAs; however, the fees are often rather low and only go toward common expenses like garbage and snow collection as well as upkeep of shared roads. Indeed, in the case of many single-family homes, there are no HOA fees at all. Those provide you the greatest flexibility and independence.

However, unlike many condominiums and townhouses, a detached house may not have facilities like a swimming pool, fitness center, or tennis court unless it is part of a community.


Which Townhouse Is Right for You?

Cost, convenience, and preferred style of living are the three most important factors to consider when deciding between a detached home and a townhouse or condo.

Buyers from the Millennial age who are inexperienced homeowners and have limited free time may find it best to begin their homeownership journey in a condo or townhouse before moving on to a single-family dwelling.

Buyers who desire room for their expanding family and do not want to be bound by HOA restrictions will profit the most from purchasing detached houses.

On the opposite end of the age range, retirees may choose a townhouse or condo versus a single-family home because of the cheaper expenses and less obligations associated with such a setting. A condo owner may spend less time maintaining their property and more time traveling and relaxing.