Housing Choices

I often get asked “what is the difference between condo, townhouse, patio home? Here are a few definitions of these usually “carefree” housing options:


A townhouse is defined as an attached, privately owned single-family dwelling unit which is a part of and adjacent to other similarly owned single-family dwelling units that are connected to but separated from one another by a common party wall having no doors, windows for human passage or visibility. A townhouse is a form of Planned Unit Development.

A townhouse Group: A cluster or grouping of townhouse units containing no less than two or more than six townhouse dwelling units contiguous to one another.


Typically, a condo consists of multi-unit dwellings where each unit is individually owned and the common areas, such as hallways and recreational facilities are jointly owned (usually as “tenants in common”) by all the unit owners. It is also possible for condominiums to consist of single family dwellings: so-called “detached condominiums” where the homeowners do not maintain the exteriors of the dwellings, yards, etc. or “site condominiums” where the owner has more control and possible ownership (as in a “whole lot” or “lot line condominium ) over the exterior appearance.

PATIO HOMES, or sometimes marketed as, townhouses, garden homes, carriage homes:

Usually a suburban setting and a unit of several houses attached to each other, typically with shared walls between units. Patio homes can also be single family homes on their separate building site.

All of the above home choices, usually have an Homeowner’s Association that provides exterior maintenance and landscaping through a monthly association fee. Owners are primarily those who do not want to do be bothered by exterior home maintenance and yard work; a “lock and leave” lifestyle.

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