Bancroft & Associates Realty | Tucson, Arizona
Call Margo for help deciding . . . 520-850-0001
Frequently, people wish to own a home in Tucson, AZ, but they do not wish to have a large yard to maintain. For these folks, perhaps a Town Home or Condominium would be preferable to a detached Single Family Home.
So what is the difference between a Town Home and a Condominium?
In some states, the word “condominium” is used to signify an apartment in an apartment building refurbished and sold OR an office in an office building owned by an individual or corporation. There are some condominium projects in Tucson that are like that. There are, however, condominiums that are indistinguishable from town homes except in the ownership aspect.
Imagine, for the sake of discussion, two multiple unit residential projects right next door to each other and absolutely identical to one another in every aspect except that one is owned by individual owners as Town Homes and the building next door is owned by individual owners as Condominiums. For the sake of discussion, each project has one- or two- story units but no units that do not have a “ground floor.” How can it be that one project is comprised of town homes and the other of condominiums?
According to Arizona Law a Town Home is owned exactly the same way that a single family residence is owned: the owner owns the ground his unit is built on, the walls, floors, roof, patio and patio walls and the sky above the unit for a usable distance. All of the components of his home are his responsibility to maintain. His unit may or may not have a common wall with one or more other units.
A Condominium owner, on the other hand, owns an undivided interest in the whole project (1% of a project with 100 units, for example), including common areas, roads, every single roof in the whole place plus the air space between his walls, floors and ceiling.
How do the different forms of ownership affect the “livability” of the home? Probably not at all but the owner of a Town Home is very likely to have a much lower monthly association fee which covers maintenance of the outside landscaping, the pool if there is one, and so forth.
The owner of a Condominium is quite likely subject to a significantly higher monthly association fee because the association will be collecting for a reserve account for maintenance of the entire project including every single roof in the place.
Additionally, when projects come up that need attention, such as re-roofing a building, if there is not enough money in reserve to pay for these, each owner can be assessed an unknown large amount of money to fund the project and there is no recourse whatsoever.
As you might imagine, Margo Elson, your Tucson Realtor®, believes that, when all other things are equal, owning a town home is financially preferable to owning a condominium.