Although single-family homes can be built very close to each other, they are detached, meaning that your neighbor’s walls will not be connected to your walls. When purchasing a single-family home, you purchase the land along with the structure on top of that land. These homes can be one or more levels, and tend to be the ideal for families. A major benefit of single-family homes is the privacy you get especially if the home is more isolated. On the other hand, maintenance and upkeep tend to be higher than with other home types of homes.
Condos are individually owned apartments within a building. Common areas such as hallways, recreational areas, and the exterior are shared by all of the owners in the building. Each condominium building belongs to an association of all its owners. The association determines all of the rules and regulations that govern the entire building. Monthly assessment fees are also decided by the association. One of the benefits of owning a condo is that most maintenance fees are already covered by the association dues. However, condos offer less privacy than a single-family home.
Townhomes, similar to condos, generally belong to a fee-based association and are not detached, sharing at least one or two walls. Differently from a condominium, the homeowner owns the land as well as any deck or yard. Townhomes tend to be more than one level, and can often times be two or three stories tall, and can even have a garage. They blend the privacy of a single-family home with the benefits of the exterior condo maintenance, which is usually done by the homeowners’ association.
Cooperative Apartments (Co-ops)
A co-op is a different type of ownership from condos or townhomes because instead of buying the unit, you buy shares in a corporation that owns the building. You don’t own your unit but have a right to have a specific unit leased to you. However, before you can purchase any shares, you have to be approved by the building’s co-op board. This can be difficult in some cases making it a challenge to sell your shares when the time comes.