Chicago Living

Condo vs. Townhome: Which Is the Better Choice For You

Deciding if a condo or a townhome is right from you comes down to the differences in each structure and the pros and cons of each. The main differences come down to structure, common areas and amenities, and occasionally HOAs.


A condo is typically an apartment-style residence within a larger building. Most often they are one level and access is through a hallway shared with other condo owners. A townhome, on the other hand, is typically a row of connected, multi-level units. Townhouses often look like rows of houses sharing their side walls. Entry is through your own front door. While condo units generally do not have any dedicated green spaces, a townhome may have a front and back yard which may be maintained by the owner or association depending on the arrangement.

Common Areas and Amenities

While condos typically have a common area by way of the entryway and hallways, other types of common areas and amenities can apply to both types of housing. Parking may be in detached garages or underground units for condos, and attached or detached for a townhome. Common areas are usually within the building of a condominium and may or may not exist in a separate building for townhomes.


Generally, all condos are part of a homeowner’s association and fees go to building upkeep, security, common areas, trash and snow removal. Townhouse associations often have HOAs as well, but fees may be lower as owners are responsible for some of the upkeep of their property.

Deciding on whether a condo or a townhome is right for you will ultimately boil down to the features of each specific property you’re considering and what makes the most sense for you and your family.

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