I think that most people think that the word attached (also commonly called townhouse) is based upon the design of the property. Either one or two story with no neighbor above or below. That is not the case. Attached does mean that you don’t have a neighor above or below, but, more importantly, it means that you own the dirt underneath. Because you own the dirt, you are responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the crawl space.
There is a huge advantage to purchasing an attached home. Besides not having someone living above you, it is much easier to finance, which makes it easier to sell. Lenders treat attached houses just like any other house.
With a condo you own the interior walls and everything inside of those walls. The exterior walls, crawlspace, and roof are all part of the limited common areas of the home owners association.
Condos can be a little bit problamatic when it comes to financing. Federal lending guidelines requre that at least 50% of the units be owner occupied, and one individual or entity can not own more than 10% of the units. Additionally, to be FHA financeable, the HOA must apply for and maintain their FHA eligibility. This is often neglected by the HOA and so it is not always availble. Because condos tend to be more affordable, they are often purchased by first time home buyers. With out FHA financing, it can be too hard for first ime buyers to come up with enough of a down payment to purchase in communities that don’t have FHA approval.
When Linda and I do the Market Activity Report, we always indicate if a property is Detached, Attached, or a Condo. I thought it would be helpful if you understood the differences.
As always, thanks for reading the Blotter,