How to Choose a Condo Type That’s Right for You

interior wide loft, beams and wooden floorAlthough we as buyers tend to think of a “condo” as the name for those fancy high rise apartments in the sky, the name condo really doesn’t have that much to do with the style of the place, but rather the type of ownership. When you buy a condo home, you are in reality buying a part of a whole. Sounds confusing, right? Here’s an example: Say you want to buy a townhouse with condo-style ownership. What will this mean exactly? It means that the inside of the home itself is yours and you own it, but areas outside your front door, such as the parking lot and the lawn, are shared forms of property that you and your neighbors co-own. A condo, unlike a single family home, will also come with a special set of rules — set by the condo association — about what you can and cannot do to your new home and a set of fees (association dues) that are used for maintenance of the shared areas. Whether it’s a hallway, an elevator, or even a gym, anything outside of your home (and your personal parking space, if you’re lucky), is for collective use. Make sense? If not and you want to delve into some more in-depth details on the topic, head here.

Now that we have the definition of a condo down, let’s delve into the fact that there are tons of different types of condos. From townhouses to apartments to lofts to regular old, single detached homes, condos come in many shapes, sizes, and styles. Like we said — the word condo has nothing to do with the architecture, but everything to do with how your ownership works. A few days ago, we stumbled across this great “what type of condo is right for me?” quiz from a Toronto realtor and it really got us thinking about the misinterpretation of what condos really are and the big question that the quiz hopes to answer. Seriously, how do you choose a condo type that’s right for you when your options aren’t limited in the ways that your previously thought? Well, for starters, it’s all about sifting our your priorities and defining what are your condo “must-haves.” Below, we’ve put together a set of descriptive statements for each condo style. If a certain set of statements really tickle your fancy and sound like just what you are looking for in your new condo, then you can start getting closer to answering the big question about what condo type is just the right fit for you!

Before we get started with the different types, let’s tackle another big decision: old versus new condo. In the big cities across the good ole’ U.S.A. and Europe, you’re more likely to find apartment or high rise style condos rather than more suburban styles like townhouses or detached family homes. Instead, here the big issue is whether to go with a newly built place or a historic complex. To help you sort out this question before you buy, we’ve created statements for these two as well.


Now, let’s move on to the different condo types.



What’cha think? Do one of these condo styles strike you as the right type for you? Share your thoughts in the comment section below and explain how you chose which the right condo style for you!

Author My First Apartment
Audra Jones

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Audra Jones is a Georgia native and recent grad of Mercer University. These days she's dreaming of condo life and has just begun her adventurous search for home sweet home.

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Comments (2)

  1. Cindy Tesler

    Thanks for mentioning that when buying a condo, you’re buying a part of a whole. You also mention that areas outside of your front door do not really belong to you. I think it’s a good idea to choose a condo if you do not want to maintain a yard.

  2. Tammie Houston

    The most important factor that I consider when finding a new home is the functionality of the HVAC systems. It was good that you mentioned how new model condos are better because their heating and AC systems are more energy-efficient, not to mention have better wiring. I think I’ll look for a condo that offers those qualities. Thanks for sharing!