HAMILTON'S WEST MOUNTAIN CONDOMINIUMS & FREEHOLD TOWNHOMES
DIFFERENTIATING BETWEEN THE TWO -
You may ask "What is the difference between a condominium townhouse and a freehold townhouse?"
A condominium townhome complex is comprised of a number of townhouse units individually owned. The condo owner owns, and is responsible for, the interior walls and everything within those walls, such as the furnace, plumbing, electrical. However, the land in the complex belongs jointly to the owners e.g. the sidewalks and garden areas (these are known as common elements). Therefore, each owner pays into a fund monthly known as condo fees in order to pay for any maintenance pertaining to the outside of the units (e.g. roof, lawn maintenance, snow removal and exterior building insurance). A condo complex has a Board of Directors and each owner has voting privileges on issues that need to be addressed. There are bylaws for a complex which outline any "rules" for the units. These may include things such as restrictions to painting the exterior building, size of pets, gardening matters. I have always explained to my clients that although these bylaws may restrict you from painting your front door an attractive neutral colour, it also restricts your neighbour from painting his front door a neon lime green colour! Hence the complex is kept uniform, neat and tidy and maintains pleasant curb appeal when you are ready to sell your unit. There are also condominium apartment buildings where the same general principles apply and ownership is of a unit within the building.
Freehold townhouses are homes that are owned individually - both the building and the land are owned. There are no maintenance or condo fees because the maintenance, both inside and outside, is the owner's responsibility. Any roof repairs, driveway issues, clearing of snow, mowing of grass, etc. is up to the owner, as well as interior and exterior insurance costs.
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