Condominium vs Townhouses (Philippine experience)
I'm sharng an article I wrote a couple of years ago, I feel that though the examples may not be the latest projects but the observations are still spot on, hope this article may be of some value to my readers ;)
You need a house and are thinking of either buying a Condominium unit or a Townhouse, these are the two common options for a first time home buyer.
The common question though when faced with this choice is… which one is better for you?
Today we’ll try to compare the pros and cons of each and hope we would be able to help you in facing this choice. Condo’s and Townhouses have very basic differences about their planning and their relationships with neighboring units that identify them from each other:
Townhouses are row houses, usually 2 to 3 storeys high standing on its own lot with neighboring units attached to two of its sides (sharing a firewall)
Condominiums on the other hand are usually mid rise to high rise buildings with units set side by side sharing a common wall, hallway, lobby, elevators etc. It stands on a common lot and is managed by a condo corporation.
For purposes of comparison we will be taking a peak at similar townhouses and condominium units made by the same developers in the same general area available in the market today.
The snapshot comparison we did reveals several things:
1. Condominiums in the Market tend to be smaller in terms of area and are very compact in terms of layout and planning. This means that cheaper units are made available for the market.
2. Townhouses have a more complete layout including auxiliary spaces such as maids rooms, garages etc. they also have more toilets compared to condominiums.
3. Garages or Parking spaces are included in the townhouse unit while for condominiums they’re bought separately
Other observations between condominiums and townhouses are:
1. Association dues for Townhouses are generally much cheaper compared to Condominium association dues as Condominiums maintain much bigger common areas, (sometimes air-conditioned) which include elevator maintenance along with other engineering systems within the building.
2. Condominiums may have stricter pet restrictions.
3. Condominiums have more amenities such as pools, gym etc. which are now standard in condominium developments while for townhouses, these amenities are optional.
4. Generally, Condominiums have better locations. Even within the expensive CBD’s like Makati, Ortigas and Fort Bonifacio you will be able to find available units of varying sizes.
5. Privacy and Soundproofing: Townhouses will definitely provide you with a 6 inch, 4-hour fire rated wall to separate you with your immediate neighbour, while some condominiums may provide you with Fiber Cement boards on Aluminium cladding that will definitely be inferior in terms of sound proofing.
6. Condominiums are much safer in terms of security with common hallways and lobby makeing it easier to secure the building. Likewise CCTV, visitor log and the height of the building will make it virtually impossible for thieves to come crawling in the night.
7. Condominiums only have a 50 year lifespan, while the Townhouse will live as long as you can maintain it.
8. In Condominiums, landscaping and exterior maintenance are done for you.
9. In Condominiums (especially high rise buildings), installation of air conditioning units can be costly if gondola lift would be required.
10. Virtually impossible to have a leaking roof in a condominium
11. In Condominiums, maintenance works (especially plumbing and sanitary pipes) requires consideration of the units either below or above you.
12. In condominiums (high rise), there is very limited natural ventilation due to small open-able windows, this means a higher usage of your air conditioning system.
To conclude this article, id just like to say that the decision between a Condominium unit or a Townhouse really depends upon your needs, lifestyle, capacity and basically your preference.
These two building types were the product of the evolution of the House / Home. It is an adaptation to the condition which modern man now lives in and it is really up to you and those who will live with you to gauge which will fit you.
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