Homeownership isn’t for everyone, but you might have some reservations about renting for the rest of your life. Condos and townhomes can offer you the ability to own without as much outdoor maintenance as a single family home. But what’s the difference between the two? Here’s a short overview to help you sort out which is right for you before you relocate to the Pittsburgh area.

A condo typically shares walls (and possibly ceiling and floors) with neighbors, depending on the size of the building. A condo is much different than a townhome in the fact that the owner of a condo does not own the actual building but only the interior. In larger buildings it’s much like an apartment, but you can change the interior and put as many holes in the wall as you want. While you might have some outdoor space, it’s usually shared space, and you don’t have to worry about any exterior maintenance. Much like the townhome, you’ll pay a monthly fee to your homeowners association to take care of the maintenance, and many condo building offer amenities such as gyms and pools that are included in our homeowners association fees.

A townhome is basically the style of structure, where each individual and identical home is in a row, sharing at least one wall. Townhomes usually have outdoor space that’s maintained by the community, but the interior is fully your responsibility to take care of repairs as they arrive. You’ll have a homeowners association that will require you to pay a fee to maintain the exterior and lawn of your townhome. While offering a little more privacy by sharing fewer walls with neighbors, townhomes sometimes have multiples floors and plenty of stairs.

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