Townhouse, Condo, Freehold? Everything You Need to Know

ownhouse Condo Freehold

Before you begin the house-hunting process in Guelph, your first (big) decision is to figure out what kind of residence you picture yourself in, will it be a Townhouse, Condo or Freehold. As Guelph continues to grow outwards and upwards, developing homes in every style, you could imagine. At every end of the city, we see a surge of new housing developments.

If you have always pictured yourself living in a condo, without the worry of maintenance, then there are plenty of options for you to choose from! Or if it is important for you to have your own private entrance, driveway and green space, then perhaps a townhouse might be where you choose to put your focus. If you’re unsure of what a condo versus a townhouse or freehold home means, then read on! We’ll take you through what each real estate investment looks like and how it will affect you differently.

In Canadian real estate, there are various terms used to define an owner’s rights and responsibilities as they relate to the dwelling or residence. In your search for your new home, you will likely come across terms such as; “freehold”, “condominium”, and “townhouse”. Don’t panic – All you need to know is that these terms vary in the extent of the freedom the owner is allowed regarding the decoration and renovation of the property. These terms also restrict certain tenant behaviours and can define who is responsible for the various maintenance tasks on the premises.

What does ‘Freehold’ mean? 

  • Freehold is the most common type of home ownership.
  • Freehold homes offer the most privacy and freedom of choice of any type of home. (yes, this means you can really use that zebra wallpaper you’ve had your eye on)
  • Homeowners are free to decorate and renovate as they see fit. (within city by-laws, of course!).
  • The owner is responsible for all the maintenance on the interior and the exterior of the house – this includes the house and the grounds for which the owner is also responsible. (yes, even cutting the grass!)

Whether you’re searching for a condo or a townhouse understanding what these terms are will assist you in your search.

What does a Townhouse actually include? 

  • “Townhouse” refers to the style of construction, not the type of management. (This means you are responsible for your unit!)
  • A townhouse is a house that shares exterior walls with another property.
  • The owner owns both the structure and the land on which it sits. (meaning when it snows, it is your responsibility to clear it because it is your snow)
  • Townhouses are usually connected to one another in a row and usually have two or more stories.
  • Generally, they do not have neighbours above and below and can also be considered a style of a condo.

What is considered a condo? 

  • The owner owns the unit and shares ownership over common elements. Though condos are generally apartment-type buildings, they can also include townhouse developments and developments of detached buildings on private roads.
  • The condo owner is responsible for all interior areas of the unit. The condo association is responsible for the upkeep of the exterior of the building, common interior elements (halls, parking garages, and elevators) as well as the grounds. (In this case, the snow is not yours, so you don’t have to worry about it!)
  • Condos often have strict rules regarding noise, use of common areas and renovations to any units. All condo owners must pay a monthly fee to the condominium association to cover maintenance costs and common utility fees and taxes. (These taxes are similar to property taxes a homeowner must pay)

Once you’ve decided what type of property ownership works best for you and your needs it is important to ask yourself:

  • Would you benefit from the support of a condo board?
  • Is autonomous home-ownership your number one priority?
  • Are you financially able to maintain the resources necessary to make any upgrades or homes you may require?
  • Do you have plans to use the property as a rental investment?
  • Will you need more space within the next few years?

No matter what type of home you choose, we are here to help you make it yours.

Contact a Royal City REALTOR® today!

Looking for an experienced REALTOR® that specializes in the local real estate? At Royal LePage® Royal City Realty we are focused on helping you unlock your future.