Well, we will start with the easy part. What is the difference between a Row House and a Town House? In a word, nothing. A town house or town home and a row house or row home are the same. The names are only STYLES or DESIGNS of a type of residential dwelling. Both town and row are attached dwellings meaning that they are physically attached to the property or dwelling next to it. The word town was developed presumably by builders to have their newer construction stand out as being more upscale and trendy than their older counterparts. So when it comes to the design or style, it doesn’t really matter if it is row or town. So, why don’t we just move into the new millennium and just call them all town houses or town homes. Now we will start to get a little trickier. What is the difference between a PUD, COND and what is an HOA? First, there are some similarities. Both a PUD (planned unit development) and a CONDO (condominium) have HOA fees. An HOA fee is a fee that can be monthly, yearly or however the HOA (home owners association) sets it up to be paid by each property owner within that particular plan, neighborhood or complex. A home owners association is a group within a specific plan, neighborhood or complex of homes that is in charge of the daily maintenance and operation of the common elements within that neighborhood. These common elements are usually set up when the plan is first designed or can come later as is the case with condominium conversions from apartments to condominiums. Common elements can consist of elevators, pools, clubhouses, tennis courts and the list can go on all the way to parking lots & green areas. In fact, it can be as little as the marquee at the plans entrance and that is all. So if you have to pay some type of regular fee to a group within your neighborhood for some type of upkeep, this is probably an HOA fee. Ok, that’s great for the HOA fee, now what’s the difference between a PUD & CONDO? Well, I’m glad you asked. The difference between a PUD and Condominium has to do with the type of ownership. We in the real estate and legal professions would lovingly refer to it as the ‘Bundle of Rights’. Basically a planned unit development will have some sort of common area within that plan or neighborhood that needs maintained and an HOA fee will be due on some type of regular basis. There may or may not be limitations to the use of your property similar to zoning regulations. However, these limitations usually go above and beyond the local municipalities zoning ordinances. It must be noted, these possible additional regulations are implemented to try and keep that particular neighborhood in good condition. It is designed to keep some homeowners from creating an eyesore which could detract from the livability of the neighbors and possibly reduce the market value of the neighborhood. Properties that are located within a PUD can generally be any type or style of dwelling. The huge difference is the type of ownership it affords and the rights on how you can use, repair, replace, and improve the entire property both on the inside, outside and the yard within the PUD guidelines In a PUD you own your yard and yes, you have to cut your grass, unless of course it is in the PUD guidelines that the HOA will cut it? This is much different yet the same for condominium ownership. Many of the guidelines you would find in PUD restrictions you will find in condominium restrictions. However, there is one large difference; you do not own your yard. Nor do you own the exterior of home. Generally, this is why you see condominium fees being much more than PUD fees. This is due to the HOA in a condominium association having to maintain and operate much more. Not only do they have to handle much of the same common elements as a PUD, but this also includes the exterior of home which includes roofs, decks, possibly windows & doors, landscaping, siding and much more. You can find the exact limitations and requirements within the condo docs that are associated with each property. This brings us back to, but I live in a town home. Sure, you can live in a town home, single family home, garden style home, high rise style home, patio style home or a manufactured home. It all depends on what type of ownership you have and your rights to use your home. For example, you can live in a town home but not own your lot. You may be able to plant flowers or otherwise use your yard, but in this situation you live in a condo. This is the same with any other type or style of property. So you see, it is not the type or style of home you live in the dictates your rights to ownership but the actual type of ownership that is associated with the property you purchased. I hope you found this information helpful and if you have any additional questions please don’t hesitate to call. Bostedo Appraisal Services – ‘the Pittsburgh Appraisers’ specializes in divorce appraisals, bankruptcy appraisals, date of death appraisals, estate appraisals, pre-listing appraisals and more throughout the Pittsburgh and 7 County region. For more information contact us at (412) 831-1500, visit our website at PennsylvaniaAppraisers.com, or email us by clicking ‘Contact’ at the top of our page. You can also follow us on Twitter, YouTube, or “LIKE” our Facebook page as well. Also, make sure to check out our ‘Testimonials & Reviews’ page and see what others are saying about William Bostedo and Bostedo Appraisal Services – the ‘Pittsburgh Appraisers’.
August 5, 2014