Single Family Residence, Condo, PUD, Co-op: What are the Differences?
When purchasing homes, the buyers will often hear terms such as Single Family Homes/Residences (SFR), Condos, Townhomes, Planned Unit Development (PUD), Co-Op. The different terms can be confusing but are important to understand. Below are simple explanations to distinguish those.
Single Family Residence (SFR): The owner owns the entire building and the land the building sits on. The SFR has its own utilities, heating and cooling units, with private entrances and exits and have direct access to the street.
Condominiums (Condos): A building or complex of buildings containing a number of individually owned apartments sited on a large parcel which may include the said building(s), roads and streets, individual or common parking facilities and/or common areas shared by all residents. The property owner owns the space inside of the building while the Home Owner Association (HOA) owns the exteriors of the buildings (roofs, exterior walls, retaining walls, etc.) HOA often owns and maintains common facilities to be enjoyed by all (playground, pool, streets, parks, etc). For those benefits, the condo owners will pay HOA Dues (often monthly), and follow HOA's covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&R); value depends on the desirability of entire development.
Planned Unit Development (PUD): Similar to Conods but the property owners own the structure and the land the individual apartment sits on. However, a large development of single family residences can also be PUDs as the entire development is planned.
Co-op: Corporation made up of all tenants; larger units have more power in how building is run; fees for taxes, mortgage, repair, improvement; heavy scrutiny of financial, personal history.
Townhome: Ownership of a condo, but the design of the building is often two or multiple stories and the property will consists all floors from ground up to the ceiling.
Advantages of Condo/PUD/Townhome: Prices often lower than for single-family home; maintenance minimal and are mostly taken care of by HOAs.
Disadvantages of Condo/PUD/Townhome: HOA dues; CCRs may be complex.