We deal a lot with condominiums, both apartment and townhome style. As a result, we hear a lot of interpretations of what exactly a condo is.

For example, if both a condo apartment and condo townhome are called condos, how do we know the difference? Or what about a freehold townhome? Or vacant land condo townhome? Or condo apartment that is rented? Or a pure rental apartment? Arrrrrghh!?!

Here it is broken down into one simple (possibly run-on) sentence:

Condo only describes how you take occupancy (rental vs. own) while the apartment or townhome portion refers only to what the physical structure is.

The physical structure (apartment building versus townhome) is completely irrelevant to the ownership type.

In St.Catharines, look no further than the buildings along Geneva Street, just north of Fairview Mall. They all look like close replicas of each other. Twelve or 13 (a.k.a 14) storeys tall, all facing the same direction like they’re waiting in line for some hi-rise building reception.

They are extremely similar and yet different all at the same time. Simply put, 363 Geneva Street is a rental apartment building while 359 Geneva Street is a condo apartment building.

When you move into 363 Geneva St, you sign a lease, get keys and start paying rent. When you move into 359 Geneva St, you have purchased a share in a corporation, possibly mortgaged, possibly purchased outright. Since condominiums are corporations, your share is your suite as well as your proportional share of the common areas. So, the hallways, elevators, parking lot, Jacuzzi room etc., are all owned by the shareholders (owners) who share in their upkeep and maintenance.

The bottom line is this: A freehold townhome and a condominium townhome only differ based on how the occupants took ownership. The same applies to a rental apartment vs. a condo apartment. One is renting from someone else that owns it while the condo apartment owner has purchased their suite.

Hopefully this helps…if you would like to chat about the ins and outs of condominium ownership (townhome or apartment!), please don’t hesitate to call or email us anytime.

Thank-you for visiting!

THEbTEAM

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