If you hate the idea of paying rent but don’t want to be stuck taking care of a large lot, owning a townhouse or condo in Jacksonville may be the perfect compromise. These multifamily dwellings offer the freedom of ownership while requiring little or no responsibility for outdoor maintenance. While both types of home are usually attached to others via shared walls and other structures, there are important differences between the two. Which one is right for you depends on your housing needs and lifestyle.

Condo

If you have absolutely no interest in gardening or landscaping, a condominium might be the right choice. This type of home is structured like a classic apartment building, and its residents only own the interior of their homes with no equity in the larger parts of the building, like lobbies or hallways. Condominiums are actually legal entities, and these homes — and the way they are sold — are regulated by local and state governments’ condominuim laws.

Condo owners pay a fee in addition to their mortgage, known as a “maintenance fee.” This fee is paid to the condominium association, and it pays for the owner’s share of landscape and building maintenance. In return, the condo owner can enjoy all the amenities of his or her community (pools, hot tubs, picnic areas, gardens, etc.) without having contribute any labor. Condominiums in Jacksonville can be especially attractive, as there are dozens of them lined up along the beach, with patios and balconies opening off to a view of the Atlantic Ocean. If an ocean view is important for you, purchasing a condo can be fraction of the cost of getting a similar view with a house.

Townhouse

When deciding between a townhouse or condo, the defining question might be how much you love to garden and choose your own landscaping. If you won’t be satisfied without the feeling of dirt between your fingers and the experience of growing something yourself, a townhouse is probably the better choice for you. With a townhouse you have more control over your property.

Townhouses aren’t actual legal entities like condos are, but are instead a specific style of building. These structures are like rows of houses all pushed together, sharing side walls but each having their own individual front and, sometimes, back door. Townhouse residents own the inside and outside of the building, as well as the plot of land on which it sits. Townhouses in Jacksonville are typically part of a homeowners association, which is responsible for outside the care of any common areas in the neighborhood. Townhouse owners pay a fee to the homeowners association for this service, in addition to their mortgages and taxes. So, that is something to think about if you’re weighing the pros and cons of townhouse ownership.

The main benefit is that you’ll get much more privacy in a townhouse, as you have your own front door instead of a shared hallway, as well as the possibility of owning a larger home with multiple floors. Townhouses in Jacksonville are situated in all parts of the city, and you can choose amenities like quiet, tree-lined neighborhoods, golf course proximity, and even easy beach access.

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