Difference between Utah Condos and Utah Townhomes

The Provo and Orem Utah area is home to over 60,000 students attending either Brigham Young University (BYU) or Utah Valley University (UVU). Because BYU is a private university owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS), students from around the world move to Provo to attend. UVU, on the other hand, is the only university in Utah with an “open-admission” policy. As a result, UVU draws students from across Utah who were not accepted at other Utah colleges. This huge influx of students creates a huge demand for student housing.

Majority of Students Take Six Years to Graduate

The Institute of Education Sciences reports that nearly 58% of students take six years to complete a Bachelor’s Degree. This causes many parents and young newlywed couples to consider the total cost of renting housing for such an extended length of time. Each year, a large number conclude that the costs, convenience, and benefits of owning a residence make it worth purchasing a home near campus.

Property Maintenance a Deciding Factor

Many of those who choose to purchase a student residence decide against a single family home simply because of the extra time and expense required for its upkeep. It’s a fact that most full-time students do not have the time nor the desire to take care of the yard, paint the exterior, or make repairs to the roof. Consequently, most end up purchasing a condo or a townhome for student housing.

Condo Ownership vs. Townhome Ownership

This brings up the frequently asked question, “What is the difference between a Utah condominium and a Utah townhome or townhouse?” Here is a brief clarification of what makes them different:

Condominium: Owning a condo means you hold title to the space inside the four walls of a unit within a complex, but not the land or the building itself. This means that other condo units can be located above and below yours, as well as beside you.

Townhouse: Ownership of a townhome consists of not only the unit itself, but the land it sits on. Therefore, no other units can be located above or below yours. As a result, most townhomes are two stories and many include a basement and/or garage.

Property Taxes: Townhome owners pay individually for property taxes on their home and the land it sits on while condo owners pay taxes only for their unit and then their calculated share for property under the entire complex.

Homeowners Association: Both condos and townhomes are part of a homeowner’s association, which collects fees for the expenses of all common areas. This usually includes exterior maintenance, exterior insurance (not including the interior of units or personal possessions,) water, sewer, trash, and reserves for future major repairs.

With so many out-of-area BYU students and UVU students needing housing in the Provo Utah and Orem Utah areas, demand for condominiums and townhouses has remained high and consistent. Historically, the price of condos and townhomes in Provo/Orem have remained stable or grown during any 4 – 6 year period (with the exception of 2008 – 2010.)

Denise Martin, known as Orem’s Nicest Realtor, specializes in Orem and Provo real estate. She can be reached at Orem Homes for Sale. Denise and her brother, Stacy Sommers, co-own @Home Realty Network selling Utah Real Estate.

One Response

  1. Diana Diana says:

    Each of the possession methods and property types above have pros and cons. For anyone considering buying property, be sure to talk to your actual property broker, legal consultant.

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