No matter what kind of community you live in there are perks and restriction. In common interest communities, these perks and restrictions have a lot to do with the differences in the type of community it is and what you really own. Many buyers don’t give a second thought to the difference between a condo and a townhouse. But these distinctions can make a difference especially when it comes to rules, fees, and amenities.

Single-Family Homes

With single-family homes each home is freestanding and the owner owns the lot that the home sits on. If there is common property like a shared road, park, or clubhouse this community will have a HOA to collect funds and oversee the maintenance of the common area.

Planned Unit Development

A PUD is typically a community with significant common area. Each owner owns a home with a lot that can vary in size from just the footprint of the home, to an entire lot and yard. As the name suggests a PUD is a planned community designed to provide access to a variety of amenities. Home types can vary from single-family to multi-family such as twin and town homes.


When you think of a condominium you often think of the high-rise towers, but many condos look just like a multi-family PUD. The primary difference is that in a condo, you own the area within the walls of his home. The land and structure is owned by the association as a whole with each member owning a percentage of that property.


On the surface the co-op looks similar to the condominium, but when you buy into a co-op, you become a shareholder in a corporation that owns the property. As a shareholder, you are entitled to the exclusive use of your home but you don’t own actual real property.

All of these common interest communities have benefits and drawbacks but knowing the difference can help you make a wise choice when buying a home. If you already live in an HOA, knowing what type of community you live in can help you understand how your community works, gain a better understanding of the rules, and allow you to contribute in a positive way.

Pin It on Pinterest