What is the difference between a condo townhome and a freehold townhome?
Julie A., Toronto, Ontario
This is a question that I am often asked. The main and most important difference between Condos and Freeholds is in the area of land ownership. In the case of a Condo Townhouse, the actual inside of the unit is owned. However, the outside of the unit and the land surrounding the unit and all the other units, driveways, lawns, gardens, etc. is owned collectively by all the unit owners, and is called the "common elements". Each owner pays a monthly maintenance fee covering such things as grounds maintenance, common element insurance, and general upkeep of and outside maintenance of units. Owners meet generally once a year for a general meeting, elect a Board of Directors, and vote on issues brought forth by the Board of Directors.
With a Freehold townhouse, the owner owns the lot and house individually as one would in a semi or detached home and there are no maintenance fees per month. Owners decide at their own discretion when to replace the roof or repave the driveway, and, of course, the expense of doing so is theirs alone.
I hope that helps!