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Residential Living

There are several types of home styles to consider:

Single family homes are those that stand alone without a shared wall. Duplex homes look like single family homes, but have a shared wall. Townhomes, usually two or three story, have a shared wall. Mobile homes, built in a factory on a metal framework and trucked to your homesite and placed on piers. Class-C manufactured homes, a mobile home where the tongue and has been removed, the registration tag surrendered to the DMV, wheels removed, and placed on a permanent foundation. Modular homes, are stick built in a factory and trucked in modules and placed on a permanent foundation at your home site.

Condo Association vs. HOA

The style of home does not dictate the form of ownership. The biggest difference between a condo association and an HOA is the form of ownership. With a condo, each owner owns their unit, floor to ceiling, drywall to drywall, but also has joint ownership in the building and all of the common grounds. When you own a home with a Home Owners Association (HOA,) you own your own lot/land and your home, and the HOA owns common areas in the community. Homeowners have no vested financial interest in common areas owned by the HOA. It’s also possible to own a home in a community with both a HOA and as a condo.

Size of Fees

A condo association or HOA’s fees and dues may vary significantly as they are based upon the holdings each needs to support. Because a condo association’s fees handle repair and upkeep of the condo building and common areas such as pools, parking lots and other areas, they’re typically higher than the fees assessed by a similarly sized HOA. Individual homeowners bear the costs of maintaining their own homes — a cost that’s rolled into condo fees — so an HOA usually doesn’t require the level of funding that a condo association does.


In most HOAs, fees are assessed uniformly, with each lot owner paying an equal share of upkeep for common areas. In areas with different types of homes, such as one with single-family houses and town homes, assessments may not be split by household. Instead, town home owners pay an assessment proportionate to their share in their communal lot, and owners of single-family homes pay a full assessment. A condo unit’s assessment system isn’t so clear-cut. Condo owners often have different percentages of ownership interest in the building, with larger units bearing a larger share of ownership. The association’s costs aren’t split evenly among each owner but paid in proportion to ownership percentages.

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