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January 17, 2011

Condo Versus a Townhouse – Which is Better?

DMCI's Rosewood Pointe
You might think that this is a biased post because I market DMCI condo projects but the only reason I decided to write about this subject is because of an incident that happened during the first day of our review for the upcoming Real Estate Broker board examination. Our lecturer asked who among us sells condos and who among us sells townhouses and then he led one representative for each to go in front. He then asked this question to stir a debate, which is easier to sell and why, condo or townhouse? The seller of  townhouses spoke first and she enumerated the advantages of a townhouse over a condo. I admit that she was really good and confident in explaining her side that I almost felt ashamed that I’m selling a condo. I’m sure the one representing the condo sales felt the same because she seemed rattled and she failed to pinpoint the main advantages of a condo over a townhouse aside from very good location and high level of security which the seller of townhouses was able to counter.
I pondered on this thought as I was on my way home, is townhouses really better than  condos? I thought hard not because I’m biased but because I believe that there is a reason behind sold out condo projects in prime areas while I see a number of townhouse projects still not sold in the area where I live. I was able to come up with many reasons why I think a condo is better than a townhouse. Please note that this is my personal opinion and my basis of comparison is of course the DMCI projects that I offer, not the lower-end condo projects in the market. Before I tell what these reasons are, let me enumerate the points that the seller of townhouses stressed.

Townhouses are better over a condo because:

1. You own the lot when you purchase a townhouse. Many people still prefer this kind of property ownership.

2. The price is way cheaper than a condo unit and the floor area is much bigger.

3. No separate cost for a parking space.

4. No need to secure permits if you want to make improvements in your home.

5. No monthly association dues to pay. Very minimal if located in a subdivision.

6. Regarding security, many townhouses are located in a well-guarded subdivisions and some townhouse cluster employ their own security personnel.

Now here are my reasons why I think condo is better than a townhouse.

1. Security in a townhouse can never be at par with that of a condo. Condominiums usually have only one or two guarded entry points and the whole project is surrounded with a high fence and in the case of DMCI, the fences are equipped with electrified wires to ensure utmost protection from unauthorized entry.

2. Since townhouses are house and lot, prices are based on the location. It would be cheaper to buy a condo unit located in a prime area than to own a townhouse unit in the same area.

3. Before an individual can buy a condo, the developer investigates not only their capacity to pay but their background and personality as well. They have these so called black listed Individuals like the ones with criminal records for example. They are not granted a unit even if they have the capacity to pay. This means that you have the assurance that you won’t have a neighbor with the likes of Osama Bin Laden. This screening is not being done for townhouse projects.

4. Aside from the fact that townhouse buyers are not screened like that of a condo, they are also not governed by rules and regulations that aim to safeguard the privacy of each unit owner. This means that your neighbor has the freedom to party all night and be noisy all they want and you don’t have anyone to confront them but yourself. Another scenario would be; what if your neighbor is fond of having pets like dogs, cats, and chickens. Not just chickens but a dozen of them and lets say they don't seem to maintain their surroundings well enough? And the noise that a dozen chicken can make in the neighborhood? This happens not just in house and lots but in townhouse units too.

5. With regards to construction. Condo development is governed by specific rules and regulations from the government that the contractor and developer needs to comply with. Its construction is much more controlled unlike that of a townhouse. This means that condo projects are guaranteed to be free from structural defects that are more common in housing development.

6. I work in the construction industry and I know for a fact that the practice of many developers of townhouses is to award their project to the lowest bidder when it should be to the most reasonably priced bidder or sometimes they act as the project manager and just hire labor only to do their project thus putting the overall quality of the construction at risk.

7. Amenities in a townhouse depend on where it is located. Usually, it is in subdivisions with mediocre amenities or in some cases none.

So there! Now I can say that I’m a proud condo seller. I admit that people still have this thinking of having absolute land ownership for their pride and that is why they prefer a house and lot. But I also believe that many people are starting to accept the concept of condominium ownership because as our population continues to increase and with our land area constant, there is an urgent need for an effective planning on the best use of the remaining land especially in the urban areas. Condo development is a great way to maximize land use and I believe its demand here in our country will continue to rise in the future.

Live a beautiful life!

Ryan Rillorta

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PS2. DMCI is now pre-selling Flair Towers, a high-rise project that showcases the Lumiventt Technology and truly resort-like amenities. For more info click here!


  1. It depends whether you're planning to buy a condo or townhouse as an investment or as a comfortable residence.

  2. Yes I agree. I would say this post is for end buyers. Thanks for the comment.

  3. Economical values of condo depreciate in the long run due to the lifespan of buildings and that structural integrity deteriorates in time. While if you own a townhouse, of course with the lot, its value increases plus it gives you the freedom to reinvent the designs. Location is not much of a significant argument for both since whether that a townhouse or condo, prices vary with locations.

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  5. That is really cool. Thanks for sharing the details here.

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