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Condo vs. Townhouse

July 22, 1990

As an appraiser, I know I'm not the only one who finds some of Robert J. Bruss' opinions annoying and somewhat self-serving. But, when he gave out misinformation in the July 8 column item "Townhouse or Condo: Which Is Wiser Buy?" I felt I should write to clear up a common misconception.

The difference between a condominium and a townhouse is that a condominium is a type of ownership and a townhouse is a type of architectural style. A condominium unit could be a variety of styles, including townhouses. A townhouse can be either a condominium or a planned unit development, or PUD.

Condominium ownership is ownership of the airspace of the unit only, along with an undivided interest in the land for the entire project, which includes any common areas.

PUD ownership includes ownership of the unit, the lot it stands on, and an undivided interest in the common area. Condos and PUDs can even be fully detached units. In the case of a detached condo, the "unit" is the land around and under the building. Since the ownership is of the airspace over this particular parcel, the dwelling is included.

CAROL S. HOSKINS

Los Angeles

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