How do you know if a property is a condominium or townhouse? There is quite a bit of confusion about this question actually, and this uncertainty translates into properties in MLS being frequently labeled as “condos” when they’re really townhouses. The distinction is of course really important because comparable sales really should be the same type of property, right?
What does the plat map say? If you don’t have a preliminary title report at your fingertips, knowing how to view plat maps can actually make a huge and quick difference. Take a few minutes to watch the screencast below (or here) where I show three examples of how looking at a plat map can help identify the type of property. I know, this ranks low on the exciting scale, but trust me, if you’re in real estate, this is really good stuff to know. The video is a bit larger if you watch directly on YouTube. If anything is unclear or you have questions, speak on.
Does the plat map show specific lot dimensions for the individual unit on a parcel? If so, it’s most likely a townhouse PUD and not a condominium. This is an important indicator that’s often missed in listings on MLS. The owner of the condominium does not have ownership of the entire site on which the unit is built, so there is no reason to give specific dimensions on the plat map for the lot shape (the only dimenstions for a condo in the plat map are for the entire parcel where all units are located – NOT each individual unit). Click the thumbnails to view example images.
NOTE: This information is good for the Sacramento area and may not be relevant for other areas.
If you have any questions or Sacramento area real estate appraisal or property tax appeal needs, contact me by phone 916-595-3735, email, Twitter, subscribe to posts by email or “like” my page on Facebook