Blog :: 03-2015

Condo or Carriage House? What are the difference and benefits to each?

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Condo or Carriage House?  What are the differences? Which one is best for you and your family?  

As a developer of homes and condominiums across Chittenden County for nearly 30 years, Dousevicz Real Estate has had it's fair share of building and selling some of the areas most recognized projects.  Today we'll explore some of the critical differences (and benefits) of a carriage home vs a condominium.  

A condominium is defined as: 

an apartment house, office building, or other multiple-unit complex,the units of which are individually owned, each owner receiving arecordable deed to the individual unit purchased, including the right to sell, mortgage, etc., that unit and sharing in joint ownership of anycommon grounds, passageways, etc.

A carriage home, on the other hand, really doesn't have a set defintion in Vermont, but instead can be viewed as a single family house which holds ownership of the footprint of the land for which it sits, but shares in the land around the home commonly with the other neighbors in the project.  You may find this type of project referred to as a "PUD", but that is more a term that is used within the municipality for which the neighborhood resides and the term "carriage home" is more of a marketing term adopted in Vermont.  

Now, the biggest difference between carraige homes and condominiums is shared walls.  Condominiums share walls with their neighbors, and carriage homes do not.  Obviously, if you are sensitive to noise or if you like a bit more privacy, a carriage home is the better option for you.  

What often is similar between condominiums and carriage homes that we see selling in Vermont (mostly in such towns as Williston, Essex, and South Burlington) is that the maintenance of the grounds (snow/ plowing) and trash service is covered within your association dues.  What does differ, however, is some carriage homes include exterior maintenance in their association dues (otherwise known as HOA Fees) whereas carriage homes usually do not include exterior mainteanance, although we have seen select areas where exterior maintenance is included in the HOA fees for carriage homes.  

Another difference bewteen carriage homes and conodominiums in Vermont is insurance coverage.  Most condominiums bylaws state that insurance of the conodminium building, along with the interior of the individual condominiums, are covered within the master HOA insurance policy.  Typically, carriage homes do not cover the entire building of the detached carriage house and will only over insurance on the shared, common land, and individual home owners will need to purchase a separate traditional homeowners policy. 

If you have questions about buying a carriage house or condominium, please contact Brad Dousevicz at Dousevicz Real Estate today! Dousevicz@gmail.com