If you’re new to living underneath HOA management, you may hear a ton of foreign terms thrown around by board members and fellow residents alike. It can leave you feeling quite confused, left behind, and altogether alienated—the exact opposite of how any HOA should make you feel.


That’s why Gassen, an HOA management services firm, explains a few of the common community structures that are managed by HOAs, or HOA-like organizations: co-ops, townhomes, and condos.

Co-Ops: Where Community is Collectively Owned

A co-op is a singular unit, such as an apartment building or neighborhood, which is owned in equal shares by the people living there. When you enter into co-op, you do not technically own the unit in which you live, but instead, you own a share of the unit as a whole. It’s a bit like like owning stock in a business. Though co-ops tend to be popular in apartments in major cities, this form of property management also can be used to govern mobile home parks and other larger communities.


Property management services are often employed to run co-ops, and there often is a board of directors, much like in a standard HOA. Just like in some HOA-run neighborhoods, too, people living in co-ops cannot make major changes to their units without the board allowing it.

Condos and Townhomes: Where Homeownership is the Norm

Unlike with a co-op, when you pay to move into many condos or townhomes, you actually own a physical part of that unit. However, there are a few key differences between the two:


●        Condo owners do not own land; townhome owners do. Living in a condo generally grants you rights to change up your unit’s interior. However, because you don’t own the land underneath you or any part of the building itself, you cannot make major changes to the outside. With townhomes, you do own the land and building, which means you are free to change your exterior as much as you want, provided you follow HOA rules.

●        Fees go toward different organizations with similar purposes. Condo owners pay monthly fees for the building’s regular upkeep. Many townhome owners also pay monthly fees, but toward an HOA: an organization that fosters community and high property values.

●        AbTownhome feels like a home; a condo feels like an apartment. A townhome, though it costs more, might have perks such as a personal garage and yard. Condos feel much more minimalist.

Seeking Property Management Advice? Gassen Has you Covered

If you’re new to an HOA community, or need assistance with any property management needs, let Gassen help with our accounting property management and our online property management. To find out more about how we can help you, call us today at 952-922-5575, or you can message us on our contact page.