Have you been thinking about buying a condo in the Twin Cities?

Reach out today to learn how to do it efficiently from one of our Twin Cities realtors!

1. What is the difference between a condo and a townhouse?

A condominium is a unit owned by an individual residing within a larger building. Condo owners own their individual unit and share joint-ownership of the greater building, common areas, and grounds with the other owners.  

A townhouse is a home attached to another by a common wall. Townhouses have shared expenses and amenities with neighboring units, however, they may provide more privacy than one would find in a condominium building. Townhouses are similar to single-family homes, as you own the building structure and the land it sits on.

Both condos and townhouses require monthly payments into a Homeowner's Association.

2. What is a homeowner's association (HOA)?

A HOA is an association led either by the owners of units in the building or a professional management company depending on the size of the building. Each month, owners pay association dues that go towards things such as:

  • Exterior Maintenance
  • Lawn Care & Snow Removal
  • Hazard Insurance
  • Utilities
  • Shared Amenities - i.e. pools, rooftops, gardens, party rooms, etc.

Each HOA has different fees and covers different types of utilities, services, and rules.

HOA's will set the regulations for rentals, quantity & type of pets allowed, and appearance of the building and/or units.

3. Do you pay property tax on a condo?

Yes. Just like a single-family home, a condo's property tax is determined by the home's assessed value based on the location, square footage, and characteristics of the home. 

4. Can I change my door lock in my condo?

Yes, as long as the rules and regulations of the Homeowner's Association allow it. We've had condo owners add trendy door-knockers to their unit, and remove it when they were ready to sell.

5. Who replaces windows in a condo?

The owner of the condo is responsible for replacing the windows within their individual unit. However, if windows in shared spaces need replacing, the association would decide how to proceed--typically through the homeowner's association dues.

6. Can you rent out your own condo?

Each condominium is different! The Homeowner's Association will outline whether you are allowed to rent out your condo. In many cases, condo buildings require a 1-year lease or only allow around 30% of the units to have rental permits. 

7. Can you renovate a condo?

Absolutely! Renovating your condo and keeping it updated can help you build equity and make it easier to sell when you're ready for something different. One of the best parts of condo ownership vs. renting an apartment is that you're in charge of the updates you make.

8. What are the different types of condos for sale in the Twin Cities?

Condos for sale in the Twin Cities mainly fit into three different categories:

  • Converted Mansion - The Twin Cities are home to some of the most grandiose historic homes in the nation. Occasionally these historic mansions are converted into 2-4 condominium units that share the outdoor space.

Here is an example of a converted mansion condominium in Saint Paul.

  • Low-rise Condominium (3- Levels) - The majority of low-rise condo buildings have 10 or less units and less shared amenities than a high-rise condominium. 

Here is an example of a low-rise condominium in Saint Paul.

  • High-rise Condominium (4+ Levels) - High-rise condos buildings typically come with professional management companies, secured entrances, parking garages, rooftop decks, exercise rooms, etc. 

Here is an example of a high-rise condominium in Saint Paul. 


Let us know  if you have any questions about buying a condo in the Twin Cities. One of our experienced realtors will be in touch as soon as possible. 

We can start touring homes for sale today!