When you’re searching for a new home, you may quickly realize that the housing business seems to have its very own language. From words like “in unit” to “garden-style to “walk-up,” there’s a bit of a learning curve, and sometimes it’s not always clear what some of those vocabulary words mean. So we thought we’d put together this blog to make it a little easier to understand the different styles of condominiums. Many people don’t realize that like apartments, condos can come in all shapes and sizes, each of which has its own name. We’ve explained four of the most popular condo styles below, and then we’ve included a few tips on how to decide which is right for you:


Standard garden-style condominiums can be one to three floors, and are typically developments, rather than stand-alone homes. Garden-style condominiums often feature a garden-like setting, where the building is surrounded by luxurious landscaping, a community garden, or pool. Garden-style condos are located just about everywhere, from rural to suburban to urban locations.


This is a type of condo you’re most likely to see in a large city. A building with a minimum of nine floors, high-rise buildings are required to have at least one elevator. Since most of these types of condos are located in the city, they tend to be priced higher. Note that the higher the floor of the condo, the higher the price – as you pay for the view of the city.


A townhome, or townhouse condo, is a multi-level dwelling, usually 2-3 floors, where there are no neighbors above or below you. While townhome buildings are often developments, you will only have neighbors to the sides. In terms of square footage, these condos tend to be much larger than either the garden or high-rise style, though you will primarily find them in rural or suburban areas. Typically, townhouses have garage parking for one car, although two car garages are available in some areas. In most cases, townhouses are considered to be a hybrid of the single family home and a condo.


Finally, a detached condo is the closest you can get to a single family home while still living in a condominium. Typically built in large development complexes, detached condos are free-standing single family homes that are a part of a homeowners’ or condominium association. Rather than living in a development building and paying rent to the complex or landlord, these units are typically purchased. The condo owners then pay homeowners’ association fees to cover any costs such as landscaping, exterior maintenance, snow removal, or any other service covered by the condo association themselves. This is the largest condo option typically found in either rural or suburban locations.

How Do You Decide Which is Right For You?

Well it really comes down to location, space, and budget. Depending on where you want to live, you may have limited options, especially when you consider your budget, and the amount of space you’d like to have. Let’s break down each consideration a little bit:


If you plan on living in the city, you’re not going to have a ton of affordable townhouse options, and there certainly won’t be many detached condominium choices. If you really want to live in a house in the city, you’re likely better off just buying a home. Your primary condo options in the city are going to be high-rise, and garden-style buildings.

If you plan on living in a rural or suburban area, it’s more likely that you’ll end up in a townhouse or detached option. The bonus of living in a rural area is that you get considerably more square footage for a lower price, however, there won’t be as many small options. So if you want something with less square footage, you might have to look a little harder.


If space is what you’re looking for, you’ll want to go for a detached or townhouse option. Both of these will offer more square footage, with a detached option tending to provide the most space. If space isn’t an issue for you, then you might opt instead for the garden-style or high rise options. The amount of space available to you will also depend on your location.


Perhaps your greatest limitation, your budget, no matter how big or small, will largely dictate where you live, and with how much space. If you have a large budget, you might consider going for one of those beautiful view high-rise condos, but if you’re working more conservatively, you could still find a lovely garden-style apartment in a great location in the city.

It’s also important to note that if you’d like to live in a detached style condominium, you should plan on buying it. Most detached condominiums are set up for permanent residents, and are meant to be purchased, rather than rented. The bonus, however, is that most detached condominiums are considerably cheaper than an equivalent single-family home.

If you’re looking for a condo, but aren’t sure whether you’d like to live in the city, or farther out in the country, then Gleneagle Condominiums might just be perfect for you. Located in quiet Hudsonville, the Gleneagle Condos are just minutes away from downtown Grand Rapids, providing you with all the benefits of city life, while still maintaining the peaceful feeling of a home away from the hustle and bustle. If Gleneagle sounds like the spot for you, give us a call at 616-218-6538, or request more info online today!