For some, they may view as a Townhouse or Townhome the same as a Condominium however there are few very important differences. Looks have nothing to do with it, rather it all has to do with ownership. Both townhouses and condos usually denote a form of attached housing, where at least one common wall is shared with an adjoining neighbor. The difference between a townhouse and condo is with a townhouse, you own the land the unit resides on and everything that encompasses.
Maybe it’s easier to explain it this way: with condominium ownership, you own from the interior walls in. In the event of a fire where the unit was destroyed, the insurance on the building provided by the condo owners association would rebuild everything up to the drywall. From there, your owners insurance policy would take over and rebuild the rest of the unit. The reason is that, with a condo, the condo owners association owns the land the unit is on as well as the exterior of the building, common hallways, etc.
With a townhouse, the owner of the unit is responsible for all exterior maintenance, including maintenance to the unit on the exterior. With that being said, most townhome owner associations have a common maintenance agreement to handle the more routine items like lawn care and roof repairs. That way, the community can maintain a uniform look. That maintenance agreement will result in a, usually monthly, owners association fee that will cover items like exterior maintenance, common area maintenance (parking lots, entrances), a master insurance policy on top of any other amenities that the complex may offer.
Is one better than the other?
Better? Not really but there is a huge difference when it comes to purchasing and selling a condo over a townhouse. Lenders generally have stricter lending requirements when lending on a condo versus a townhome. The amount of units owned by one party in a development can be an issue as well as the density of rentals in a complex. Condos require a special process for approval for purchase or refinance with a FHA or VA loan; an additional step not needed with townhomes.