<<< back to article list

What’s the Difference Between Apartments, Condos, Townhomes, Duplexes, Lofts and Co-ops?

Blog by Jeff Fitzpatrick | February 25th, 2011

You probably already know the difference between an attached property – homes that share a common wall with another property, such as a condo or townhome – and a detached property – property with no shared walls; a free standing house – but have you ever wondered what the difference is between a condo and apartment, or a duplex and townhome? The list below should help clear the air:

Tapestry Apartment

Apartment: A residential unit occupying only part of a building which has a lobby and common hallways. Owners hold title to these units and pay a monthly maintenance fee towards the care of the building.

Condo: Physically same as an apartment, no way to know a condo from an apartment by simply looking at it. The difference is purely legal, a condominium carries an individual deed of trust for each unit, and an apartment building carries a single deed of trust that encompasses the properties as a whole.


Co-op: A large building that is leased exclusively to the person who purchases it. Owners don’t actually own any real property; instead, they are buying shares of stocks in the corporation that owns the building.


Duplex: Two suites in a complex (house) each with its own separate entrance; can also be a dwelling composed of three (triplex) or four (fourplex) units; also described as a townhome.

hamilton loft

Loft: Residential units that are very wide and open, usually boasting exposed beams, brick, and sometimes plumbing. Generally converted from former industrial buildings and large open spaces.


Townhome: A property designed to mimic detached or semi-detached homes with a front door and outdoor space with direct access from the unit. Attached to any number of other townhomes, commonly side-by-side.

If you’re looking to purchase attached property and want to know what’s best suited for you, please call 604-612-6120 anytime!

jeff signature