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Condo vs. Apartment: Exploring Differences and Making Informed Choices

Condo vs. Apartment: Exploring Differences and Making Informed Choices

Jerry
Dec 26, 2023

Table of contents

  • Discovering Differences Between Condos and Apartments
  • Conclusions

What distinguishes condos and apartments? At first glance, both may appear similar living in shared buildings with similar facilities and shared services; however, ownership plays an essential role for buyers as well as tenants alike.

Discovering Differences Between Condos and Apartments

Condos vs. Apartments? What Are My Options? To understand which will best meet your goals as your dream home, the key lies with you as its possessor - but let's go on an exploration to understand both their differences and similarities.

1. Ownership Distinction

Flats A unique experience is apartment living since many of these properties are managed by property management companies. They ensure uniformity among all the housing units. Apartments, whether they are in residential buildings or complexes, or communities as a whole provide tenants with uniform guidelines to follow both within their units and the communal areas. Apart from dictating expectations to residents, the same company offers individuals access to an onsite leasing office. This allows them to get assistance both during the tenancy period and when looking for a new unit at the respective community or complex.

The outside of a condo

Condominiums (also known as "condos") are private residential properties owned by the owner and rented out. Contrary to apartments that are rented via a local agency or landlord, renting a condo involves interacting directly with the owner. The owner can make personalized decisions about who is allowed to rent their unit and the rental agreement terms.

2. Renting Scene: Condos vs. Apartments

If you aren't ready to purchase real estate yet but would like to experience condo living, you can rent the unit directly from the owner. You should consider these aspects when choosing between a rental condo or an apartment:

Upkeep:

Those who are having issues with their apartment that they cannot handle should not panic. You can quickly resolve any issues by contacting your property manager or owner. Renters who live in communities with on-call maintenance services or dedicated staff can get faster results, bringing peace of mind.

Each owner of a condominium is responsible for maintaining the unit. They may respond to you faster because they do not manage a whole building of condos, but they could take longer as they must find an independent contractor to perform repairs.

apartment with pool

Amenities:

Condo complexes set a maximum number of units that can be rented, so condo communities have a mixture between renters and owners. Owners of condos are involved in maintaining common areas through the homeowners association (HOA), which means that these areas are kept well-maintained. Condos can have a higher level of luxury than apartments. This includes onsite amenities such as parking, tennis courts, pools and gyms.

Rules:

If you are considering whether or not to purchase an apartment, the rules of the community will come into play. Both apartment and condo communities have "house" rules that govern the use of common areas, pets allowed and exterior decorations. Apartment landlords might also limit what renters are allowed to do within their unit, like painting walls or hanging artwork. Condo owners can, however, decorate their homes as they please.

The inside of a condo

Cost:

Renting an apartment is a simple affair. A deposit is usually required when you sign your lease. It's also possible that you have to pay both the first and final months in advance. Then you pay monthly for the length of your agreement. There are more costs involved in becoming a condominium owner. You'll have to pay an inspection fee, a payment for the downpayment and the costs of closing upfront. There are monthly HOA fees that come with condos. These fees vary depending on what amenities and services the condo offers.

3. The pros and cons of condo and apartment

Apartments pros

Flexible relocation: Apartments are a great option for those who don't intend to live in one area permanently.

Maintenance is minimal or non-existent: Your landlord will generally maintain the property for you while it's rented.

Apartments cons

There are fewer amenities: Some apartment buildings have a pool and recreation area. However, there may not be as many as in a condominium complex.

Noise: Depending on where you live, you may be living close to neighbors and even outside foot traffic. This can cause noise or privacy problems.

The inside of a apartment

Condo pros

You won't need to do any yard work: The condo association will take care of all the maintenance for you.

Many condo communities have easy access to shopping, recreation areas and public transport. A condo in a location like this could be ideal if you value walkability.

Condo cons

Dues: Condominium owners are usually required to pay HOA dues every month. They can rise over time and are usually based on what amenities the condo association provides. According to Census data, HOA dues average around $170 a month.

Rules: Although you own your condo, the rules of the association could limit the way you decorate or use the property. You may not be able to decide how your property is landscaped or which pets are allowed.

Conclusions

Decisions on where and what kind of home to reside depend upon many variables; including upfront and ongoing expenses as well as lifestyle preferences and long term financial goals.

Understanding all these nuances enables you to make more informed decisions based on your preferences, lifestyle needs and financial requirements. No matter, if you prefer condo living or apartment living - choosing an appropriate housing solution, depends upon carefully considering all these factors and meeting all their criteria.

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