Condominium vs. apartment – which one is the best fit for you?
For those who are searching for a place to call home, the adventure comes with a million questions. If you find yourself in this situation, the very first question that might pop in your head would be how much it costs and what can you get for the money.
While they can feel similar on the outside, look the same on the inside and cost about the same in rent, there are differences.
To help you out, we’re breaking down what sets each property apart to make it easier for you to decide which best fits your preferred lifestyle.
So, what makes a condominium different from an apartment? In terms of physical attributes, nothing. The difference between the two stems from ownership.
When you’re renting an apartment, one individual or company owns that building. The owner may also be your property manager, or they may outsource those duties to a property management company. All tenants in the building are under the same contract.
By contrast, condos in residential complexes are all individually owned and the building’s upkeep and rules are established by a homeowner’s association, often relying on the assistance of a property management company.
Rent for an apartment is almost always a fixed amount, depending on the length of the lease. The rent does increases when it’s time to renew. To bear in mind, it’s legal for your rent to go up mid-lease, although with enough notice. Some apartments offer month-to-month or short-term leases, but the agreements are usually for a year.
Apartment rent often depends on the market rate and unit availability. It’s also wise to factor in a few extra costs when calculating what rent you can afford. Some apartments will require you to have renter’s insurance, which is a minimal, extra cost.
If you choose a condo, you’ll have to pay monthly fees for the upkeep of the common areas of the community and the exterior of the complex, along with any amenity fees such as the concierge services. On the other hand, some landlords may include a flat rate for utilities into the monthly rent calculation. That’s because they manage those services themselves.
Units in apartment complexes have pretty standard features that are similar across the community. Sometimes there are different floor plans available and options for standard or upgraded appliances if the property owner is investing in updates for within units. Apartment amenities can include any of the following:
- Free parking
- Community room available to rent for events
The more luxurious the apartment, the wider the range of available niceties – as any additional conveniences that make a property more appealing fall into this category.
Condo community amenities are pretty much the same as what you’ll find in any apartment complex, except for the units where things will differ the most. The features here are sometimes more unique and upscale with things like granite countertops, hardwood floors and vaulted ceilings.
This is because quality amenities can create higher property value for the owners – where washers and dryers, high-end kitchen appliances and hardwood floors are the most common upgrades owners prioritise.
Whether you rent a condo or an apartment, you’re going to be encountering maintenance issues. Problems such as a leaky faucet or a running toilet will need to be fixed. But whether that’s by you, the landlord or a maintenance team depends on which type of rental you choose.
When living in a condo, either you or the landlord is responsible for the maintenance of the unit. This could be more costly, but the landlord usually covers most of the issues through their property management proxy or hired maintenance. Keep in mind that if the owner is out of the country or in another state, it may take them more time to contact their management proxy to get things fixed in the unit.
Whereas in apartment living, you will most likely find that your apartment community offers free, around-the-clock maintenance, meaning that as a renter, you are not responsible for most repairs.
Which is the better choice for you?
When renting an apartment, the experience offers a more professional atmosphere whereby renting a condo can be a more laid back arrangement, but with fewer services than an apartment.
Both have positives and negatives, which is why it’s important to know your preferences.
Understanding the difference between a condo and an apartment will help considerably in selecting the perfect home. In the end, the decision lies on what you’re seeking as an individual on their desired standard of living.
Looking for the perfect apartment or condominium for yourself or with your partner? Have a chat with us, and our dedicated team will help you make it a reality!