8 Factors To Consider When Choosing a Condo Vs. an Apartment

8 Factors To Consider When Choosing a Condo Vs. an Apartment
by Kevyn Pitts - July 21, 2021

“Deciding whether to rent or buy a home can affect your life forever. Although for lots of first-time homebuyers, a condo is usually a go-to for homeownership. The major difference between a condo and apartment ownership.

However, when pushing to choose which to own, there are a few things to look out for. Some of them are:

1. Cost

“The cost of renting an apartment is often straightforward compared to buying a home. With renting, you pay a deposit when you want to begin your lease. You might be required to pay the first and last month upfront, and then you pay up the number of months you intend to stay. It's usually not that complicated with an apartment. However, for a condo, it can be a bit expensive. You'll have to make a down payment and pay a closing cost for a mortgage and home inspection fee.” (Dominique Kemps)

2. Maintenance

“Maintaining an apartment is usually the landlord's responsibility. However, for a condo, you'll have to foot the bill to get all of those things fixed. So when looking for where to own, you'll have to consider the maintenance fee of each home.” (Dominique Kemps)

3. Location

“Location is another critical factor when considering where to live. Usually, apartments and condos have similar structures. You'll most likely find both options in your cities. Having this as a factor will determine which to go with- either an apartment or a condo.”

Dominique Kemps, CEO and Founder GlassExpertsfl.com

“First of all, I would say that the most important factor that would help homebuyers decide between a condo and an apartment is what they can afford, as in their financial condition. A condo is a unit owned by an individual and put on rent as opposed to an apartment which is usually owned by an association or a large entity. Therefore, when it comes to reporting, a condo would have a single landlord, and an apartment would have a “society” that collects the rent and maintenance charges, and of course, a property manager.

“When it comes to the deciding factors, I think the following should be taken into consideration: 

4. Liberties

“You can customize condos to your liking (and if you have a good relationship with the landlord, they wouldn’t mind if you renovate it) but in the case of apartments, you don’t have the liberty to customize the apartment as you like. Since apartments are owned by associations, they have strict guidelines and renovation policies that restrict apartment owners from making major changes in their space.” (Johnathan Kaloara)

5. Amenities

“Since apartments are within large complexes, they usually come with a lot of amenities like a swimming pool, Parking spot, Gym, Library, Kids’ Playroom, Community Center, Auditorium, Restaurant, and even Grocery stores. Condos, on the other hand, may or may not have these amenities but would most definitely have a personal touch. In upgraded condos, however, there are amenities like Outdoor Pool, Fitness Center, Concierge services, and so on.” (Johnathan Kaloara)

6. Renting Costs

“The renting costs are likely to be less in Apartments than in Condos since condos come with additional amenities. But when it comes to maintenance fees, in apartments you’ll have to pay them whether you use them or not but in the case of condos, you pay for those amenities only if you use them.”

Johnathan Kaloara, Real Estate Agent, Founder and CEO at We Buy Properties in the Bay Area

7. Lifestyle Preference and Budget

“If you are looking to buy your first home, or you're considering buying a second property as an investment, the decision is pretty straightforward. You compare prices and features of condos and apartments in neighborhoods that meet your needs. The first thing to determine is what you are looking for in a home. If you want space, then an apartment may be right for you. However, if the amenities of a condo are more important to you, such as pools or gyms, then it might be better suited for your needs. A condo also typically has less maintenance than an apartment because they have their own HVAC and plumbing systems. 

“The decision about whether apartments or condos make more sense also really depends on your lifestyle preferences and budget. Another factor may be how much space and privacy do you want? How much can you afford? Take these things into consideration when making this major decision so that your time spent researching and house hunting is not wasted.”

Jasper Juhl, CEO/Founder BetterEstimate.com

8. Ownership or Renting

“The most significant difference when choosing a condo versus an apartment is the ownership. Apartments are usually a unit residence that is rented out to a tenant within a larger residential building. Condos are similar in build to an apartment but are owned instead of being rented out.

“Condos are usually an appealing purchase for a first-time homebuyer or those looking to downsize because of the low cost compared to the house. Since condos are part of a larger residential building, the condo association usually handles any maintenance or repairs. However, consider the following when deciding between a condo and an apartment.

“Be aware that you have to pay condo fees when you own a condo, which may increase over time for all the condo amenities. You would also still have to follow some rules according to the association, limiting how you can use or decorate the property. An apartment is a good option for flexibility for relocation, especially if you do not anticipate staying in an area long-term. It is also very low maintenance as your landlord is responsible for maintaining the property during your rental period.

“However, apartments have fewer perks, like lack of amenities and facilities in comparison to condo buildings. You also won't be building equity if you are renting because you are essentially helping your landlord build their equity instead.”

Ashley Peeling, Regional Marketing Manager for CLV Group, a property management group

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