Two in 10 Americans (around 17%) live in an apartment or condo.
Both condo and apartment living have their charms depending on your lifestyle. Perhaps you’re looking for a new home and you can’t decide which is best for you and your family.
Sound familiar? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s everything you need to know about condos vs. apartments.
All About Condos
Before we dive into comparison, it’s important to address “what is condo vs. apartment?”
A condominium is a building made up of individual units that people own. It’s like an apartment building being owned by separate people rather than a property management agency.
Condos are fantastic if you want to own a home without dealing with the upkeep that comes with single-family properties. It’s also a practical option if you want to live closer to a city while giving you access to amenities that you couldn’t normally afford.
Plus, no two condos are alike so it’s possible to find a cheaper unit in the same building, great if you’re on a budget.
“Condos vs. apartments what is the difference?” You ask.
The main difference is how condo owners are responsible for their unit along with maintenance and repairs. Condo owners must also pay regular fees to a condo association, known as the Homeowner’s Association (HOA). This committee covers the maintenance of shared areas like garages, a swimming pool, and outdoor spaces.
Rules vary depending on the HOA and condo owners must pay a monthly fee to cover these costs. Every HOA committee is made up of volunteers and is responsible for making decisions about the condo’s rules, services, and maintenance. HOA members must follow the covenants, conditions, and restrictions which include property regulations (e.g. decorating your front door).
Condo owners have a range of bills to deal with. If you’ve used a mortgage loan to buy a condo then you’ll have a monthly payment like you would with an apartment. You also have condo fees which average around $200 a month.
Before moving in, find out what the HOA fees cover as many condos include utilities so you don’t have to pay for electricity. But if you’re renting, check with the landlord because they may ask you to pay for the additional fee or alter your rent to cover the cost.
One of the biggest advantages of condos is being able to access a wide range of amenities. Many are recently updated so when you’re comparing properties check out whether there’s a swimming pool, gym, outdoor space, extra security, and parking spots. If you’re interested in this type of living, check out these condominiums for sale.
Everything About Apartments
We’ve covered the basics about condo living. But another appealing option for families is apartments because they’re affordable.
Unlike condos, one company owns the entire apartment complex that rents out each unit to an individual or family. However, there’s often a hired management company that looks after daily responsibilities and can help tenants with any problems.
Tenants have to follow rules set out by their landlord and the property manager ensures they’re followed. Rules include paying rent on time, maintaining noise levels, and disposing of garbage properly.
Apartments all have a similar layout except for a multi-bedroom or a penthouse one. You’ll also notice every floor looks similar including the type of doors, structural materials, and lights. Many people may not enjoy this generic style especially because there’s less chance to personalize the apartment if you’re renting.
Plus, there may be rules regarding which colors you can use on your walls or front door. This also means you can’t renovate the apartment because the property manager is in charge of replacing appliances which remains on a strict budget. As a result, you can’t switch up a kitchen’s aesthetic or bathroom because you’d have to gut the entire system.
You must also check the apartment’s pet policies as space may not be suitable if you have a large dog. Because of this, many apartment communities have restrictions on the types of breeds, weight, or size you can have.
When comparing renting a condo vs. an apartment, you must consider costs. Apartments don’t have extra HOA fees, instead, they have a fixed amount for an extended period. If increases do happen it’s when you renew the contract as most landlords don’t do this mid-lease.
To calculate rent, it’s best to include extra costs like utilities and renter’s insurance.
Depending on the price range, apartments often have an array of amenities for tenants. The most common ones include on-site laundry, a swimming pool, playground, and community rooms that you can hire for functions.
Free maintenance is one of the best advantages of apartments. Depending on the duplex, it’s possible to call a 24-hour emergency maintenance number or submit issues online and these problems will be resolved in a timely fashion. As a result, tenants save money because they don’t have to pay for repairs.
That’s Everything About Condos vs. Apartments
Now you know everything about condos vs. apartments.
It’s important to assess both from the costs to whether there are specific rules that may affect you. Both provide opportunities to bond with neighbors, have modern appliances, and access to many facilities that you wouldn’t normally have.
Whichever you choose, make sure you understand additional fees and other requirements. Happy hunting!
Hopefully, you found this article helpful. If you’re interested in similar content, then check out our posts on everything from Fashion to Real Estate.