Settling for a place to call home can be stressful, especially when considering that this is a space you’ll spend all your days in.
Don’t allow the excitement of a new place to distract you from making sure your choice caters to all your needs and lifestyle. A condo and apartment look the same to an outsider, but interiors for condos vs. apartments can be very different.
Here are things you need to know about condos and apartments before choosing one. We only want what’s best for you, so here are the best tips we can offer you about them.
What Is A Condo?
Also known as condominiums, these are privately owned residences that are leased out to tenants on contracts. While located in large communities or residential buildings, individual units are privately owned, and the landlord who owns the property is also responsible for managing it.
What Is An Apartment?
The property’s ownership belongs to a specific corporation with an apartment and is run by this same management. All the apartment units are the same, with a single owner and the same living guidelines, and tenants report to the same on-site property manager.
What’s The Difference Between The Two?
Having defined the two, what then are the specificities that make these two so different. Externally, it’s usually impossible to guess which is which.
While both may be found within residential complexes and even maybe look similar, there are underlying differences. Apart from ownership, which is likely the most crucial aspect, let’s dive into how these two are unique in their rights.
1. Amenities Available
Since the two have different owners, it’s not surprising to find that the amenities offered will differ. Depending on what you want to have access to, you could decide between the two types of property:
- In A Condo
Condos are more likely to be furnished in a more personalized way, which means no two condos are alike. From marble countertops to hardwood floors and stainless steel, fancy appliances, the style, and design are totally up to you as an owner.
As such, what you find in one condo will most likely be very different from what you see in the neighboring unit within the same complex.
The owner will be more invested in maintaining the space’s high value and have top-of-the-range amenities. There are more likely to be special services for concierge, parking, various activities, gyms, and even pools within the complex.
- In An Apartment
Apartments lack the personal touch that characterizes condos, as they are mass-produced. This likely leads to uniform units (unless some have been upgraded recently). Of late, luxury services and amenities are being offered as well, but generally, only the essential services are provided like laundromats, basketball courts, and an occasional gym area.
2. Rental Costs
At the basic level, these don’t have a defined difference in rental fees. If both complexes are in the same part of the city, their overall costs may be the same. This needs to take into consideration the quality of each rental. If you’re considering buying instead of renting, check out Forbes’s tips on making the best choice.
- In A Condo
For condos, since most have upper-end amenities compared to apartment buildings, they may cost slightly more since the quality of living is upgraded.
Organizations called homeowners associations (HOA) require tenants to cover monthly fees and condo dues for the amenities offered. Payments are also often in cash or checks, as opposed to online.
Since units are individually owned, the price will depend on your landlord and will likely differ from those neighboring units.
- In An Apartment
For apartments, the monthly rent (including additional costs for available utilities) can be paid online on the community’s portal, or if preferred, via check.
Internet and cable costs and gas, for example, are usually charged separately. Rent will almost likely be fixed for all the units in that complex. The overall cost depends on what the market rate is and the unit availability.
While staying on the property, you’ll likely have problems that require you to seek out maintenance services, be it a clogged sink or a leaking tap. Who handles this maintenance (maintenance team, landlord, or you) depends on your specific rental.
- In A Condo
With condos, you and your landlord bear the responsibility of taking care of repairs and maintenance services for the unit. Though this may mean money coming out of your pocket, in most cases, the owner handles it through their property proxy.
While the HOA covers maintenance for shared areas and amenities, if there’s a fault in your bathroom, that’s on you. The landlord may even insist on having a preferred service team handle the maintenance.
In such cases, resolving maintenance issues may take a while, mostly if the owner lives out of the country.
- In An Apartment
For apartment rentals, residents will discover that the apartment community provides free, 24/7 maintenance services so that you won’t be responsible for any repairs. Often, you can request assistance via the apartment’s online portal, just like that.
The around-the-clock maintenance service is probably one of the best parts of renting an apartment. Maintenance issues are handled on time and are often completely free.
4. Living Regulations and Rental Policies
As a rent-paying, fully grown adult, you’d hate to live in a place where a thousand rules are telling you what to do at every turn. Rules are, however, necessary for harmonious living, especially in shared spaces like residential complexes.
These differ significantly between condos and apartments. Your lifestyle will also likely be affected by where you live, so deciding between a condo or apartment is essential. Though neither tolerates too many disturbances and noise, you’ll be expected to follow fewer rules in a condo where a single person doesn’t own the property.
- In A Condo
The HOA makes residential guidelines for condos. Things like placing your trash in front of your door may be prohibited, and other rules about pet litter, covered.
Additionally, for condos, just because the complex is pet-friendly didn’t mean that your particular unit is, so you’ll have to check with the landlord.
If you want to decorate, you could simply talk to the owner and, often, they’ll let you make permanent changes. Mostly, rules made by the HOA pertain to the landlord and not the tenant.
When living in a condo, you’ll be surrounded by people both renting and homeowners, and there’ll be fewer rules to go by.
- In An Apartment
The apartment’s rules set by property management are for all tenants, including regulations on how to live inside your unit. Things like painting walls are often prohibited and make permanent markings like drilling walls to hang paintings since they want all apartments to look the same.
Apartment lifestyles differ in the sense that there’s less flexibility, with responsibilities like:
- Adhering to complex the rules and living guidelines stated in your lease
- Rental fee payment days
- Tolerance of noise levels
- Housekeeping and cleanliness of your unit, particular your entranceway
- Garbage disposal
Which One Is Best For You?
Opting for a condo is financially a more sensible entry point into being a homeowner if you’re thinking of buying instead of renting. While renting, decide how personalized you want your space to be and how flexible you want the living regulations you live under.
On the other hand, apartments are ideal choices for residents who aren’t interested in dealing with the stress and expenses of owning their own home. Also, if you’re not willing to commit to a long-term contract, then an apartment may be best for you.
For example, if you’re only in a place for a year or so, renting an apartment may be wiser than purchasing a condominium.
Decide what works for you based on these five criteria and weigh out what factors are most important to you. Overall, when planning to rent, depending on the city you’re in, apartments may be the best if you can’t find a top condo. Though with more rules, apartments put less responsibility on their tenants than condos.
Business insider offers helpful tips on how to rent an apartment for further details. However, if you can get over the weight of carrying maintenance on you and the rental fee requested by your prospective landlord is reasonable, you could easily be happy in a condo.
Whatever your choice, go into it after making a thorough deliberation – you don’t want, after all, to be stuck in an unhappy rental because of a poor decision.
With the facts and pointers we’ve presented, choosing condos vs. apartments shouldn’t be a hard one to make.
It’s important to remember that you’ll have personal, direct contact with the landlord in a condo, unlike apartments with property managers and several leasing agents.
Keeping things friendly is very important. After all, they’re the only contact you’ll have for rent payment and maintenance, especially if you enjoy living there and plan to extend your stay.
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