A condo is not the same as an apartment. While both are types of homes typically located in complexes, the two have several distinct differences. If you are thinking about buying a condo or an apartment, it's good to know those differences before deciding where to live. Here is some information on each type of home to give you some insight on which might be the best option for you.
What's the Difference between Apartment and Condo
Condo Vs. Apartment Ownership
One of the main differences between an apartment and a condo is how it's owned.
Most condos are considered to be attached homes, which means that you will own your home. Each unit in a condo has a separate owner, but many of the common areas within the complex are shared between all the homeowners.
In most cases, you’ll buy a condo, own your unit and everything inside, but you will pay monthly fees for things such as building maintenance and utilities. Those fees rely on how much each homeowner contributes to ensuring they stay up to code and running smoothly. These are among the things you should know before buying a condo.
The ownership of an apartment is different from a condo in that it is a rental property. You will only be responsible for the interior of your unit. You pay rent to live in your unit, but you can't make any changes to the appearance of the building without approval from the complex. This is typically a much cheaper housing option than a condo or a home.
As a renter, you do not own any part of the building which means you will always have to request permission before making changes to it. This includes painting the interior or exterior. That could be a deal-breaker for some. However, if you are looking for a cheaper place to live and can compromise on personalizing your space, this is. good option.
Condo Vs. Apartment Maintenance
Another thing that differentiates a condo from an apartment is its maintenance.
If you live in an apartment, the building will be managed by a property manager who will care for everything inside your unit and in the common areas. However, if you live in a condo, you will have to handle things independentaly. Everything outside your unit will still go through condominium management (e.g., snow removal, landscaping), but the inside of your condo will be up to you.
Condo Vs. Apartment Amenities
There's usually not much of a difference between the amenities within a condominium and those within an apartment. Most condos/apartments will have the basics - e.g., kitchen, bathroom, appliances. There are also outside amenities such as swimming pools, parks, green space, parking areas, etc. Be sure to ask your realtor which amenities are included in the building you're interested in and how much they cost if there is a condo fee.
Advantages and Disadvantages of a Condo
When it comes to buying a condo, there are advantages and disadvantages to expect. Here are some of them.
Convenience: Condominiums are designed to have everything you need for your daily living right at the building. This includes a grocery store, shops, dry cleaning service, etc. You don't have to worry about going outside as much as if you were living in an apartment. You can find the best condos that feature even a restaurant, a park, and a gym.
Affordability: Condos are usually cheaper than houses because of the size. Although the size is small, it doesn't mean they're not spacious enough to fit your needs. Do some research before purchasing a condo so you can determine if it's worth what you want to spend on it.
Maintenance: When it comes to maintenance, condos are usually taken care of by the homeowner association (HOA). If there is a condo board in place, it will determine how to maintain and promote the condos. You'll also be responsible for any repairs that need to be done within your unit.
Liability: You will be responsible for any liability that may arise, including any accidents that happen at the building or within your unit. Just because you will be buying into a larger community, doesn't mean you aren't liable for what happens there and your personal belongings.
Dues: Owning a condo doesn't mean you don't have to pay for anything else. There are still fees in place such as HOA dues that you have to cover. There are also monthly or yearly condo fees for the upkeep of the common areas, exterior maintenance, and other amenities. The HOA board usually sets these fees, so they can vary from building to building.
Advantages and Disadvantages of an Apartment
Living in an apartment also comes with its set of pros and cons, as outlined below:
Flexibility: The apartment offers flexibility in terms of relocation. Because you don't own the house, you can always find another one if you are not happy with your current location. This is especially the case when you rent a house or apartment in a high-demand neighborhood.
Affordability: The cost of renting an apartment is lower than owning a home because it's taken care of by the landlord who does not charge for future repairs and improvements. This makes an apartment preferred by many people.
Lifestyle: The apartment is not a permanent living arrangement but a short-term home that allows you to enjoy a particular lifestyle. It could be the lifestyle of an upscale suburb or near a major city where cultural and entertainment activities abound. If you are not ready to committ to purchasing a home or condo, renting an apartment is a great way to enjoy a certain location and/or lifestyle for a period of time.
Location: Even when you have options about where to live, apartments are usually located in one area. Sometimes these areas can be too crowded. You'll have to deal with noise and congestion, and the constant traffic may be a problem for some people.
Parking: If you're in an apartment building that has no parking or very little of it available to tenants, you could find yourself having to park away from where you live. The parking menace can be a problem, especially in the evenings when people return home from work.
Landlord Rules: You may have to abide by specific rules established by your landlord, which you don't have in a condo. There might be restrictions on pets in an apartment building, for example. And depending on where you are in the country, there can be strict laws about how long a car can sit parked on the street or in a driveway before it is considered abandoned and towed.
Bottom Line: Which One Should You Choose?
Both apartments and condos are good options for those seeking a smaller living space with plenty of amenities. personal Depending on your needs, you might want to choose one or the other.
If you're looking into buying a condo or finding an apartment to rent, our team at SimpleShowing can help. Get in touch with us, and we will help you find a space that exceeds what you are looking for in a location you want to live in.