Apartment vs Condo: Which Is Right for You?

Apartment vs Condo: Which Is Right for You?
  • Author: Fazal Umer
  • Posted On: September 7, 2021
  • Updated On: July 5, 2023

Deciding to pack up your bags to start somewhere new is no small matter. In fact, 40% of people polled in the UK placed moving home as being more stressful than getting a divorce or having a baby!

Often part of the stress is fear of the unknown. To counter this, finding out as much as you can about what your options are can often greatly allay any fears you may have.

If you are thinking about making a move, one decision you will likely have to make is between an apartment vs. a condo. But what are their differences? Will I regret deciding to move into one and not another?

Well, we have you covered. Let us break down the ins and outs of both apartments and condos, and by the end of this article, you should have one less stress on your road to finding a new home.

The Difference in Ownership Models

Let’s start with the most important takeaway when comparing an apartment vs condo against each other.

Apartment ownership models tend to be the same. In most cases, a corporation and sometimes an individual will own an apartment complex or a block with a number of units.  This means that all the tenants will have the same landlord and if they have issues the same property manager will handle them.

The biggest way that this would affect tenants would be when it comes to decorating. It is within the interests of the owner to keep units uniform to ease transitions should new tenants come in so there may be less flexibility.

In contrast, each unit in a complex with condos (or condominiums) will have a different individual as an owner. The landlord of this private residence will dictate the rent, maintenance, and all other aspects of the individual unit.

The fact that condo owners are private makes buying one more appealing to many than renting. Should you live in one you have all the freedoms that come with having your own property, and if you rent it out you are able to build equity. If you live in Toronto and are interested in investing in one follow this link.

When it comes to living in one however there isn’t much difference between a condo or apartment. The sizes, amount of rooms, and even locations will be more or less the same.

However, regardless of their similarities, there are still things about each that you should be aware of if you are either looking to rent or become an owner.

Let us get into some of the biggest things to keep in mind when deciding between an apartment vs condo.

The Pros and Cons of an Apartment

Apartment vs Condo

As already mentioned, the day-to-day living experience in either a condo or apartment. Therefore, if you are a renter, the most notable difference will often be when things go wrong.

An apartment building is normally run by a business, meaning that they are dedicated to your building. In most cases that means that if you have a leaky tap, a burst pipe, or a sudden ant infestation their property managers are usually at hand to resolve the issue.

These professionals usually have contractors and other professionals on hand to deal with the typical maintenance issue which for you can mean getting the matter dealt with swiftly.

This however can be a drawback if you want to deal with some maintenance matter or even decorate yourself.

To keep the uniformity of a whole complex, it is very common for there to be strict rules about the types of fixtures or paintwork that can be done.

If you decide to take on any work to make your house more of a home, the smart thing to do would be to get written permission before making a start. If you don’t, there is a chance that any costs to return the apartment to how it was may be taken out of your security deposit, meaning that there is a chance that you won’t get it back.

The Pros and Cons of a Condo

When buying, one of the most important things to keep in mind is the additional money needed to account for the Homeowners Association or HOA.

This group made up of the collective of homeowners manages the communal areas of the building. The landscaping, patios, swimming pools, and anything else come under their watchful eye and needs money to be maintained. To ensure that there is always enough, a monthly fee needs to be paid.

Why is this important? Well if you are looking at the purchase price for a condo and want to take out a mortgage, that the total cost of the property is higher than the stand-alone price of the unit.

This also means that the nicer the amenities that a condo complex comes with, the more expensive those fees will be.  If you’re having trouble with the process of getting a mortgage rate, www.altrua.ca can help out in that regard.

The HOA is also in charge of making rules for the complex to ensure a peaceful environment is maintained. However, when it comes to the unit itself, the owner is free to manage their property as they wish.

This has pros and cons for both the renter and the owner.

The pros for both are the fact that there is nearly always some legroom when negotiating changes to decor and maintenance. Rather than dealing with some faceless corporation, it can simply be a case of convincing your landlord.

Likewise, for owners, if there is an issue in your condo and your tenant is happy to manage the matter themselves and pass you the bill, you do not need to spend time dealing with it.

On the other hand, condo owners often have them as an investment and are not property managers. Therefore it is not uncommon for tenants to have to wait longer for their landlords to get their maintenance issues resolved.

Important Considerations Before Making A Choice

When deciding whether to own a condo or rent an apartment, you must consider location and amenities. It’s also a must to consider your financial goals and career priorities.

You might find it more practical to rent an apartment if you have a plan to relocate or change jobs in the future. On the other hand, you might want to buy a condo because you find yourself staying in a place for good, working in a company for the long term, and even aiming for a higher position for career and financial stability.

When it comes to amenities, condos and apartments offer common recreational spaces that are well-managed by commercial cleaners or janitors.

While condos and apartments almost have the same amenities, such as gyms, swimming pools, and beautiful landscaped gardens, a condo owner builds equity over time and pays monthly homeowners association (HOA) fees.

Moreover, a condo owner is responsible for maintenance, whereas an apartment renter doesn’t pay HOA dues, build equity and rely on the landlord’s help for maintenance problems.

Homeowner’s association dues apply to purchased apartments, condos, and planned communities. An apartment or condo usually has a homeowners association website for property owners to determine the fees and policies.

Apartment vs. Condo: Which One Is for Me?

As we have seen, for the renter the experience of renting an apartment vs. a condo can be minimal. The sizes, locations, and standards expected in each can be very similar.

That being said, being familiar with their differences can help temper your expectations and sure that you remain happy in the place where it matters the most, your home.

We hope you enjoyed our informative breakdown. To get the scoop on other real estate matters please check out the other great content on our site.

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Author: Fazal Umer

Fazal is a dedicated industry expert in the field of civil engineering. As an Editor at ConstructionHow, he leverages his experience as a civil engineer to enrich the readers looking to learn a thing or two in detail in the respective field. Over the years he has provided written verdicts to publications and exhibited a deep-seated value in providing informative pieces on infrastructure, construction, and design.