Thursday, 24 August 2017

Renting Apartments Vs Condos | Downsizing Differences

Written by Posted On Friday, 11 August 2017 17:31
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The Differences Between Renting Apartments and Condos
 
In truth, there is no real physical difference between what defines an apartment and what defines a condominium. They typically offer the same range of amenities, but the ownership of the property is where the real difference exists. Apartment units contained within a single complex are generally owned by the corporation or business that built the complex in the first place. Those individual units are then leased by an overarching management system that controls all the units. Condos, however, are owned much differently. Each unit in a condo complex is owned by an individual, and a homeowners association typically handles property management. That means most condos are rented from the owner of the condo itself, and not an overarching owning entity like with apartments. There are still some differences in the rental experience that one should expect, which are outlined below.

Financial Costs

In terms of month-to-month rental fees, condos and apartments are usually priced similarly by way of quality. That being said, it is much more difficult to find a condo at the lower price points because most rentable condos have been kept up and even improved by the owner trying to incentivize renters. Improvements or alterations to condos by the owner can help make it feel more like an individual space, which can create a sense of true personal space that is often limited with apartments.

In terms of additional costs, there are some that go along with renting in a condo complex that may not exist when renting apartments. You might be asked to pay homeowners association fees or upfront fees for included utilities regardless of your usage. Certain condos require reservation fees for the use of the freight elevator. Be sure to research all the specific costs for any apartments or condos you're considering.

Included Amenities

Most apartment complexes offer fairly standard amenities, although some of the more expensive communities have a deeper set of included frills. Standard amenities include things like maintenance, pools, gyms, laundry facilities, guest and resident parking, and office facilities. Amenities included with condos are much more variable and have a lot to do with the whims of the individual owner. Since condo owners can create their own leases and write their own terms, they can include whatever amenities they would like to offer. This goes beyond the amenities that come with the condo community, which might include a pool, public outdoor spaces, exercise facilities, and many other benefits.

Other Considerations

When renting a condo, the individual condo owner will be your landlord, which could be a good or bad thing. It all depends on the landlord's personality and their willingness to establish any sort of communication or relationship. Knowing your landlord well could be vital if you find yourself in some sort of home emergency and need quick aid. Of course, the fact that you'll be dealing with just the property owner means you could find yourself in a situation where he or she is unreachable. That would never happen with an apartment rental. Most offer 24/7 maintenance as part of their leases, which is in part to protect their assets.

In short, the main differences involved with renting a condo and renting an apartment come down to who you'll be dealing with and what sort of potential responsibilities you can handle. In terms of the actual living experience, there's little difference. If the factors presented above are important to you in any way, make sure to properly consider every side of the argument between any potential apartment or condo rental properties you're considering.

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Doug Hopkins

Cash home buyer and real estate investor

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