Renting a Condo vs. Apartment: How Do They Compare

Written by Posted On Monday, 17 May 2021 13:53
Comparing Renting a Condo vs. Apartment Comparing Renting a Condo vs. Apartment

What to Know About Renting Condos vs. Apartments

Does renting an apartment versus renting a condo make such a big difference? Is it a matter worth investing your time and analyze it? We would say the two variants differ very much in so many aspects.

There can be an obvious difference in rental fees, to which we also add some variations of ownership, maintenance, utilities, etc. Before renting one or the other, you need to weigh your options well and decide which choice suits your needs and desires.

We'll be taking an in-depth looking at comparing the condo vs. apartment housing selection so you can make the best choice for your life circumstances. Maximum Real Estate Exposure has some vital things for consideration, so make sure you check out the helpful resource.

What is the Actual Difference?

So what differentiates an apartment from a condominium? It is a matter of ownership. The condominium belongs to a private person. It is a home that can be within an apartment-style building or more separate. The private owner lends this condo to another private individual. Thus the owner becomes your landlord. The same can be said when renting a townhouse.

In the case of an apartment, this is the same type of space within an apartment building, which belongs to a company or investor that rents all the spaces in this place.

Condos’ Management Fees

When renting a condo, you will also have access to the facilities within the building where other private individuals are owners or simply rent spaces. Among the facilities, there might be laundry spaces, underground storage spaces, terraces, gyms.

As each condo has a different owner, the mutual issues and decisions are managed through a Homeowners’ Association (HOA). There is an elected president as well as other decision factors, plus periodical meetings.

They decide about changes to be made to the common spaces, repair any outstanding issues, common utilities, hire housekeeping for the common spaces, etc. These monthly expenses are divided between the condo owners, and there is also a monthly HOA fee. Usually, the HOA fees are paid by the condominium or townhouse owner.

The utilities can be paid by either the landlord or the tenant. Even though you will not directly become part of the HOA, you will need to follow all its rules.

Apartment Fees

Unlike the condo, the apartment typically belongs to a business entity run by a management company or real estate firm. You will still pay the rental fee and the utilities each month. These extra fees include running water, gas, electricity, internet, cable.

When applying for a rental, it is essential to get down pat who will be paying what to have a handle on your expenses.

Home Layout and Arrangement

In an apartment building owned by a real estate or management company, quite often much all rental spaces are the same. They offer standardized renting areas divided into similar spaces and with similar basic utilities and furniture, if any.

In the case of condos, you will discover more differences between one condo and another one in the same building. There is nothing standard here. Each condo has its own story and history. It is a very private space with a strong print of its owner’s personality. It could have numerous custom upgrades made by the owner when it was built.

Benefits of Renting a Condo

Due to their private ownership, a condo brings along several interesting specificities.

  • Condos are very well kept. The owner is involved in interior design and upgrades to all rooms to raise the rental value. Usually, condos are well equipped with the latest technology and home appliances.
  • The rental price may be negotiated directly. There are big chances to get to a much advantageous rental fee than the original price.
  • In time you create a personal relationship with your landlord. You will do more than simply paying rent. You become directly involved in the condo’s wellbeing, so this is a relationship that goes beyond just money.
  • In some situations, condos can offer quite a lot of facilities, besides the living space. As we said before, there might be a gym, an interior garden, or terrace, etc.
  • Though they are considered more expensive than apartments, the reality of the rental market is different. Usually, condominium rental prices are at a similar level, so they are a competitive option.

Condo Disadvantages

Here are some disadvantages that renting a condo brings along:

  • The landlord might not be experienced or good at managing the rental relationship. Some of the issues and malfunctions in the condo could take longer to solve.
  • As we explained before, the difference between apartments and condos is in the existence of HOA fees. This could add to your rent if the landlord is not footing the bill.  This issue and the exact extra amount, plus any future repairing expenses, need to be discussed and cleared with the landlord before signing the rental contract.

Apartment Benefits

This what you gain if you decide to rent an apartment.

  • You benefit from easy and professional management. Any trouble you might have, you can immediately contact the rental agency and take care of it as soon as possible.
  • All the utilities are well taken care of. The management provides trash dumping services, repairs, upgrades, etc.
  • Rent payments are easy. They do not involve direct contact with any representative from the agency. You benefit from secure online payment services;
  • The rent includes access to facilities such as laundry spaces, gyms, swimming pools, or even more so if you rent apartments in a luxury neighborhood.

Apartment Disadvantages

  • The area of an apartment is most times smaller than that of a condo.
  • You get standard contracts and prices. There is no much room to negotiate or personalize anything.
  • You don’t get to renovate much or make changes in the interior design, as you might find it suitable for your personality. Also, the owner agency will not bring in upgraded appliances or other special utilities upon your request;
  • Many agencies do not allow pets in their apartments. So, if you own at least one, it might be more difficult to rent an apartment. They might even have policies that restrict only certain breeds or sizes. Being smaller than condos, apartments are not a good match for large dogs.

Which is Better a Condo or Apartment?

The answer, in this case, can only be a personalized one. Nobody can draw a definitive line and declare a winner. As you could see, there are many pros and cons both for apartments and condos. The only solution when deciding to rent an apartment or a condo is to draft an actual list.

Write down all the important elements that you are searching for in your future home. Eliminate all variants that do not correspond to this list, and afterward, you will discover the most appropriate variant that money can buy.

Hopefully, you have found this comparison between a condo and an apartment useful to decide on your next rental.

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Bill Gassett

One of the top RE/MAX agents in New England over the last decade plus. Providing exceptional real estate services to buyers and sellers in the Metrowest Massachusetts area including the following communities: Ashland, Bellingham, Douglas, Framingham, Franklin, Grafton, Holliston, Hopkinton, Hopedale, Medway, Mendon, Milford, Millbury, Millville, Northborough, Northbridge, Shrewsbury, Southborough, Sutton, Wayland, Westborough, Whitinsville, Worcester, Upton and Uxbridge MA.

See my real estate website at Maximum Real Estate Exposure - one of the most visited real estate sites in Massachusetts.

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