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    Buying a Condo vs. Renting an Apartment: Which is Better?

    3 months ago · · Comments Off on Buying a Condo vs. Renting an Apartment: Which is Better?

    Buying a Condo vs. Renting an Apartment: Which is Better?

    The debate on condo vs. apartment is one that has always divided opinions among people. If you are looking for a new home, should you buy a condo or rent an apartment?

    While some may think that buying a condo is better suited for their needs, others choose to rent a house as their preferred choice of living arrangement. Choosing between owning a condo and renting an apartment can be complex and stressful. Many lifestyle and financial considerations need to be addressed so that you make an informed decision.

    Let’s take a look at the comparison between buying a condo vs. renting an apartment. What makes each option unique, and more importantly, which one is better?

    What is a Condo?

    A condominium, popularly known as a “condo,” is a private residence within a larger building or complex. When you become a condo owner, you take up the ownership of the unit, along with the right to use common areas. Together, with other condo owners, you’ll share swimming pools, garages, elevators, common hallways and gyms, to name a few. In simpler terms, you do not fully own the amenities within the building.

    Residential Apartment

    To own a condo means you can call the shots on who will rent your unit. You’re the landlord, and interaction with the renters will be directly handled by you. With a condo, you’ll build equity in your home. Equity is the difference between what you owe on your mortgage and what your home is currently worth. Investing in a condo means working towards building equity, especially if the property is located in a prime location.

    You’ll find high-rise condo buildings in the city, offering a great living experience. The term “high-rise” refers to a building that vertically rises seven or more stories. So, condo buildings can be as high as you can imagine, and the higher you go the better the view experience.

    What is an Apartment?

    An apartment is a rented unit that is part of one, or more, residential buildings that is usually owned and/or managed by the property management company. In an apartment, renters have common areas to share like a swimming pool, gym, and covered parking.

    Street with modern and beautiful houses

    Usually, units are defined by rental agreements between an owner and tenant, with a flexible lease that can range from a few months to one year. All tenants are subject to the same guidelines within the building or complex, which are established by the owner or management company.

    What’s the Difference Between a Condo and an Apartment

    The difference between a condo and an apartment stems from ownership. While an apartment is owned and managed by a property management company, a condo, on the other hand, is privately owned by an individual who manages it, or it lies under the umbrella of the condo community’s homeowner association HOA, which gets help from property management companies to run it.

    When you rent a condo, you typically engage the owner directly, unlike in an apartment where you deal with a property manager who works for the corporation. Often, it is easier to contact the landlord directly in the case of renting a condo, however, for an apartment, you may not necessarily have as much contact with the landlord.

    Condos are often managed by the owners, and renting one can be chaotic if the landlord is unreachable, especially when you need urgent assistance. If you are thinking of renting a condo, consider the availability of the landlord.

    Let’s take a look at how condos and apartments compare from other points of view.

    The Aspect of Cost: Buying a Condo vs. Renting Apartment

    You may be thinking a condo will cost you more than an apartment. Well, to some extent you are right. Condos will typically require a downpayment to partly offset the purchase price. The downpayment can be anywhere between 3.5% to 20% of the price of the property. On the other hand, renting will cost less upfront, with requirements being one month’s rent and a security deposit.

    If you lack a chunk of money to offer upfront, then you’ll probably have to rent, which is typically less costly than buying a condo. That said, depending on the location of the property, the monthly costs of a condo and an apartment could be similar.

    Cost Associated with Buying a Condo

    Condo owners are required to pay monthly fees to HOA. The HOA fees represent the largest expense of the condo lifestyle. The HOA fees are used to facilitate the maintenance, and other expenses such as parking, insurance, and a contingency fund. The downside of paying this fee is that you never get it back, nor does it build equity.

    Unlike apartments, owning a condo comes with paying property taxes. This means condo owners incur extra costs, in the name of taxes, annually. You also have to keep in mind that condo closing costs can be up to several thousands of dollars.

    Depending on your budget, you can pay a downpayment and offset the rest with a monthly mortgage payment.

    Cost Associated with Renting an Apartment

    Apart from paying monthly rent, as a tenant, you also could be paying for utilities separately, such as gas, electricity, and internet, to external providers every month.

    With that said, in apartments, you don’t have to worry about closing costs. As soon as you pay a security deposit, and one month’s rent, you’re good to go.

    Maintenance

    Whether you rent an apartment or own a condo, maintenance is always a must. An issue is always going to show up that needs immediate attention before the damage is out of control. So how does maintenance vary in both condos and apartments?

    Maintenance in Condos

    If you are a condo owner, it’s your responsibility to fix any damages within. If you choose to let in a tenant, you may agree on what cost either of you will take, as far as maintenance is concerned. However, HOA often covers any maintenance of the community, such as the shared amenities and the building itself.

    Unlike apartments where the management will organize the maintenance by sending someone to your unit, owning condos means you will have to handle the process, since you are technically the landlord.

    Maintenance in Apartments

    In most apartments, maintenance is offered free and available 24/7. Of course, the management doesn’t want to upset their tenants by being inefficient in essential services like maintenance. Most of the repairs are usually their responsibility, and all you have to do is submit a service request.

    How Do Rules and Regulations on Both Condos and Apartments Compare, and Who Sets them?

    Rules and regulations can be stressful, especially when it limits your lifestyle, right? Needless to say, you’ll have to follow them if you want to stay within the community, no matter if it is the condo or the apartment.

    In the case of a Condo

    In a condo, rules and regulations are likely to be set by the HOA. These regulations offer guidelines on residential living to evade chaos and unnecessary issues within the community. For example, you’ll be informed of the pet policy within the community.

    It is always important to check out whether the community is pet-friendly before buying a condo. It is not a guarantee that they accept pets.

    In the case of an Apartment

    In most cases, the apartment’s management company is the one setting the residential guidelines to be followed by everyone. Mostly, apartments don’t fancy walls being interfered with. This means more restrictions on customization, unlike in the condos where there are fewer restrictions.

    Why You Might Be Better Off Renting an Apartment

    Greater Flexibility

    Renting an apartment gives you the flexibility you need, meaning you’ll have the capacity to move on short notice. The owner of a condo, on the other hand, has to sell the property, or rent it out, before moving. Leases always have an exit clause, giving the tenant room to terminate it as stipulated in the agreement.

    More Convenient Location

    Apartments often can be found in a prime location, like being a walking distance from social amenities. For instance, you will find an apartment for rent around major shopping malls and popular recreational amenities, just to mention a few.

    Less Maintenance than Condos

    Renting an apartment gives you the financial benefit of not incurring the maintenance cost. As discussed earlier, it’s the responsibility of the property management company to fix it.

    Buying a Condo vs. Renting an Apartment

    If owning a condo or renting an apartment isn’t your taste, maybe you might want to consider homes for sale. You’ll find many listings, ranging from single family to multi family homes, no matter what area you want to live, and real estate agents can be vital in helping you secure your next home. Buying a home gives you the opportunity of also building equity.

    What to Consider When Choosing a Home for Sale

    It’s important to be aware of the critical factors when buying your next real estate property. Let’s check out what those vital aspects are when buying a home.

    Budget

    Establish how much you are willing to pay for a home. Prices vary, and so do the quality and location of the house.

    Mortgage

    Do you qualify for a mortgage? Is your credit score good enough to attract a substantial mortgage for your home?

    Location

    Choose a location that makes it easier for you to get access to social amenities.

    Final Word

    To buy a condo or rent an apartment is your choice to make, but at least backing it with facts will help. Based on the discussion above on buying a condo vs. renting, we can ultimately conclude that renting an apartment is the better option.

    Flexibility, financial benefits, and convenience are all part of what is important, as far as your living arrangement is concerned. Renting perfectly fits the description, and thus gets the nod any day.

    Taking out an adjustable-rate mortgage can be costly, especially whenever the rate goes up. Renting will be more stress-free, as you will not have to worry about the mortgage payments.

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    Why You Should Rent an Apartment Over A Condo?

    1 year ago · · Comments Off on Why You Should Rent an Apartment Over A Condo?

    Why You Should Rent an Apartment Over A Condo?

    Choosing between condo and apartment living can be a little challenging. The truth is many people do not know the actual difference between renting a condo and an apartment, which is essential to making the right decision. That said, there are a number of pros and cons for both living situations. Thus, at the end of the day, you will have to decide what matters most and what exactly you are looking for in a home. Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s go over the basics first.

    Difference Between an Apartment and a Condo

    Typically, the most obvious difference between an apartment and a condo is often ownership. Normally, when people are looking at condos, they are interested in purchasing one, however people do opt to rent condos in certain situations as well. Therefore, if you are considering a condo for rent, then this difference does not apply.

    With that said, there still are a few other notable differences. For instance, condos tend to offer more living space, fewer neighbors, and have a few more amenities like guard gated communities or concierges. Of course, additional space and extra perks are not free. Rather condos tend to cost more and may even include HOA fees, even if you are renting.

    On the other hand, an apartment tends to be located in a larger building and offers slightly less space than a traditional condo. Apartment complexes tend to offer similar communal perks these days, but may not have a doorman or valet parking. However, the nice thing about apartments is they are generally affordable and tend to be more modern/updated more frequently.

    Pros of Renting a Condo

    Looking at the pros of renting or purchasing a condo, then, are fairly obvious. If you want a few more upscale amenities, more living space, and fewer neighbors—this is probably the best choice. Moreover, condos tend to be in good overall condition because they have exchanged hands less. In other words, despite being available for rent now, more than likely, your future condo was purchased by someone previously and maintained as though it were someone’s property versus as a rental. Along those same lines, if you are renting from the actual owner of a condo, then you will likely have more facetime or direct contact with your landlord. Thus, any issues that need to be addressed can be brought directly to your landlord’s attention for a quicker resolution.

    Cons

    There are also a few disadvantages to renting a condo as well. For starters, as briefly mentioned, there are typically HOA fees. You may think as a renter, these fees do not apply to you, however the owner or landlord is still responsible for these fees. Consequently, these HOA fees are often factored into the rental rate.

    Furthermore, renting a condo unit means you are likely dealing with an individual versus a property management team, which can sometimes be bad if the said individual does not have ample experience when it comes to managing a property or being a landlord.

    Other condo cons you can expect to deal with are maintenance fees and availability. Generally, condo owners are responsible for their unit’s maintenance and repair costs. So, as a renter, this could either mean you are expected to cover these costs on your own or again, those fees have been worked into your rental rate. Lastly, finding a condo for rent is definitely not a walk in the park. Many condo communities do not even allow owners to rent out their units.

    Pros of Renting an Apartment

    When it comes to renting an apartment, there are a few benefits. Besides being more affordable, renters/tenants are typically not responsible for apartment home maintenance or repair costs. Furthermore, with less square footage, there is less to clean up, and your renter’s insurance is typically cheaper. Utility bills also tend to be more affordable when you are renting an apartment.

    Other reasons renting an apartment can be beneficial include communal amenities like playgrounds, covered parking, nearby schools, and an abundance of everyday conveniences. Often you will find that apartment communities are in heavily populated areas. Therefore, it is easier to get what you need and feel like you are a part of the surrounding community.

    Cons

    The only disadvantage to renting an apartment is you usually have less of a say in decorating or remodeling. When you rent an apartment home, you cannot paint the walls crazy colors or request that a wall be knocked out to create an open concept floor plan like you can with a condo. Overall, this is a small price to pay for more flexible renting terms and more money left over each month.

    Other possible cons you may encounter with an apartment include loud neighbors, parking issues, and less square footage—finding a 4-bedroom apartment these days is next to impossible.

    Things to Consider

    If you are still mulling over the pros and cons of both and need a little more assistance, that is perfectly understandable. Moving to new housing, in general, can be a lot of work, so it makes sense to be sure of your decision. Thus, the things you need to consider here are your overall budget, whether or not you need additional space for a pet or a home office, if you want added perks like a doorman or valet, and if you can afford unexpected maintenance cost or repairs. Chances are you would prefer to have a little extra spending money at the end of each month, so unless absolutely necessary, there is really no reason that an apartment cannot meet your living requirements.

    Flexibility and Location

    Another thing to keep in mind when making your decision is flexibility. In both scenarios, you are a renter, which does give you more flexibility than purchasing a home or a condo/townhouse. However, since apartments are generally more affordable, you can seriously consider month-to-month leases, or short-term leases without it costing you an arm and a leg.

    In addition to flexible leasing terms, finding an available condo in your desired location that you can rent might be a little tricky. So, you should keep that in mind when you are looking for your future home. Remember, being closer to your job or your kid’s school matters more.

    Amenities

    Plus, the available amenities may not be that different when you narrow down your options. This is especially true if the condos in the area were once apartments that have been renovated and are now being marketed as condos. So, you should make sure you are not opting to spend more for comparable communal perks when it is all said and done.

    Where You are at in Life

    Finally, it helps to think about where you are in life when deciding between an apartment and a condo. If you are a young professional who is always on the go, then a condo may not make sense for your needs at the moment. Likewise, if you have a large family, then neither a condo nor an apartment may be right for you plus four kids.

    You should also keep in mind how long you are planning to stay in the area. If you have recently relocated for work, but it is only temporary, then an apartment is the better choice financially and socially. Ultimately, only you know which housing situation will work best for you and your family, but at least now you can make a more informed decision.

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