real estate market

Apartments vs. Condos: What's the Difference?

Are you feeling stuck and struggling to decide between buying a condo or renting an apartment? If you’re not ready to make the jump to a single family home just yet and are surveying what other options you may have, it's good to know the differences between condos and apartments before deciding what’s best for you. Although condos and apartments have similar structures, there are a few advantages and disadvantages between the two. 

 

The primary difference between an apartment and a condo is ownership. An apartment is a residence that is rented and is typically part of a larger residential building with multiple units. A condo is also a residence that is typically part of a larger residential building with multiple units, but they are properties that are owned instead of rented.

With a condo, the unit owner is building equity but is also responsible for property taxes, any HOA fees, and all interior maintenance. Apartments, on the other hand, require rent payments and do not build equity for the tenants, with all property taxes and interior maintenance being taken care of by a landlord.

 

Now which is better for you? If you are looking to get into real estate and investing into property, a condo provides a relatively cheap and easy way to start that process. Condo properties offer you a more affordable means to becoming a homeowner, which allows you to build equity over time and have access to the tax benefits that come with owning property. 

 

While both typically come with rules you need to follow in common spaces, including pet restrictions and exterior decorating restrictions, condos often provide more freedom with interior decorating. With an apartment, a landlord can control what changes you are able to make to the interior of the space. This includes changing the paint and hanging art. With a condo, you are free to make whatever changes you desire with the interior of the space.

In addition to decorating flexibility, there are typically some differences between what amenities are offered when comparing apartments and condos. While some apartments come with a community pool or some kind of recreation area, they may not have the same range of facilities available in a typical condo. If amenities are valuable to you, you might be better off with a condo.

 

One of the major pros of an apartment over a condo is the short-term nature of a lease. If you are looking for a living space that will be temporary or plan to relocate soon, an apartment offers you with the ease of a short term agreement that can be renewed, rather than committing long-term with a mortgage. 


To learn more about the differences between apartment and condos, check out this video from our Youtube channel where real estate agent, Cedric Ramos, compares renting an apartment versus buying a condo. If you are looking to purchase a condo in the San Francisco Bay Area, reach out to our team and we will be happy to help you start the process!

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