If you’re in the market for your next place to live, you’ll have many different housing options to choose from. Although the difference between a house and an apartment is clear, many people aren’t clear on the definition of a condo.
So, what is a condo, and how does it compare with some of the other housing options available to you?
Keep reading for a guide that’ll explain all about what a condo is, as well as how it compares with apartments and houses.
What Is a Condo?
A condo, or condominium, is a type of residence that someone rents out to you. Most of the time, condos are in residential communities or buildings. However, instead of belonging to a community, an individual owns the unit.
When looking at different condos, you’ll interact with the landlord, as opposed to a third-party. This means that you’ll have a more personal relationship with them, as opposed to when you rent an apartment.
In most cases, the landlord lives in an outside residence. This can be far away, or in another unit inside the condominium building.
How Is It Different Than an Apartment?
If you read that description and feel that condos and apartments sound similar, that’s because they do. In both types of residences, someone rents out a unit to a tenant. However, there are some clear differences between the two.
In an apartment building, a single entity (often a company) owns all of the apartment units. This means that your neighbors across the hall will pay rent to the same company. They’ll also enjoy the same benefits and go through the same problems (if there are any) as you.
Things are different in a condo. As mentioned, individuals own condos. Instead of interacting with the property manager like you do when renting apartments, you work with the landlord. This means that you may have a different housing experience than your neighbors across the hall.
Which Is More Expensive?
With regards to price, you may be wondering if there is a difference between the two. The answer is that in most cases, no, there isn’t.
Most of the time, condos and apartments in the same neighborhood or part of the city will go for around the same price. The factor that determines the cost is the quality of the units. A renovated unit full of new amenities will cost more than an older one.
As you’re dealing with individual landlords as opposed to property companies, it’s a good idea to look into getting a condo inspection before moving in. This will make sure that you’re aware of any problems before you commit to renting or buying.
What Amenities Can You Expect?
Most of the time when renting an apartment, you live in a cookie-cutter situation. Your unit will be more or less identical to that of your neighbor’s. When you rent a condo, it’s a different story.
As an individual owns a condo, there’s a good chance that they’ll spend money and time upgrading it. It’s in their best interest to keep it looking its best, as nice condos attract tenants more than older, outdated ones.
When living in a condo, you can expect high-end features, such as stainless-steel appliances, high-end floors, and granite. You can also see personal touches everywhere, such as painted walls. This helps create a sense of individuality between the different condo units.
Rules and Policies
If you’ve lived in an apartment before, you know that there are sets of rules you need to follow. If you breach any of these rules and policies laid out in your contract, you can suffer consequences. In the worst-case scenario, your landlord can evict you.
With a condo, the situation is similar, however, the homeowner’s association will set the rules as opposed to the property company. These can include policies such as not leaving trash outside your door, cleaning up after pets, and not littering.
You’ll find that often, you have more freedom inside of a condominium unit than in an apartment. Depending on your landlord, they may let you hang items on the walls, or do other things that apartment companies consider taboo.
Condo vs. Apartment: Which Is Better?
Comparing condos and apartments is a little like drawing a comparison between apples and oranges. Although they’re similar, neither is better than the other. Choosing the right one depends on you and your wants.
As a condo requires you to interact with your landlord, you’ll want to make sure that you keep things friendly. You’ll pay rent, ask questions you have, and put in maintenance requests through them. They also have the final say in lease renewal, so be as good of a tenant as you can.
On the other hand, you’ll interact with several different types of people when renting an apartment. These people can include property managers, leasing agents, and others. They’ll help you do different things, inform you of any community announcements, and work to keep the community clean.
Choose What Works Best for You
In the end, you know better than anyone else what sort of living arrangement works best for you. If you’re wondering: what is a condo? Know that it can be a great option for many people. However, others may prefer the convenience of an apartment complex or the privacy of a detached home.
Do you have a better idea of what a condo is now? Are you ready to start looking for your own? Before you go, take a moment to check out our other posts for other housing-related articles.