There’s a lot of confusion about the differences between a condominium and an apartment. Many people mistake one for the other, or think the terms are interchangeable. They’re not, though. In fact, the things that set them apart are very big and very important. For anyone interested in renting a condo, or for anyone who’s just curious about the differences, consider this your beginner’s guide to condos.
Renting Provides More Flexibility than Owning
The biggest and most important difference between an apartment and a condo is that with the former a landlord owns a building and then rents out individual units to different tenants. Meanwhile, in the case of the latter the building ownership is actually divided among several different people who each own the individual units themselves.
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This brings up the question of condo renting versus owning. Which is better? It depends on your needs. If you want to be a landlord, obviously you should own. If you’re just looking for a place to call your own, renting is preferable for a number of reasons. The main one is flexibility. Owning a condo requires a big investment and that essentially means being tied down to that condo. A renter, on the other hand, can move out with little hassle should they find a better place to live or get a job offer in another city.
You Will Get to Know Your Landlord Better
For people who rent an apartment, the landlord is often a somewhat detached figure who they know very little about and have virtually no personal relationship with. It’s just someone they have to pay money to every month, and who occasionally has to take care of maintenance issues. This is generally because landlords have many tenants in a single building, and sometimes even have multiple buildings.
It’s a lot like school. When there are too many students and not enough teachers, it’s hard for individual students to get specialized treatment. With condos, that dynamic is flipped. Since your landlord may own just a few units, or even just the one, developing a meaningful rapport between landlord and tenant happens quicker and easier. The benefits of having a landlord who views you as an actual human being instead of just a rent check with legs are readily apparent.
Condos Have More Amenities than Apartments
In general, condos tend to be located more centrally in neighborhoods than apartment buildings. In other words, they are often right in the thick of things rather than on the far edges. This means faster and more convenient access to amenities such as grocery stores, local shops, and restaurants, not to mention schools and emergency services.
What’s more, condo buildings themselves are typically more luxurious, offering such extras as swimming pools, concierge service, lawn care, private balconies, and more. And because individual condos receive greater specialized attention from their landlords, they tend to be in better shape and have better appliances. Simply put, renting a condo is an affordable way to experience “the good life” amenities without necessarily paying “the good life” price.