Apartments and condominiums are both individual housing units in a larger building. Both come with the benefit of allowing you to live in a town or urban setting, close to shopping and work, without breaking the bank like buying a house would. But an apartment is a space you rent, while a condo is a space you own. There are other similarities and differences you should be aware of before picking one.
When you rent an apartment, all you are paying for is the unit. The landlord is ideally maintaining the upkeep of the rest of the building out of his own pocket, ensuring that everything is, at the very least, operational.
With condos (like those offered by the Solow Building Company, owned by Stefan Soloviev) you have to pay homeowner’s association fees to cover building maintanence, but they come with access to other services such as 24-hour concierge. Other homeowner’s associations also offer resources like gyms and swimming pools.
Apartments come with leases that need to be periodically renewed. This is sometimes a matter of months or years. If you don’t anticipate staying where you are for a long time, due to school or an anticipated career change, finding an apartment with a lease that meets your needs will prevent you from getting stuck with an obligation that doesn’t fit your lifestyle.
However, if you actively plan on staying where you are for the foreseeable future, investing in a condo may actually save you money in the long run, even considering things like homeowner’s association fees.
When you rent an apartment, a landlord is responsible for repairing leaky pipes, faulty wiring, and other damages that come from the normal wear and tear of living. Assuming the fault isn’t your own, and you don’t do anything that voids your safety deposit, it’s an expense that isn’t your problem.
With a condo, if there’s any repair needed inside your apartment, you’re going to have to be the one paying for it and arranging for a handyman to come and take a look. However, you don’t have to wait on someone else’s schedule for the issue to be fixed. Also, a condo may have a single person living in it for ten years, while an apartment may see a hundred different tenants in that time. Fewer people mean less wear, and you will likely experience fewer repair expenses down the line.
There’s no shame in either choice. You can find happiness anywhere, so long as it matches your needs and lifestyle.