Condo vs Apartment: Which One Should You Choose

By Jared McKinney

Are you torn between buying a condo or renting an apartment? While each offer a similar living style and architectural format, choosing one over the other presents a much different type of lifestyle and it can be hard to even know the difference between a condo and an apartment for rent. At RentLingo, we created this information guide to help you figure out how which is better for you: a condo vs. an apartment?

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The Difference Between Condo and Apartment

Condo Ownership:

Here are the most The most significant difference between condo and apartment living is ownership. Most often, those looking at condos are choosing to do so because they want to invest their money into owning property. Condominiums are often one of the best options for building equity in cities and urban areas since single-family homes are more scarce. As opposed to apartments where your rent goes to your landlord, buying and paying off a condo is a form of investing in yourself.

Ownership presents individuals with many benefits that renting doesn’t. For example, being able to customize your condo with new appliances, windows and rooms is an advantage that you do not get with apartments. Do you really want your own mini bar? Do you want to install new lighting? These are things that are only possible with owning a condo vs apartment renting.

Condos usually have association boards and committees that are comprised of residents to manage the community. In comparison to an apartment community, condo owners have a much stronger voice within their community and how regulations and bylaws govern the community while apartment renters are mainly at the whims of their landlords. In addition to a board, Homeowner Association Fees are a part of owning a condo. The addition of monthly HOA fees which are responsible for common areas and building exteriors

It is important to note that one can rent a condo as one would rent an apartment. Renting a condo and renting an apartment are very similar, except when one rents a condo, they are paying rent to an individual landlord versus a property management. But, while condos for rent are an option, it's not very common, and most of the focus on finding a condo has to do with making a purchase.

Apartment Rentals for people like me:

Renting an apartment, on the other hand, is a great way to stay flexible. Most apartment leases last a year, so if you are only planning on being in an area temporarily, are interested in getting a feel for an area before buying, or are not financially set up or do not have the credit to purchase, then renting is a great option. If you want even more flexibility, it is only with apartments where you will find month to month leases and furnished apartments.

While you generally cannot renovate your apartment, maintenance for apartments vs condos is the responsibility of the landlord or property manager. So if your oven breaks, your duty is to call maintenance and have it repaired (at no cost to you). Condo owners, on the other hand, will have to pay for their own interior repairs.

A major difference in the condo vs. apartment debate is within your monthly payment. Condo payments will stay fixed as you pay it off. Your payments will depend on a combination of your down payment, interest rates, and loan programs, though these rates may initially be higher than the average rent . When it comes to apartments, you may encounter rises in rent every period your lease ends. This adds a little bit of unpredictability to your expenses whereas buying a condo gives you a predictable amount you will be paying every month – even if it is at an initially higher rate.


The real issue when considering the positives and negatives of a condo vs. apartment is what your intention is for your next five to ten years. If you see yourself happy to commit to paying off a condo then you might be ready to take the plunge into home ownership. Renting your condo is an option, though the rules on renting differ between each condo community. On the other hand, if you find that you likely to move around from city to city, are not financially or career-wise set for making this type of investment then renting might be your best option.

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