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Condo vs. Apartment vs. Single-Family Rentals.

What’s the Best Option for Me?

Property rental types vary and knowing which one to choose is essential. Differences exist among condo, apartment, and single-family rentals. Each type has unique characteristics, advantages, and drawbacks that cater to different lifestyles.

What Are the Differences?

It often comes up to debate which is the best property type for your family. Apartment vs. condo, or condo vs. single-family home. When you stack the differences among the three, consider your budget and lifestyle as factors in choosing.

 

What is a Condo?

A condominium or condo for short, is a complex of many units. These units are part of a larger complex, most often a high-rise building. These are similar to apartments, as you can expect to share walls with partnering neighbors. The major point of distinction between the two is ownership.

A person owns a condo, whereas you lease an apartment through a leasing company. When it comes to maintenance, only the interior needs upkeep. A homeowners Association (HOA) manages the remainder of the building. The living conditions of a condo will likely be better as the individual owner decides what improvements to make.

A condo has less responsibility for the tenant compared to a single-family home. A single-family home not only requires maintenance of the interior but often also of the exterior.

Advantages

    • Condos are usually maintained to a higher standard because they are individually owned. Many condos include more personal features and upgrades.
    • Condos often provide a sense of community with HOAs providing events and updated common areas.
    • Condos have amenities available such as gyms, pools, and recreation areas.
    • Renting from an owner gives you the ability to negotiate the lease to terms that better fit your lifestyle.

Disadvantages

    • Some rental agreements pass the HOA fees onto the tenant increasing the cost of living.
    • HOAs can impose strict rules regarding the use of common areas and noise levels.
    • Depending on the owner of the condo, maintenance and repairs can be cumbersome. Each owner’s responsiveness and quality will differ.

What is An Apartment?

An apartment is a unit inside a larger building. In an apartment, you lease your unit from a leasing management company, not an individual. The lease often includes garbage, sewage, and all property upkeep. These units often have community amenities such as a pool and fitness center.

The benefits of leasing an apartment include the flexibility to move and no maintenance. An apartment provides a place to live without the responsibility of ownership.

 

Advantages

    • Property management maintains and repairs the property. This ensures matters are resolved quickly and at no additional cost to you.
    • Apartments typically come with shared amenities such as a pool, fitness center, and community rooms.
    • Many apartment complexes offer security features such as gated entry, cameras, and security personnel.
    • The terms of an apartment lease can be more flexible, often offering short-term leases for those who move often.

Disadvantages

    • Apartments are often smaller, offering less living space than other types of rentals.
    • Shared walls and community living reduce privacy and increase the noise.
    • Typically you see more restrictions when decorating and personalizing your living space.

What is a Single Family Rental?

A single-family rental (SFR) is a residential lot property. These properties can be a house on a lot, a townhouse, or a rowhouse. These properties come complete with a yard and sometimes a garage.

These homes are perfect for small families or for those wanting more privacy than a condo offers. Single-family rentals offer a suburban lifestyle and give tenants the feeling of having a “home” rather than an apartment.

Another attractive quality of single-family rentals is their affordability. The housing market remains high and people need more affordable homes. An estimation shows that single-family rentals make up 39% of the current housing inventory.

 

Advantages

    • Single-family rentals typically provide more living space. Many properties include yards, and multiple bedrooms, making it ideal for a growing family.
    • Single-family homes offer more privacy with no shared walls and private outdoor areas.
    • Tenants often have greater freedom to personalize the space.
    • Tenants can integrate better into a neighborhood community. This is beneficial for families with children.

Disadvantages

    • Tenants may be responsible for additional maintenance, such as yard work. This can add to the overall cost of living.
    • Single-family homes typically come with higher residential prices and utility costs compared to condos and apartments.
    • Unlike community complexes, single-family homes lack shared amenities such as a pool and gym.

What is the Best Option For You?

Take the following factors into consideration while choosing which rental type is best for you.

 

Lifestyle

An apartment might be your best choice if you value convenience and amenities. If you are looking for quality in addition to community, a condo would be worth considering. A single-family rental is best for you if you have a growing family or need space and privacy.

 

Cost

If cost is a factor, apartments can be more budget-friendly than a condo or single-family rental. Single-family homes can have additional outdoor maintenance costs, while a condo may have HOA fees attached.

 

Lease Flexibility

Another consideration is the duration of the lease. Apartments generally have shorter terms available, whereas condos and single-family rentals are longer term.

 

Maintenance and Responsibilities

Apartments and condos typically have lower maintenance and minimal upkeep. Single-family rentals often exclude yard work and maintenance from their lease agreement.

 

Choosing a condo, apartment, or single-family rental depends on your lifestyle and budget. Evaluate your priorities and consider the advantages and disadvantages of each lease type.