Condo vs Apartment Living: What’s the Difference?

Condo vs Apartment Living: What’s the Difference?

One common question among people who are looking to rent or invest in real estate is, “What’s the difference between a condo and an apartment?” In this article, we provide the key differences in these two types of properties to give you an idea which one is better for you, whether you are looking to buy your own condo unit or prefer to rent an apartment.

Ownership of Property

The most significant difference between condominium and apartment living is ownership. Individual condo units may be purchased, as you would buy a single-family home. Apartments, on the other hand, have only one owner, usually a corporation, and are leased to individual tenants. If you are looking to invest your money into owning property, buying a condo would a great option for you, especially if you intend to build your equity in the city where there are less single-family homes. However, if you prefer to rent, you may opt to rent a condo unit or an apartment.

Living Space in a Denver, Colorado Condo

Owning your own property comes with many benefits. For one, you can personalize your condo with interior design, furniture, and appliances that match your individual taste and lifestyle. If you are renting, this customization would not be possible. Apartment renters are not allowed to renovate their apartment. In terms of maintenance, condo owners are responsible for interior repairs, whereas renters would need to coordinate with their landlord or property manager if there are any repairs needed in their apartment.

Condo Payments vs. Monthly Rent

There is also a major difference between the monthly payments that are made to pay off a condo and those made to pay the monthly apartment rent. If you have purchased a condo, your monthly payments for this will be fixed and will be higher compared to when you are paying for your monthly rent. As to how much your monthly condo payments would be, this would depend on the down payment you have made and the interest rate of your mortgage loan. If you are renting an apartment, on the other hand, your monthly rent may increase every time you renew your lease.

Property Management in Condos vs Apartments

Usually, condos are managed by an association board as well as a committee that is comprised of residents, which means that condo owners are given a voice in their community and are able to have a say with regards to their regulations and bylaws. When you become a condo owner, you automatically become a member of the homeowners association (HOA), which manages the operations and upkeep of the property, including the creation the rules and regulations that serve to ensure safety within the property and maintain its condition. Condo communities generally have a partnership with condo property management companies which ensure that unit owners follow the association rules and regulations, and that common areas are kept in clean and in good condition. In addition, condo property managers assist in settling disputes between the HOA and condo owners, as well as conflicts between condo owners.

Living Area of an Apartment in Denver, Colorado

With apartments, on the other hand, tenants do not have the same level of involvement and voice in their community as condo owners. Everything needs to be coordinated with the landlord or the property manager. Apartments are generally managed by professional companies, which ensure that tenants follow the rules and regulations that are set by the property owner. Tenants who violate these rules may be required to pay a fine or, in case of multiple violations, disciplinary action or eviction.

A One-Bedroom Condo in Denver, Colorado

Buying a Condominium in Denver, Colorado

If you are keen on buying a condo in Denver, Colorado, you will need to check on the monthly fees, what those fees cover, and the HOA rules in place in the community. HOA fees can be a bit expensive, so make sure that you have the budget for this monthly expense which you will have to pay in addition to your mortgage before you decide to buy a condo. Anyone who buys a condo needs insurance, so check the association’s insurance policy and what it covers. As of February 2019, the median sales price of condos in Denver, Colorado is $297,500. There are currently 732 condos for sale in the city, with a median listing price of $339,000.

An Apartment in Denver, Colorado

Renting an Apartment in Denver, Colorado

If you would prefer the flexibility that comes with renting an apartment, the average monthly rent for an apartment in Denver, Colorado is $1,602. The typical size for an apartment in this location is 850 square feet, but apartments come in different sizes, from studio apartments to 3-bedroom apartments. The most affordable neighborhoods in Denver are Barnum, where the average monthly apartment rent goes for $943; Mar Lee, where apartment renters pay an average of $943 per month; and Westwood, where the average monthly rent goes for $943. Locations with monthly apartment rents that are slightly lower than the city’s average are Chaffee Park, with an average rent of $1,266; Hampden, at $1,290; and Regis, at $1,300. The most expensive neighborhoods in Denver, CO are LoDo, with an average rent of $2,131; Cherry Creek, at $2,154; and Congress Park, at $2,280.

Buy a Condo or Rent an Apartment – Which One Should You Choose?

Not sure whether to buy a condo or rent an apartment in Denver, Colorado? Your decision would rest on what your plans are for the next five to ten years. If you would like to settle down in this lovely location, then buying a condo would definitely be a great investment for you. However, if you feel like you are not yet financially ready to buy a new condo which would also entail monthly fees, then renting might be a better option for you for now.

Infographic Showing the Costs of Buying a Condo vs Renting an Apartment in Denver, Colorado

If you are ready to commit to homeownership, let us know. Our team is here to show you your options and help you choose which condo to purchase, based on your budget, lifestyle, and preferences. Feel free to give us a call at 720-437-0884 or send us an email at [email protected].