Choosing between renting a condo/apartment or buying a home can significantly affect your life, budget, and finances. If you’re one of the first-time homebuyers, buying a condominium aka condo is often a logical step. However, it’s essential to understand a condo vs apartment and understand what works best for you. 

Condo vs. apartment: understanding the difference

The primary distinction between a condo and an apartment lies in their ownership arrangements. An apartment is generally leased, typically within a larger residential building. Conversely, a condo is generally owned rather than rented. 

In condos, the owner assumes responsibility for paying the property taxes, whereas landlords are responsible for property taxes in apartment.

There are of course similarities in condo and apartment communities; both often offer comparable amenities and are situated in similar locations. Both types of accommodations may provide access to a pool, waste disposal services, well-maintained green areas, fitness facilities, and tennis courts.

However, there are key differences in terms of financial implications and maintenance responsibilities of the single entities. Condo owners gradually build home equity over time. They pay monthly homeowners association (HOA) dues and bear the responsibility for all interior maintenance. On the other hand, apartment renters pay monthly rent, have no equity, and rely on landlords to address any maintenance issues.

What should you consider when choosing between condo and apartment?

what is an apartment

The price point: The cost of renting an apartment deals with paying a security deposit and/or the first couple of months’ payments at the time of signing a lease. And, over time, paying monthly installments for the term of the lease agreement. The total costs of buying a condo are definitely more – paying for a home inspection, making a down payment, paying closing costs for the home mortgage, and monthly HOA fees if applicable.

House maintenance: When you’re renting an apartment and something goes wrong (think a leaky sink faucet, cracked plumbing pipes, or a broken air conditioner), the repair is typically the landlord’s responsibility. However, when you’re a condo owner, you’ll foot the bill for all home repairs.

Shared amenities: Condos and apartment complexes often come with comparable amenities. Choose amenities that are most important to you, such as a pool, gym, or green space, when comparing the housing options.

Location: Location is important when deciding where to live. Both residential buildings are generally located in urban cities and densely populated suburbs. Often, near places of business, restaurants, parks, and more. Distance from your kids’ school or your workplace can be a deciding factor for you.

HOA rules: When considering an apartment vs condo, rules will be a deciding factor. These house rules could be about behavior in common areas, types of pets allowed, and exterior decorations. 

What are the pros and cons of living in a condo?


  • Home equity: Purchasing a condo is easier as compared to buying single-family homes. Moreover, as a homeowner, you will gradually accumulate equity and enjoy tax benefits.
  • Access to shared amenities: Many apartments offer amenities such as on-site laundry, free parking, access to the community room, playgrounds, green spaces, swimming pool, gym membership, and sometimes even full-service concierge.
  • Affordability: Condos have comparatively affordable prices than single-family homes. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that in 2022, the median sale price for a condo stood at $334,600, while the median price for a single-family home was approximately $392,600.
  • Low maintenance: In general, when you reside in a condominium association or homeowners’ association (HOA), the responsibility for property upkeep, including routine tasks such as yard maintenance, is usually of the association. 
  • High walkability: Numerous condominium communities are conveniently situated near shopping centers, recreational facilities, and public transportation networks.


  • Payment obligations: Condo owners are responsible for the monthly HOA fees – depending on the amenities provided by the condominium association. According to data from the Census, the average monthly HOA fee stands at approximately $170.
  • Less privacy: Living in a condo entails sharing walls with neighboring individual units. This results in very little privacy and absolutely no control over neighborly noises.
  • More rules and regulations: A condo owner has to abide by the rules set forth by the condominium association.

What are the pros and cons of living in an apartment?

condo pros and cons


  • Best short-term living arrangement: Living in an apartment gives you flexibility in terms of relocation. For example, if you have no long-term plans of staying in a specific neighborhood, renting an apartment rather than committing to a mortgage is a wise decision. 
  • No maintenance responsibility: Renting an apartment means low or no maintenance. Generally, it’s the responsibility of your landlord or a property management company to maintain the property. 
  • Access to amenities: Depending on the price and type of apartment, you could have access to playgrounds, green spaces, and onsite laundry facilities. 
  • Convenient location: Apartment communities are often situated in prime locations, including city centers, offices, restaurants, and shopping centers.


  • Lesser amenities: Although certain apartment buildings offer amenities such as a pool or recreational space, they may not provide as many facilities as a condo complex.
  • Lack of property ownership: Renting an apartment means that you are not accumulating equity in a personal home, unlike the potential equity growth that comes with homeownership.
  • Noise concerns: Depending on the location of your rental, you might find yourself in close proximity to neighbors and external foot traffic. This can lead to noise disturbances and potential privacy issues.

Last thoughts

If you’re thinking of moving out from your current residence, you can choose between an apartment or a condo. When searching for a new home, you must grasp the distinctions between the two types of housing. This will help you choose the best one for you and your family.

Condo vs apartment: Pros and cons to make your choice easy was last modified: May 18th, 2023 by Ramona Sinha
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