What’s the Difference Between a Condo and an Apartment?

January 2, 2024

What’s the Difference Between a Condo and an Apartment?

The real estate market has become a hot topic in recent years, especially with the increase of high-rise condominiums. Amidst the chatter, you may have wondered what the difference is between condos and apartments. The difference is largely a question of renting vs owning and the costs and benefits of each. 

Differences Between Apartments and Condos 

Owning a Condo 

Owning a condo in London, Ontario

A condo is a residential unit that you own as part of a condominium corporation. When you purchase a condo, you become a homeowner and a shareholder in the corporation. You are responsible for unit maintenance, homeowner’s insurance, and property taxes, plus you contribute to the upkeep of the overall condo complex via condo fees.  

Renting an Apartment

Renting an apartment in London, Ontario

Apartments are owned by a landlord or property management company and rented to tenants. As a tenant, you pay rent each month and, depending on your lease, any additional expenses related to heating, hydro or water usage. When you rent an apartment, your landlord maintains your unit and any communal areas (such as building lobbies or facilities). They also provide services like landscaping and snow removal. 

Pros and Cons of Condo Living 

Condo living has its advantages, but there are also many drawbacks to consider carefully.  

Pros Of Buying A Condo 

  • You can remodel or update your unit as you see fit. 
  • You build equity over time as you pay your mortgage.

Cons Of Buying A Condo

  • Like buying a house, you’ll need a down payment and good credit score to qualify for a mortgage. 
  • Mortgage payments, property taxes, insurance, and condo fees are significant expenses that add up quickly. 
  • Homeownership is a major commitment to living in the same place. 
  • You’re responsible for upkeep for your unit, which can be costly. 
  • Your monthly payment may not be a set amount. (Depending on your mortgage type, i.e., a variable mortgage, your monthly payment may increase, or decrease based on the federal interest rate.) 

Pros and Cons of Apartments

Pros of Apartment Living

  • Your landlord pays ownership costs. 
  • Your landlord maintains your unit. 
  • Your landlord often provides services like snow removal and landscaping. 
  • Your rent is a set cost every month, with the possibility of it increasing only once yearly. 
  • Low commitment! Leases are typically locked in for just one year.

Cons of Apartment Living

  • Renting an apartment offers less freedom than owning a condo in terms of renovating your unit. 

Apartment vs Condo Living: Which is Right for You? 

If you are eager to renovate your own space and plan to live there for at least 5 years, buying a condo may be the right path for you. 

However, if you prefer to let someone else take care of that broken dishwasher or leaky roof, renting an apartment is likely a better option. Likewise, if you dream of living somewhere else or aren’t ready for the financial commitment of homeownership, renting is a more flexible alternative. 

Discover Your New Home with Summit Properties 

At Summit, we’ve been London’s preferred property management company for decades. Our residential properties are lovingly maintained by our dedicated team—for a place you’ll be proud to call home. Contact us to schedule a viewing today!