Owning a place to live is one of the best achievements one can have. If you are reading this article, then most probably you are on a quest to find your place and wondering whether to go for a condo or an apartment.
Admittedly, not everyone is capable of immediately purchasing a unit. In situations like this, renting is the next best option. The question is: which rental property suits you best— a condo or an apartment?
If you find yourself in this sticky situation, you’ve come to the right place. This article will guide you to the best option. While both have advantages and disadvantages, one is proven more beneficial than the other. Are you ready to start your quest? If so, read on.
Condo vs. Apartment: What’s the difference?
Before weighing the pros and cons of apartment vs. condo rental living, it is worth mentioning that the main differences between renting a condo and an apartment are ownership, amenities, and cost.
A condominium is a privately-owned unit. Meaning, you as a renter have the option to own a unit. These units are found within a community of other units found either in low-rise, mid-rise or high-rise condo buildings. Condo unit residents have shared areas and amenities in the complex such as swimming pools, gyms, playgrounds, lounges, and landscaped gardens. Because of these amenities, residents pay additional homeowners’ association fees for security and the maintenance of these common areas and the whole building or complex.
An apartment is a rental unit owned by a company or an individual. Generally, what sets an apartment apart from other residential real estate investments is that most of the time, these units are rented, not owned. Units can be found in a residential building or a gated compound. Some apartments have condo-type amenities but most don’t.
In the process of deciding to invest in a real estate property, there are other factors that you should consider that will help you choose what type of residential property suits you best.
The pros and cons of condo vs. apartment
When deciding if you should go for a condo or an apartment, ask yourself these questions:
- Do I need a spacious home or a smaller property that is best for me and my family’s needs?
- Do I need a temporary home or a home that has the potential for generating income?
- If I am going to rent, will I opt for a short-term lease or a long-term lease?
- Do I want to live inside more secluded residential neighborhoods or do I prefer living closer to essential establishments?
- Am I after lifestyle amenities or can I live even without them?
Knowing your needs, capabilities, and wants will help you see what you need not just for now but also in the long run.
Unlike other forms of investment, real estate properties cost a lot, with prices reaching up to hundreds of millions. So when choosing between a condo and apartment for your next home, check your financial capability. If you’re keen on purchasing a condo unit through a rent-to-own scheme, consider if you are financially capable of paying for the whole unit or its monthly installment fee through bank financing. Failure to pay the monthly fees may result in foreclosure, and you don’t want that to happen.
On the other hand, if you need to relocate and you are still building your funds to purchase a condo unit, staying in a rental condo or apartment--the latter’s rental fee often costs less due to the little to no amenities--is best.
When it comes to real estate properties, location is a key factor. This influences not only the price of the property but also the convenience for you and the resident. In terms of location, there’s a difference between a condo and an apartment. Condos are often located in highly accessible parts of the city and are often found a few meters away from malls, hospitals, schools, and transport stations such as MRT stations and main thoroughfares such as EDSA and Skyway. Consider, for example, DMCI’s ongoing project, The Crestmont, located just a few steps away from EDSA and MRT 3 Quezon Avenue Station.
On the other hand, apartments are often located inside subdivisions and inner barangays, which would require a few minutes of walk, drive or commute to reach essential establishments. If you own a car, then prepare your wallet for some painful auto upkeep.
3. Security and safety
Safety will always be one of the most important things to consider when moving to a new place. It is always right to ask whether the neighborhood is safe or has a history of burglaries or other crimes.
Living in a condominium is often safe because competent security personnel guard the place and monitor the entrance and exits 24/7. There are also CCTV cameras that monitor and detect suspicious activity. Most condos also often have fire alarm systems in each unit and fire extinguishers around the facility that will help ensure your safety in case of fire emergencies.
Some apartments also have CCTV cameras, but it is harder to find an apartment with a security guard. So most of the time, the level of security is left in your hands. Most apartment units also don’t have fire alarm systems and fire extinguishers, so it may be an added cost for you to purchase a personal fire extinguisher for your personal use in case of emergency.
Based on the data of behaviors of property seekers in 2020, people are now more interested in properties that offer amenities such as swimming pools, air conditioning units, WiFi technology, gym, and parking. The rationale is that aside from comfort, people want to stay physically active even during the pandemic. Pools and gyms enable residents to exercise and enjoy exercising without the need to leave the vicinity of the condominium complex. The good news is that you get to enjoy these amenities in a condo without the need to maintain it yourself.
If you are after open spaces, you’ll be surprised that modern condos such as the ones developed by DMCI feature Lumiventt Technology—an architectural design that brings fresh air and sunlight to the common spaces inside the building so that every resident gets to enjoy open spaces.
Within the condo complex, you can find essential products and services such as convenience stores, restaurants, cafes, laundry services, salons, and grooming salons. More expansive complexes even have schools, events centers, and grocery stores inside. In short, condos are thriving communities where residents can do various activities without leaving the premises.
On the other hand, apartments generally cover little to no amenity, and it often has limited outdoor and indoor spaces so if you want to do exercise without leaving the apartment compound, you have to settle for indoor exercises.
Part of the reason why condos have monthly association dues is that they usually have an in-house maintenance crew ready to lend a hand anytime. This ensures that you will have professionals under your beck and call, preventing you from doing the repairs yourself.
If you can drive a hard bargain with your landlord, he may get to work on the repairs himself. If not, then the maintenance of your unit is in your hands. Maintaining your home allows you to control the costs and timing of your repairs and modifications that you may want to do.
In the battle between a condo vs. an apartment, the former offers the best value for your money. Though some are not that cheap, they provide the most comfortable living conditions for hardworking young professionals, newlyweds, long-term couples, or empty nesters. And besides, there is no better deal than renting a home with swimming pools, gyms, tennis courts, and all other facilities available in one bundle for a fair price.
Seeing the difference between condo and apartment, you will realize that renting apartments here can range from cheap to pretty expensive. If you are paying a cheap price, you might find yourself living in a noisy community, inside a small unit without proper ventilation. Nowadays, it can be a challenge to find a decent and safe apartment with great value.
7. Investment opportunities
When selecting between a condo and an apartment, it is best to future-proof your investment property. As mentioned at the onset of this article, condos can be owned, apartments not. So in the future, if you can gain ownership of the condo you are renting, there’s a lot you can do with it. For example, you can give it to your child as their home away from home if they want to live closer to work. If you’re a young professional and this is your first investment, you can stay there or lease it to others to earn passive income.
Condo or apartment: Which one is for you?
When choosing between a condo and an apartment, it is best to think with the end in mind. With proper knowledge, it is almost certain that you will make the right decisions for yourself.