Thursday, June 14, 2012

Condo or Apartment? What's the Difference?

Life in the city can difficult. You want to live somewhere close to work, but there are not a lot of houses nearby. Have you considered living in an apartment, townhome or a condo? Then again, what is the difference and which is right for you?
Truthfully an apartment and a condo are basically interchangeable. You can use the same blue prints for a condo as you can for apartments if you meet the legal requirements. What the differences come down to is legal ownership.
A condo is a unit of living that you are required to purchase by taking out mortgage loans. You make monthly payments on it and at the end of the loan you own the property, much like you would a house. Apartments are all units that are owned by one person (or company) and rented out individually.
While the biggest differences are legal, you have probably noticed some design differences as well. This is done more out of practicality and aesthetics over any real need. For instance, since condos are made for individual ownership they tend to be built to a higher quality of standard then their apartment counterparts. Condos will often be built with lofts or multiple stories or even basements. They often have a small garden or back porch as well but once again this is not always the case.
One big difference about condos is that they are always part of a Homeowners Association (HOA) and it can be your best friend or worst enemy. The HOA is in charge of maintaining the neighborhood and keeping it looking good. This can be anything from managing the landscapers to cleaning and maintaining the public pool. In an apartment the owner handles all of the things the HOA normally would and the cost is usually factored into the rent.
HOA’s can be very strict at times about what you can and can’t do with your condo and there have been many stories about overzealous HOA’s giving condo owners a headache. Some of them are very strict and have rules about everything from what color you can paint your condo to what kind of items can be in the front yard. Others, however, are pretty lenient with your liberties. So do your research before committing to one.
If you don’t want a condo or an apartment you can always look into townhomes or townhouses. Many cities, especially older ones, have no room to expand outward so they expand upward instead. Townhomes are essentially homes that have been built vertically and many have several stories. They are often found in older, downtown, urban areas.
While the description may not sound like much, townhomes can be incredibly expensive and luxurious. In many places only the rich can afford them. Many are located in such coveted spots as Manhattan or San Francisco, where you can find rows and rows of them. For example, extremely wealthy New Yorkers lived in them in the 1920’s and 30’s and this trend still continues today.
Which home is right for you really depends on your income, needs and location. They each have their benefits and their drawbacks and only you can decide which is best.
Jefferson Gordon does not live in any of the above mentioned building, instead he lives in an old van down by the river. He mainly writes cars, comedy and housing. One example of a good mortgage lender is GMAC Mortgage.


Unknown said...

You can know the difference between condos and apartments. Useful information

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Unknown said...

what a great style. Very informative one, I hope you will continue your research. I will even buy essay on this subject. Thanks
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