What’s the Difference between Condos and Apartments?

If you want to keep things simple, then chances are, you’re looking for a condo or an apartment. You can find many Montreal condos for sale but how exactly is a condo different from an apartment?

While both types of housing unit are available in a variety of styles, the main distinction between the two is in the form of ownership. With a condo, the units are owned individually while the amenities and common areas are shared equally among the unit owners. On the other hand, an apartment building is typically owned by a single individual or corporation, and the units are leased to individual occupants.

Condos and Apartments

Pros and Cons of Living in an Apartment

If you choose to live in an apartment, then it means you’ll be renting the unit instead of buying it. Apartment living gives you a good deal of flexibility and choices, but there are also a few downsides to it. Here are its pros and cons:

Pros

  • You have the option of choosing between a long term and a short term lease. Some complexes can even give you an option to rent on a monthly basis. So you can easily move out if you are between jobs or you’re getting married, without dealing with any repercussions.
  • If something breaks or malfunctions in your apartment, the building owner will usually be the one to take care of it. So maintenance and repairs won’t put a dent on your budget.
  • Renting an apartment means you’ll have lower upfront costs compared to buying a condo. You’ll only need to pay your first month’s rent and a security deposit.

Cons

  • It’s not a long-term investment. Basically, you’re just giving your money to the owner of the apartment and not be able to recoup it later.
  • The cost of rent may increase over time. Your landlord may choose to raise your rent if the rental market improves.
  • You don’t get any tax deductions. Owning a condo, on the other hand, may entitle you to one.
  • Your landlord may choose not to renew your contract, so you’ll have to find another unit to rent and this can be very inconvenient.
  • You can’t make changes to your apartment so if there are things you don’t like, then you’ll have to live with these things until your contract is up.

Pros and Cons of Living in a Condo

Condo living offers a lot of benefits but it also has its share of drawbacks. Take a look at its pros and cons below:

Pros

It’s an investment that you can easily recoup if you decide to sell it or rent it out. Unlike renting in an apartment, owning a condo means you’re putting your money on something that will enable you to get back your investment + profits over time.

It’s more affordable than buying a house. Unless you buy a condo in the most desirable location, the general idea is that the prices of condos are lower than single family homes.

Your mortgage payments will not increase. With apartments, you can’t really expect that the rent will remain the same. However, with a condo, your mortgage payments don’t increase throughout the term of your loan.

The building maintenance and repairs will be handled by the homeowners’ association so issues like a broken furnace, a leaky roof or re-painting are going to be taken care of by them.

You’re eligible for tax deductions including PMI deductions, property tax and mortgage interest.

Cons

  • You’ll need to pay your homeowners’ association dues every month.
  • If many condo owners are delinquent in their monthly payments, this could cause a shortage of funds needed for repair and maintenance of the building’s facilities and amenities.
  • You’ll need to have enough money for the down payment which could be anywhere from 5-20% of the purchase price.

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