Condos vs. Apartments, Duplexes and More!
2021 May 18
Is it time to find a new place to live? Whether you are looking for more space than your current living situation or perhaps looking to downsize from your current home, multi-family residential spaces offer an opportunity for individuals or families to enjoy a single, simplified living space capable of satisfying both of these situations.
However, whether this is a route you have ever considered before, you probably realize that there are quite a few different options out there for multi-family residential spaces; from condos, apartments, duplexes, and townhouses. While all of these options are often bundled together in one category, the differences between these four living situations are more than they appear.
Being that finding the right living space for you or your family is such an important decision, it is important to fully understand all of the options available to you. Here is a closer look at the pros (and the cons) of condos, apartments, duplexes, and townhouses so that you can find the perfect match for your lifestyle.
What are Condos?
Condominiums are individual, properties that reside within a larger community. Condos typically have shared entryways, common areas, and shared walls. Many think that condos and apartments are the same thing. However, despite some shared similarities, there is one major difference between the two: you just rent an apartment while you own a condo.
Low Maintenance: Condos are a very low-maintenance living option. Even though the condo is yours, you still enjoy the benefit of the condo association taking care of a lot of the maintenance required for your living space such as snow removal, trash removal, landscaping, exterior building maintenance, and more just as you would living in an apartment building.
Affordable: Condos are also a great housing option for first-time homeowners because of their affordability. Condos are available at very competitive prices comparable or even cheaper than many apartment complexes. Condominiums also tend to be more cost efficient when it comes to utilities.
Extra Fees: Even though condos are very affordable, they do come with a few extra expenses. Condos are normally a part of a HomeOwners Association (HOA) and will therefore have a fee that will need to be paid each month.
Higher Maintenance: While a fair amount of maintenance and upkeep is covered by the condo association, condo owners are responsible for other maintenance and upkeep charges that may occur due to plumbing, electricity, and so on like you would in a normal home.
What are Apartments?
Apartments are units within a residential building that are rented out for a monthly charge. Like condos, apartments have shared common areas and walls while also commonly offering extra amenities to residents like exercise facilities, pools, computer labs, and more.
Liability: One of the biggest perks of being a tenant in an apartment complex is the limited liability you are subject to. Most things that may break or happen around your apartment involving plumbing, electrical, or included kitchen appliances will be covered by your apartment complex or landlord. Like a condo, you also don’t have to worry about building upkeep and maintenance.
Lower Commitment: Apartments are also a fairly flexible option and good for those who may need to move in the near future or are unsure or uncommitted about their future living situation. In an apartment, renewing your lease and staying for an extended period or ending your lease on short notice are both simple enough to achieve depending on what life throws at you.
Lack of Customization: Since the apartment unit is not technically yours, you have less freedom when it comes to any significant updates you want to make. Any and all updates will need to be approved by your landlord and returned back to how they were before you move out unless you want extra charges.
No Equity: Another downside to apartment living, unlike that of living in a condo, is that since the apartment is not your property, you are not building equity during your time renting.
What are Duplexes?
A duplex is a house that has been designed to provide two separate living spaces instead of one. The two living spaces are often separated by shared walls or are stacked one on top of the other. A common situation is that one person owns the entire duplex, lives in one half, and rents the other out.
Shared Maintenance Cost: Since there are two residents in a duplex sharing the building, that also means that you have the benefit of sharing maintenance costs. Duplex residents care for their own property independently but for major expenses like repairing the roof, for example, can enjoy saving money by splitting the cost.
Build Equity: Owning a duplex can be a very appealing option as a homeowner. The building is yours, so you can build equity and customize your space all you want, but you also collect rent and share maintenance costs which can be of significant help for paying off your mortgage.
Lack of Privacy: Although a duplex is a house all of its own, it is very much a similar arrangement to living in an apartment because of the shared walls or ceiling/floor. This shared space means far, far less privacy than in a place that is entirely yours.
Miss Out On Amenities: Although having your own home is a nice perk in its own right, you do miss out on some of the common amenities that are available to those living in condos or apartments, like access to an on-premise gym, community pool, and more.
Townhouses are multiple floor buildings that share exterior walls with other townhouses within the community. Each townhouse can house multiple families and oftentimes come with a small yard and/or patios. Because of their scaled-down size, townhouses are typically cheaper than a single-family home.
Free to Customize: Although they are in close proximity to other townhouses and there are shared walls, those that live in townhouses, like condos, are afforded much more control over their space when it comes to customization. Paint the walls whatever color you want or hang however many shelves you want, there is no landlord to answer to. It is your space and can therefore customize it and give your home the cozy feeling you want.
Low-Maintenance: Townhouses also have the same benefits of condos and apartments when it comes to maintenance. You will only need to care about the interior of your townhouse and the rest like building upkeep, landscaping, and snow removal are handled by the community HOA.
Extra Fees: However, also like a condo, those in townhouses will have to follow HOA rules and pay HOA dues. These rules can often feel restrictive and depending on the neighborhood, property, and the amenities available through the HOA, the dues can begin to add up as well.
Smaller Living Space: Townhouses are not known for their spaciousness. This is certainly one of the more compact living arrangements, translating to less living space. Storage is also notoriously an issue with townhouses since they don’t normally come with a basement or garage. So, even though someone may be considering a townhouse because they want to downsize, it may be more than they bargain for.
Eagle Creek Condos
Whether you are looking to upgrade or downsize your living situation, real estate can be hard to wrap your mind around. From condos to duplexes, it is important for you to know all your options to figure out what is your best fit.
Of all the multi-family residential options available to you, condos give you the best of all worlds. Your ability to own property gives you the flexibility to customize your space while also building equity in your home. However, you also still get the chance to take advantage of the maintenance offered by the condo association or HOA.
Eagle Creek Homes offers you the best option for spacious condominiums that will align with all your needs. With a convenient location, you will be able to shop around and even get a 1-year membership for Railside Golf Club.
What’s even better, Eagle Creek Homes build standalone condominiums that allow you to have all the privacy you need with no shared walls or hallways all for an affordable price.
If you are looking for more options you can give a call to our experts at Eagle Creek where they will guide you to your best option.
You want to build your own house? Check out these 5 Tips For Finding the Perfect Plot of Land to Build Your Dream House from our experts.