Apartment, Condo or Townhouse Rental

Finding the perfect place to live is no easy feat, the combination of size, neighborhood and affordability isn’t an easy task.  On top of that apartment listings use the terms apartment, condo or townhouse rental almost interchangeably so you have to figure out which works for you.  Let’s take a look at the differences between them to see which works best for you.

Townhouses

Townhouses are typically rows of houses with usually three or four houses all in a row, you will be sharing at least one wall with your neighbors.  Townhouses involve a little more maintenance than either an apartment or a condo, however the landlord will still be responsible for repairs.  There are often community facilities that anyone in the complex can use and that can be anything from a swimming pool to a common area with picnic tables and space to grill.  There are rules to living in a townhouse like you can change the exterior of the property at all and you need to make sure grass is mowed and other maintenance gets done.  Of the three types of rentals, a town house will give you the most square footage along with a little bit of yard space.

Condos

There is not really a great deal of difference between apartments and condos in terms of space, amenities or responsibilities of the tenants. Condo buildings look exactly like apartment buildings, however they tend to be a bit more upscale and a few more amenities thrown in.  Condos may have hookups for a washer and dryer whereas an apartment won’t.  Condos come with monthly fees and that may be the responsibility of the landlord or he may pass it on to the tenant.  Condo maintenance fees will take of things like landscaping, some repairs and cleaning of common areas.  Unlike apartments condos can be rented or sold to individuals.  If you are looking for a place to live in an urban area then you may find plenty of apartment buildings that have “gone Condo” where the rental units are sold individually and no longer monthly rentals.

Apartments

Of the three an apartment is least expensive option.  There will be no management fees and typically rents on apartments are cheaper than either a condo or townhome.  Utilities may or may not be included with an apartment rental, whereas they are not likely to be in a townhouse or condo.  There are fewer if any extra amenities in the average apartment building unless you rent on the higher end.  There will also likely to be far more apartments on the market than either townhouses or condos.

Which one you choose will really depend on budget and the kind of lifestyle that you want to live.

Should You Rent an Apartment or a House?

Should you rent an apartment or a house?  That’s a pretty common question and there are definite advantages to both.  Which you choose will depend on your needs for space and privacy.  Let’s look at the advantages of both and see which option works best for you.

Renting an Apartment

Let’s start with the advantages of renting an apartment.  It can be far cheaper than renting a house especially if you don’t need much space.  On top of that apartments can be rented with the utilities included whereas a house rarely is.  Apartment complexes may also have some recreational equipment such as gym facilities or a swimming pool.

There are disadvantages to living in an apartment as well.  Let’s start with the biggest one…your neighbors.  You could live in an apartment for years and have wonderful neighbors or you could live next door to students who want to party six days a week and the noise travels.  It can be hit or miss.  Neighbors can also mean you lack privacy, everyone can see who comes and goes into your apartment.

Renting a House

There are perks to renting a house chiefly that there is far more space and your neighbors aren’t living on top of you.  Houses typically come with some yard space that you can take advantage of, this is great particularly if you have children.  You won’t be bumping into neighbors in the hallway and you can do laundry whenever you choose to.

Now for the drawbacks to renting a house over an apartment, the biggest on is the cost.  The cost of rent on a house is probably the same or more than a mortgage payment.  It may make better financial sense to buy rather than continuing to rent.  Houses come with yard maintenance such as shoveling the driveway in the winter and mowing the grass in the summer.  It is more likely this responsibility will fall on you not the landlord.  The landlord may provide mowers and shovels but expect you to do the work.  You are also going to have to pay for utilities yourself and that can add up fairly quickly.

What to Choose

Do you start looking for a house or an apartment for your next rental?  That really depends on what you need and the budget.  If you want to rent long term you may be better off in an apartment.  Ultimately you will have to decide which works for your situation.