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.

Finding an Apartment that Accepts Pets

If you need to start looking for a new place and you have pets you might find the situation a bit of a challenge.  Finding an apartment that accepts pets is much like finding a needle in a haystack but it can be done.  You may end up paying a deposit to make sure that your pet doesn’t destroy the place, but that is still better than getting caught with a pet you’re not supposed to have and finding an eviction notice on your door.  The type of pet you have will make a difference as well, cats tend to be more accepted than dogs.  If you do have a dog then you are going to want to try and find something close to a park or walking trail.  Here are some other issues with having a pet.

Limitations

Some landlords will allow you to have pets provided that they aren’t too big or the wrong breed.  You need to ask the landlord about this ahead of time.  Some landlords will allow a cat but not a dog, some will only allow a dog that weighs less than 40 lbs.  Larger dogs may be allowed but they may not necessarily allow what are considered dangerous breeds like Pit Bulls.  If you have a large dog you may be able to sweet talk your landlord if you give very good references.

Deposits

It is entirely possible that the landlord can ask for a deposit if you have an animal.  You may have the best dog or cat in the world but the landlord will want to protect themselves in case your pet causing any damage.  When the time comes to move out and there is no pet causing damage then you should have no problem getting your deposit returned to you.

Finding Enough Space

You need to balance out the needs of your pet with what you can afford.  Some pets need to have more room, a Rottweiler takes up more room than a Yorkie.  You need to make sure that there is enough space, do you have a place for the litter box or a dog crate.  Make sure there is more than enough space for both of you to live comfortably.

Nearby Amenities

Having a cat in an apartment is fairly easy, you just need to make sure you change the litter box regularly.  Dogs, even little ones are going to need regular walks.  Are there any parks nearby that you can take your dog to?  You need a place nearby where your dog can do their “business”.  If you’re looking for an apartment in an urban area then be aware of the local leash laws and the fines for not cleaning up after your dog.