Are you shopping for a smaller-than-a-house living situation? You’ve probably come upon the term condo and wondered how it differs from an apartment.

A condo vs apartment isn’t all that different, aside from some key points. Read the comparison below.

Condo vs Apartment: Definitions

What makes a condo a condo and an apartment an apartment? It all has to do with the ownership.

Condos are individual units, like apartments, but they’re owned by one person or family. An apartment is an individual unit rented by one person or family, owned by a property management group.

You can rent out a condo, in which case it’s like an apartment, except there’s one landlord instead of a property company.

Some people prefer to buy since that gives them more freedom over what they do to their space.

Others prefer apartments because they come with more outside help.

Cost Wise

An apartment is usually cheaper than a condo, in the beginning. Other than first and last month’s rent and a security deposit, you don’t need a down payment.

Buying a condo is like buying a house. You need a down payment and you get a mortgage. The only difference is condos aren’t usually freestanding.

Most condos are duplexes or would-be apartments in a building as opposed to a single family home.

However, the rent you pay on your apartment doesn’t do anything for you in the long run. While it’s more expensive upfront to buy a condo, you build equity and credit over time.


You can get condos in any size and apartments up to (usually) four bedrooms. A condo’s size isn’t determined by the condo-ness of it, it’s simply location.

If you have a condo in, downtown NYC, you may see smaller square footage due to availability.

You can get an apartment any size, in theory, but it too depends on what’s available.

Most apartment complexes have three or four bedrooms as their max, but you can find five if you look hard enough. It’s all about location.


It’s not unusual for a condo to come with access to amenities like a pool or clubhouse. As a condo owner, you own a little piece of this “public” property.

As an apartment renter, you’re renting the use of these facilities like you’re renting your apartment.

What people get out of an apartment that they don’t get out of a condo, is a team of professionals to help. If something breaks in your condo, you’re responsible for fixing it – like a homeowner.

If something breaks in your apartment, you can call maintenance to help fix it. Some people like having this direct access to help who will (most of the time) absorb the cost.

Condo Vs Apartment

In the end, it’s all up to you. Do you want the ease of an apartment? Then you give up the equity and control of owning a home.

Do you want to own a home, build equity, and still have access to amenities? Then a condo is better for you.

We hope you’ve learned something from this condo vs apartment guide. If you have questions, please call our team. They’re always happy to help!