When choosing a place to live, many people find themselves faced with two options - renting an apartment or purchasing a condo. Here are a few things to consider before you take the next step. 

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When choosing a place to live, many people find themselves faced with two options – renting an apartment and purchasing a condominium. Typically, apartments and condos can be found in similar sizes, layouts and even locations, but most of the comparison ends there. Here are a few things to consider before you sign your next lease or mortgage papers.


Purchasing a Condo vs. Renting an Apartment

The primary difference between apartments and condos lies in the ownership of the property. Apartments are all owned by one entity and are leased out to tenants on a yearly basis. Condos are owned by the individuals and then managed by a homeowners association. Costs associated with apartments often end at rent and utilities (unless damage has been caused directly by the tenant) whereas many maintenance costs and appliance repairs are paid for by the condo owner. This means that if the water heater stops working in an apartment, the landlord steps in and finds a solution. If it stops working in a condo, it’s up to the condo owner to fix and pay for the repair. Typically both apartments and condos will take care of the grounds maintenance and overall building repairs. In apartments this is included in the cost of rent; in condos it is paid for with the HOA fee.

Renting a Condo

Another unique option is to rent a condo owned by someone else. Because condos are purchased, the design of the space can be altered to suit the owner’s needs. This leads to a variety of unique spaces, each with its own design and fee.  When renting a condo, the landlord is the condo owner, not the HOA, and the renter will need to coordinate all details with the owner. When renting a condo it is important to have all of the details arranged in advance. As many of the unit expenses fall to the owner, it should be clear who is responsible for apartment and appliance repairs. Additionally, you will want to be sure that your landlord is available at all times in the event of an after-hours emergency. Tenants are also required to know and abide by all condo association rules and regulations and should familiarize themselves with the policies before moving in. Click here to learn more about the differences between renting condos and apartments courtesy of Apartments.com.

Renting an Apartment

When renting an apartment, the individual units and buildings as a whole are owned by one entity and managed together rather than individually. This structure makes it difficult to alter the appearance of each individual apartment, but does lend itself to a sense of consistency throughout the building. As with condos, it is important to know what is included in the apartment lease – utilities, internet, cable, parking, etc. Typically all landscaping and building maintenance costs are included, as is 24-hour emergency maintenance. This means that someone is always on-call to assist in the event of a maintenance emergency. One of the largest benefits of renting an apartment is the flexibility. Leases where they are. There are no complications associated with selling property and no permanent ties to any one location.


Luckily for all renters and potential buyers, Madison has a variety of different options and locations for both apartment dwellers and condo owners. For those interested in renting apartments, Urban Land Interests is proud to offer a variety of high-end options all on the Isthmus in the heart of Downtown Madison. To learn more about how you can live in a ULI apartment click here,