Condo Vs. Apartment
Luxury Condos for Sale in Los Angeles Los Angeles Condos for Rent
The Pendry Residences West Hollywood — which feature private pools and dedicated elevators — offers a luxury-to-the-max take on Southern California indoor-outdoor living.
At the beginning of the pandemic, the appeal of residential towers plummeted as people sought extra personal space. Cut to summer 2021, and condo sales are on the rise in L.A., led by the recent sale of a two-bedroom, 2,681-square-foot unit — with an outdoor terrace that’s bigger than the condo’s interior — at the new Pendry Residences West Hollywood for $13 million. At $4,848 a square foot, that’s a new record for condos in the Southland.
The Pendry Residences are far from a typical tower. Each of the 40 units has its own dedicated elevator access, and many of the two- and three-bedroom condos have mondo-sized outdoor space (up to 3,460 square feet) and even their own swimming pools. Says Steven Ehrlich of Ehrlich Yanai Rhee Chainey Architects of the project’s prodigious use of terraces: “It’s like floating in the air with your own roof deck, looking out at the city — and you can look to downtown and all the way across to Palos Verdes. People are really attracted to the openness of the design.”
Other amenities include wine storage; a gym; meeting room; community pool; room service from the adjacent Pendry Hotel’s two Wolfgang Puck restaurants, Merois and Ospero; and a one-year membership to The Britely social club, located inside the hotel. “With less than a minute walk you can be at a couple of great Wolfgang Puck restaurants,” says Ehrlich. “You can wake up in the morning and go to Ospero and have a great almond croissant and a fabulous cup of coffee or later go to dinner at Merois.”
Units start around $3 million and go up to $30 million for the nearly 10,000-square-foot penthouse. The project is gradually releasing the condos for sale, and over 50 percent of the units in the first release have already sold.
The layouts are open floor plan in the main living areas. “The kitchens are very much the heart and center of the whole living experience. They aren’t pushed aside. People can sit at the island and it’s very informal and casual and congenial,” says Ehrlich.
“We’re providing a lifestyle,” says Tina Necrason, executive vp residential for Montage International. “We look after every aspect from personalized service to preventative maintenance for the homes to make sure their assets are really well-preserved. We take care of every detail in the interior and exterior of the homes.”
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What Is A Condo?
A condominium is a building structure divided into several units that are each separately owned, surrounded by common areas that are jointly owned.
Residential condominiums are frequently constructed as apartment buildings, but there are also “detached condominiums”, which look like single-family homes, but in which the yards (gardens), corridors, building exteriors, and streets as well as any recreational facilities (like a pool or pools, bowling alley, tennis courts, golf course, etc), are jointly owned and maintained by a community association.
Unlike apartments, which are leased by their tenants, condominium units are owned outright. Additionally, the owners of the individual units also collectively own the common areas of the property, such as corridors/hallways, walkways, laundry rooms, etc., as well as common utilities and amenities, such as the HVAC system, elevators, and so on. Many shopping malls are industrial condominiums in which the individual retail and office spaces are owned by the businesses that occupy them while the common areas of the mall are collectively owned by all the business entities that own the individual spaces.
The common areas, amenities, and utilities are managed collectively by the owners through their association, such as a homeowner association.
Scholars have traced the earliest known use of the condominium form of tenure to a document from first-century Babylon.
Condos are individually owned units in a building, unlike an apartment rental. When you own a condo, you’ll be responsible for paying a monthly fee, collected by the condo association. This association manages all exterior and common area maintenance.
But it’s not all easy living in beautiful high-rises.
In this post, we explore the pros and cons of buying a condo, the different types of condos you may come across and the key differences between a condominium, an apartment, a townhome and a single-family home.
What Is A Condominium?
Essentially, a condo is a housing complex in which each unit is owned by an individual. When someone rents a condo, they’re renting directly from the condominium owner.
Condo owners are responsible for what goes on within their individual units, including maintenance and repairs. Beyond that, they’re required to pay regular fees to a condo association. Those fees contribute to the maintenance of the shared common areas, building amenities and the exterior of the complex.
Pros Of Buying A Condo
The benefits of purchasing a condo versus renting or owning a single-family home include property ownership with added amenities, less upkeep and affordability. Condominiums are great choices for empty nesters looking to downsize, seniors who prefer less maintenance and first-time home buyers looking for a starter home in an urban area.
Added amenities: Depending on the complex, you may have access to amenities like a pool, dog park or parking garages. These shared amenities are typically maintained by the homeowners’ association (HOA), so you enjoy them without keeping them up on your own.
Less maintenance: Condos are popular for people who want the freedom of owning their residence but don’t want the upkeep that comes with having a single-family home. If you like the idea of owning your own place while not having to mow a lawn, shovel snow or repair a roof, a condo might be a great fit for you.
More affordable: Typically, condos are cheaper than traditional homes and are great for first-time home buyers with modest salaries. While you do have to factor in condo association fees, a condo can be more affordable than a freestanding house. If you’ve previously discounted homeownership because of the high cost of entry, a condo might be closer to your price range.
Cons Of Buying A Condo
Like any home purchase, there are considerations to keep in mind when looking to buy a condo. If you don’t want to pay additional costs on top of your mortgage or abide by community rules, condo living may not be right for you.
HOA restrictions and fees: When you buy into a complex development, you also buy into the set rules set by the HOA. These rules can include rental limitations and pet restrictions. Additionally, you’ll pay the monthly HOA fee for the upkeep of the common areas and building. These fees can vary widely depending on the location and size of the condo.
Less square footage: Large families or people whose well-being at home comes from outdoor space might feel cramped in a condo. Most of the time, condo units don’t have private outdoor space and you may have to walk a fair distance to find a park or playground.
Less privacy: Condos share common areas and walls. With this shared space comes the feeling of community, but also a lack of privacy. Shared space can have noise problems and your HOA may restrict how long guests can stay.
The pros and cons of buying a condo will vary depending on the type of condominium and its location, the size of the complex and the type of tenant.
Condo Vs. Apartment
You may think of condos and apartments as interchangeable residences. However, there’s quite a bit of difference between the two. Essentially, you rent an apartment and buy a condo – which you can also rent.
Condos and apartments are similar but have some key differences in who owns them, how they’re run and governed, and the costs involved.
Ownership: Typically, apartment buildings are owned by a property management company. Condos are buildings or complexes made up of individually owned units. Instead of answering to a property manager, condo dwellers make up a condo association that collects dues to cover maintenance costs for common areas of the condominium complex. When you rent an apartment, you deal with the property manager to pay your rent, get repairs done or settle disputes. When you rent a condo, you’re renting directly from the person who owns that individual unit, making them your landlord.
Rules and responsibilities: Rules for apartments are set by the property manager and tend to be the same for every tenant. This is not necessarily so with a condo where rules are set by the condo association, the governing board made up of people who own units within the complex. When you rent a condo, you’ll be bound by these guidelines as well as any rules that a specific unit’s owner may have.
Costs: Condo owners have to worry about varying costs like the mortgage payment, condo fees or HOA fees and property taxes. If you’re renting, you might not notice much of a price difference between rent for an apartment and rent for a condo. However, the makeup of your payments may be slightly different if you’re renting a condo. Your landlord may have it written in your lease that you’re responsible for the condo association fees, or they may adjust your rent to cover the cost. Be sure to check your lease before signing; you don’t want to end up with an unexpected expense each month that makes your rent $200 higher than what you expected. Similarly, the owner may cover utilities for you, or they may be covered by the association fee. Thoroughly read through your lease agreement and make sure you understand what you’re on the hook for.
Amenities: Condos and apartments both may provide certain community amenities. What you get generally depends on where you are and how much you pay to live there. Whether a renter decides to go with an apartment or condo, they should ask about what’s provided to renters, in and out of their unit. Of course, if you own the condo, you can pretty much do whatever you’d like, provided it doesn’t disturb anything outside your unit. You can paint, renovate the kitchen and fill your walls with as many nail holes as you want. As for community-wide amenities, this will vary. Many condo or apartment complexes offer things like gym access, a pool or extra security.
Maintenance: Condo owners are typically responsible for any maintenance or repairs needed within their unit. This is true not only if they are living there themselves, but also if they are renting out the unit to a tenant. All landlords have a responsibility to provide their tenants with habitable living conditions. However, an apartment owned by a large company may be better positioned to provide this than an individual renting out their condo unit. An apartment will likely have a maintenance staff that is knowledgeable about how to deal with most problems and will be ab
Condo Vs. House
Single-family homes are often purchased outside of city centers because they generally cost more than their condominium counterparts. Typically, the decision to buy a condo vs. a house is based on your desire to live in an urban neighborhood or have more square footage.
Ownership: A house is a free-standing structure and does not share any walls with other residential or commercial buildings. Homeowners own both the property itself and the land it sits on. The land may include a front yard, backyard and garage.
Rules and responsibilities: Homeowners are generally more attracted to these types of residences because of the autonomy of the purchase. As an owner of a house, you might not encounter HOA regulations which may limit home modifications in and out of the home.
Costs: Generally speaking, detached single-family homes cost more than a condo. They typically have more square footage, and when you purchase a home, you own both the property and the land it sits on. However, as a prospective home buyer, consider additional costs like yard maintenance and property taxes.
Amenities: Single-family free-standing homes don’t generally come with any additional amenities. In contrast, when you own a condo, you also pay the condo association fees – these can include utilities, exterior maintenance, gyms and pools.
Maintenance: The maintenance of a home is significantly more work than a condo since you’re responsible for the house and the lot. While renovations may increase the value of a home with sweat equity, it’s important to consider the initial investment of time and money.
Condo Vs. Townhouse
A townhome is where a condo and a single-family home intersect. Typically, townhomes are multiple stories and may share walls, though not above or below the unit.
Ownership: Townhomes have two primary types of owners: condominium ownership and fee-simple ownership. With condominium ownership in a townhome, your unit responsibilities are structured similarly to condo units. Namely, you own the inside of your unit, and HOA fees cover common areas and the exterior. With fee-simple townhome ownership, you’re responsible for the property itself and the land it sits on.
Rules and responsibilities: Generally, condo associations have stricter rules than townhome HOAs because townhomes require less maintenance. When you own a fee-simple townhome you’re in charge of the upkeep for the interior, exterior and lot itself.
Costs: Townhomes tend to be less expensive than condos because the size of the lot is typically bigger than a condo. You’ll also tend to pay less in overall HOA fees, but you should consider the costs associated with maintenance on the house and property.
Amenities: There are usually fewer amenities offered in townhomes compared to condos, though newer build townhome communities may include resort-style living offerings, like pools and playgrounds.
Maintenance: As mentioned, you’re not paying as many HOA fees with a townhome compared to a condo, but you’re responsible for more upkeep. When you own a condo, you’re only responsible for the interior, but when you own a townhome, you’ll be paying to maintain the interior, roof, exterior and property.
Types Of Condos
There are two primary types of condos: freehold and leasehold. With freehold condos, the unit is owned by the tenant outright. Leasehold condos have tenants with contracts with their landlord instead of owning the unit.
Typically, individual condo units make up one building or a complex of several buildings in a condo community. However, you may also come across detached condos, where owners live in their own freestanding house unit – more like a single-family residence – but pay into a condo association that takes care of the shared space within the community.
Below we’ll explore six different types of condos and how ownership varies.
What is difference between apartment and condo?
The biggest difference between a condo vs. apartment is ownership. An apartment is defined as a residence that is rented, often as part of a larger residential building. A condo is similar in structure to an apartment — usually a unit within a larger residential building — but condos are owned instead of rented.
What exactly is a condo?
A condominium, called “condo” for short, is a privately-owned individual unit within a community of other units. Condo owners jointly own shared common areas, such as pools, garages, elevators and outside hallways and gyms, to name a few. … “Condominiums are often referred to as a ‘common interest development.
What is a condo in New York?
A condominium is a single real estate unit in a multi-unit development in which a person has both separate ownership of a unit and an undivided interest in the common elements of the building.
How is a condo different from a house?
What’s the difference between a house and a condo? … Owners of single-family homes purchase the home structure and the land it sits on, while condo owners own just the unit they live in, not the larger building or the land on which it’s built.
Is it worth buying a condo in Los Angeles?
Whether you are downsizing, purchasing a second home, or just moving to a new city, condos provide a stable, more affordable style of living. … In Los Angeles, condos are a great alternative to rising home prices, and they can either be a very prudent investment, or a serious waste of cash.
How much does a condo cost per month in Los Angeles?
In mid-2019, the median monthly rent for a two-bedroom apartment was $1,760. Current apartment listing reports suggest that two-bedroom apartments have a median rent of $1,758 per month. The median rent of a studio in the city is $1,146 per month, which is about $330 higher than the national average.
How much do you need to buy a condo in Los Angeles?
The minimum income necessary to purchase a condo or townhome, according the report, is $91,200 for a $465,000 median-priced condo or townhome with monthly payments of $2,280.
Is it worth buying a condo in California?
Condominiums can be a good investment, especially if they allow you as a buyer to enter the real estate market. Qualifying for financing is much the same as getting a mortgage for a single-family home. If you are purchasing condos as investment properties, you should be able to find a lender as well.
Does it ever make sense to buy a condo?
Buying a condo can be a great move for first-time home buyers. Prices are often lower than standalone homes, and condos can be more convenient in terms of location and maintenance.
Why are condos so expensive?
The majority of new condominium construction is driven by investor demand – not demand from families – and investors are willing to pay much more (on a ppsf basis) than end users are. Investors also prefer smaller units because they are less expensive and typically have a better return on investment than larger units.
How much does a condo cost per month?
Average condo fees range from around $100 to $700 per month, although these fees can go much higher based on what amenities they cover. If the condo complex has high-end shared features such as a swimming pool, gym, and spa, condo fees can be several thousand per month.
What is the average cost of a condo in California?
California condo prices averaged about $412,000 as of the time of publication — the fourth highest average condo price in the country.
Is it worth it to buy a condo?
Yes, condos generally appreciate in value. That’s true of any piece of property—as long as it doesn’t have wheels or come from a trailer park. But, if you’re trying to decide between a condo or a house, keep in mind that a single-family home is usually going to grow in value faster than a condo will.
Is it worth buying a studio condo?
The answer to that question is a convincing yes. Studio apartments can be a great source of rental income that would cost real estate investor half of what other investment properties might cost. … The opportunities that come with studio apartments are worth it considering this low-risk, low-cost income property.
How do I choose a condo?
Here’s a condo buying checklist to go over as you start your search.
Consider your lifestyle. …
Work with a Realtor with experience in condos. …
Decide what types of amenities you want. …
Find an FHA-approved condo. …
Research the property management company. …
Review association fees and regulations. …
Ask about special assessments. …
Do all condos have HOA fees?
HOA fees are standard for most purchased condominiums, apartments, and planned communities, though some neighborhoods that consist of single-family homes also have HOA fees.
Can you live in a condo forever?
While a landlord can clear out a rental building at any time, assuming there are no complicating rent control regulations, a condo is yours forever.
Which is better a condo or townhouse?
Condos are often cheaper than townhouses because they come with no land; the exterior and land are considered common areas shared by all residents. Condo owners pay monthly homeowner association (HOA) fees that can be significantly higher than those on townhouses, partly because they cover exterior maintenance.
What are the disadvantages of buying a condo?
Downsides of Buying a Condo
Homeowners Association Fees. As you might imagine, that pool, fitness center, security system, and maintenance crew all cost money. …
Potentially Mismanaged Funds. …
Lack of Privacy. …
Difficulty Selling. …
How much money do I need to buy a condo?
How large of a down payment will you need for a mortgage on a condominium? The short answer is 3 percent to 20 percent of your unit’s purchase price, with 10 percent being common for those buyers who must rely on conventional loans to finance their units.
Are condos or apartments cheaper?
Are condos cheaper than apartments? Long story short, no, the cost of renting a condo is usually similar to that of renting an apartment. The only difference between a condo and an apartment is in the way you make your monthly payments.
Is condo cheaper than a house?
Condos tend to be less expensive than single-family houses in the same area. Condos that are newer or with fewer amenities tend to have lower maintenance fees. In general, condos typically have better security compared to houses.
Can you own a condo?
A condominium, which is like a hybrid between an apartment and a house, is property that you can purchase and own outright. A condo offers some similar aspects of apartment living. For instance, many condos are adjacent to others, so owners often share a wall.
Do you pay taxes on a condo?
Do You Pay Property Taxes On A Condo? You’ll have to pay property taxes whether you’re buying a single-family home or a condo. … Capital, said that the property taxes are generally the same for a condo costing $200,000 and a single-family home at the same price.