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When considering real estate purchases, many people ask the question: What is the difference between a condominium and an apartment? Before you can decide which one of these properties is best suited to meet your needs and goals, it is important to understand the defining characteristics of each.

The key difference between a condominium (or “condo”) and an apartment has to do with ownership. A condominium is an individually owned dwelling unit located within a larger building with common areas shared by all units – such as hallways, elevators, laundry facilities and recreational amenities – jointly owned by all occupants. Apartments for rent in syracuse ny, on the other hand, refers to rented living space where tenants share no ownership in the overall building or its common areas.

Another major factor that could affect your real estate purchase decision is resale value. Generally speaking, condos may be harder to sell than apartments due to additional restrictions imposed by condo associations such as lease terms and the ability of owners to make modifications or improvements on their property.

Definition of Condominiums and Apartments

The main difference between a condominium and an apartment is that condominium ownership gives the owner full legal ownership of the unit, while an apartment is held under a rental agreement. Condominiums can be more difficult to sell than apartments because they are typically more expensive and require additional legal paperwork from the owner.

To understand the differences in more detail, let’s look at some of the other factors that make condominiums and apartments unique:

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Definition of a Condominium

A condominium is a type of residential property in which each unit owner holds title to his or her own dwelling (and sometimes also to a share of common area and facilities), but without absolute ownership. The unit owners make up a homeowners association, which administers the property and enforces rules that govern the use of each unit and its common areas. Common areas such as hallways, stairs and elevators are usually maintained jointly by all the unit owners.

Condominiums offer more privacy than apartments because often times when you purchase a condominium, you have the option to customize it in whichever way you would like! Condos may have balconies or patios where you can place outdoor furniture for outdoor entertainment. Furthermore, Condos tend to have more amenities than apartments; some condos come with swimming pools, fitness centers, clubhouses and much more!

A major difference between a condominium property and an apartment building is that while both are considered part of a larger real estate development project that includes shared facilities like lobbies or parking lots, only condominium owners hold title to their individual units; in apartment buildings tenants rent their units from the landlord who holds title on all units. Although some associations may permit rentals by their members after they own the unit—thereby functioning almost as an apartment building—most only permit actual ownership of one’s living space within them.

Definition of an Apartment

An apartment is a unit or suite of rooms in a building designed and built for residential occupancy, typically only one occupied unit per space. An apartment may have its own separate entrance to allow the occupant to enter without passing through the common hallway of the building. Generally, apartments are on one or two levels, making them smaller than an average panel home or a detached house. Apartments can be rented on either short-term or long-term contracts, and often come fully furnished.

Apartments are single dwellings that are typically within multi-unit complexes owned by individual landlords and managed by property management companies. Apartments often come with shared amenities such as pools, gyms, playgrounds and community centers that the renter can enjoy. This can make them more affordable than buying a separate home with individual amenities included in the purchase price.

What is the difference between a condominium and an apartment

While a condominium and an apartment may look similar and provide many of the same features and benefits, there are some notable differences between the two real estate investments. Factors such as ownership, ownership type, and pricing can all affect the difference between a condominium and an apartment.

In this article, we’ll compare the two and discuss the major differences between a condominium and an apartment:


One of the primary differences between condominiums and apartments is the form of ownership. Condominiums are individually owned, private residences that are collectively managed by a homeowner’s association (HOA). Further, individual units are commonly referred to as condominium units and ownership of these units typically entitles tenants to shared spaces, such as hallways, lobbies, playgrounds and/or gardens.

In contrast, when renting an apartment, tenants do not own any physical property. Apartment buildings are typically owned by one or more property management companies that offer rental agreements with tenants for a designated period of time. As mentioned before, these rental agreements typically include access to shared common areas; however occupants do not have ownership or equity in the building.

It is important to note that both condominiums and apartments may represent an opportunity for renters to own their own place if they become eligible for certain government rent-to-own programs or qualify for down payment assistance programs offered by specific states or local jurisdictions. Therefore it is important to check with applicable agencies before making such decisions to acquire short-term or long-term residence arrangements.


The maintenance of a condominium and an apartment are one of the main differences between the two types of dwellings. Condominiums are typically owned by individual owners and this means that everyone is responsible for their own maintenance within their own unit. Owners will also be responsible for contributing to the upkeep costs of shared spaces such as hallways, pools or other amenities.

Meanwhile, apartments are typically rented and the responsibility falls on the landlord or property management company to take care of the repairs and upkeep of these properties. Tenants may be responsible for day-to-day issues within their own units, but major repairs and renovation projects tend to fall under a landlord’s purview.

Thus, there is usually no need for condominium owners to collect any form of community cost from other condo dwellers in order to maintain their apartment building.

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Apartments and condominiums are both forms of housing that involve living in close proximity to neighbors. Although some amenities may be shared among tenants, there are notable differences between a condominium and an apartment.

When considering amenities, the most significant difference is ownership. Condominiums are individually owned units with facilities shared by other co-owners, while apartments are typically rented from a landlord or property management company who owns and manages the common areas. This means that if you purchase a condominium you will have more control over the décor, maintenance and look of your space whereas when renting an apartment you must adhere to the rules set by the owner/property manager.

Condominium owners also enjoy better access to amenities such as swimming pools, tennis courts, parking spaces and landscape maintenance compared to rental units in an apartment complex. Other common amenities offered in both types of dwellings can include package retrieval services, laundry facilities or use of special equipment such as tools or exercise machines that would otherwise be too expensive for some people to purchase on their own.

In addition to these physical features, it is important to consider other perks such as services offered by property managers or landlords that promote safety, security and convenience for tenants when comparing a condominium and an apartment. Apartment complexes may provide additional services such as 24-hour property management personnel on site who can respond quickly in case of emergency while condominium boards are often reliant on volunteer help from co-owners who live within their communities should issues arise.


When it comes to cost, the main difference between a condominium and an apartment lies in what is owned versus what is rented. With a condominium, you are purchasing the space itself, including the walls, floors and appliances. An apartment, however, will only rent out the space – not the fixtures or finishes within it.

This could mean that when it comes time to sell your condominium unit, you will have more of your investment intact while an apartment owner might be left with little to show for their money. Additionally, some condominiums may require that you pay fees associated with upkeep of common areas or amenities that are included in their ownership; fees like these can cost more than what an apartment tenant would pay for maintenance charges on the rental property but could result in more return upon sale too.


Overall, the differences between condominiums and apartments can be fairly subtle and complex. When it comes to selling a property, condos can often be more challenging. This is because they’re more expensive and require additional research from potential buyers. Condominiums tend to demand higher prices, giving them a longer market life, so sellers need to wait for the right buyer. Apartments are generally less expensive and have quicker sales cycles, as buyers find prospects at lower prices and with fewer demands for additional research or legal nuances.

When comparing the investment opportunities of buying either a condominium or an apartment, consider the cost of owning one versus renting one; it may be significantly cheaper to rent an apartment than purchase a condominium in your area:

  • Cost of owning a condominium vs. renting an apartment.
  • Length of market life for condominiums vs. apartments.
  • Demand for additional research or legal nuances for condominiums vs. apartments.