You’re looking for a new place to live, but you can’t decide between buying a condo and renting an apartment. Weighing the pros and cons can help. Use these six tips to help you decide whether you should buy or rent.
1. Determine the Price-to-Rent Ratio
Comparing the price of buying to the price of renting in your area can help you get a feel for whether or not the market is favorable. To calculate the ratio, divide the average home sale price in your area by the average annual rental price. You can get these rates through websites like Trulia or Zillow.
For example, if your average home sale price is $225,000 and your average annual rental price is $16,800 ($1,400 x 12), your ratio equals 13 (rounded down from 13.39).
● For a ratio between 1 and 15, it is better to buy than rent
● For a ratio between 16 and 20, it is somewhat risky to buy
● For a ratio of 21 or higher, it is better to rent than buy
2. Think About Your Lifestyle
When debating condo vs. apartment, consider your current lifestyle. If you don’t like staying in one place for too long, then choose an apartment with a one-year lease, or look for an even more flexible month-to-month lease. Renting is also a good option if you have credit issues. If your credit is good and you feel like settling down for a few years, then opt for buying a condo. Remember, as a condo owner, you have the advantage of being able to customize your living space any way you like.
3. Understand the Responsibilities of Condo Ownership
Owning a condo comes with responsibilities that apartment renters don’t have, and you need to determine if you are ready for them. These include:
● Paying taxes, insurance, and association fees on your property
● Interior maintenance and repair
● Selling the property if you decide to move on
4. Take Investment Opportunities into Account
If you’re looking for an investment opportunity, a condo may be the choice for you, especially if you’re living in the city center, where single-family properties are in short supply. Every payment you make on a condo goes toward ownership, and if you get the right loan, monthly payments remain fixed. With an apartment, monthly payments go to your landlord, and your rental price could rise after your lease period ends.
5. Consider HOA Fees and Covenants
Before you buy a condo, make sure to consider monthly homeowner association (HOA) fees and covenants. HOA fees can be added to your monthly condo payment or prepaid annually or bi-annually and go toward exterior upkeep and amenities like gyms and pools. These fees can rise and fall, depending on the needs of your complex. Covenants are the rules that all owners in the complex must follow. Examples include rules about pet ownership, subletting, and what you can park and where.
6. Weigh the Importance of Extra Security
If extra security is important to you, then condos typically offer more options than apartments, but some apartment complexes within city centers offer extra security for a higher price. Electronic gates and main entrances, door attendants, and cameras are all forms of security that make apartment or condo occupants feel safer.
Whether you choose to buy a condo or rent an apartment, moving in with heavy furniture can be a hassle. You can lighten your load when you move by relying on CORT Furniture Rental for big pieces like sofas, chairs, and dining sets, as well as accessories like area rugs and throw pillows. Convenient delivery and setup makes furnishing your new place quick and easy.