Buying a Condo vs Renting an Apartment: How to Choose Between the Two

When you’re looking for a new place to live, one of the first questions you’re likely to ask yourself is “Should I buy or rent?” There are plenty of things to consider from the cost of housing to the market where you’d like to live.

There’s a case to be made for both sides, but ultimately there’s a decision that makes the most sense for you. Here’s everything you need to know about buying a condo vs renting an apartment.

1. Know Your Market

Where you’re currently living or planning to move to can have a big effect on whether it’s more financially sound to buy or rent. It’s important to do your research on the local real estate market.

Is your desired location a buyer’s market or a seller’s market? That depends on the supply and demand for housing in the area.

In a buyer’s market, the supply of houses will exceed the demand for them. That means there will be less competition among buyers and you’ll have more standing to negotiate.

If you’re currently in a buyer’s market, it can make sense to take advantage of that opportunity and purchase a property. Markets can change over time, so if you’re in a seller’s market, it could be a good time to rent and wait for the demand to decrease.

You should check to see how rent prices in your city have changed over time. It’s also crucial to look at how similar properties have appreciated over time. That can help you learn if you’ll make a profit when selling your condo down the line.

2. Consider Your Future Plans

Is it the right time to buy a condo? That can depend on your current stage of life and what your plans are for the future. If you’re planning to stay in your current city long-term and put down roots, then owning a condo could be the right decision.

Owning a condo provides stability. Unlike with an apartment, you don’t have to worry about 12-month leases or the possibility of your landlord selling the building you’re in. That also means avoiding the cost of moving between apartments.

That stability can be an appealing option for potential buyers in all stages of life. For young people interested in purchasing their first place to live, condos can give them a taste of ownership without the size, cost, and upkeep buying a larger house can entail.

Owning a condo can also be great for people looking to downsize during retirement or when kids leave for college. There’s typically less maintenance involved with condos, so they can be a low-key, low-stress route when it comes to homeownership.

On the other hand, if you’re planning to move in a few years or don’t feel ready to commit to a certain neighbourhood, renting can be the better choice. Renting an apartment gives you more flexibility.

You’re not tied down to a particular property if you discover something about it that doesn’t jive with your lifestyle. You also have the option of choosing month-to-month rent if you know you’ll only be someplace short term.

3. What Buying a Condo vs Renting an Apartment Means for Your Equity

One of the biggest advantages of buying a home or condo is that you’re able to build equity. If you’re staying somewhere long-term, then buying a condo becomes an important and valuable investment.

Equity is considered an asset and it’s also part of your net worth. This can help down the line if you’re hoping to qualify for a line of credit or a home equity loan.

4. Think About the Costs of Buying

When you’re thinking about buying a condo vs renting an apartment, you have to consider the costs associated with owning a property.

Condos come with condo fees for things like utilities, maintenance, and upkeep for any community spaces. If you’re planning to buy a condo, then you should remember to factor things like maintenance fees into your budget.

Fortunately, these fees mean less for you to worry about when it comes to things like garbage removal, exterior maintenance, and snow removal during the winter months.

Condos also provide owners with the freedom to make updates to their homes, from repainting walls to changing light fixtures. While this is a great way to express your style, it can also create expenses that wouldn’t factor into renting an apartment.

Fortunately, condos tend to be smaller than homes and usually require minimal upkeep. This can make them a great first home purchase for anyone looking to adjust to the idea of homeownership.

Another cost to consider is the initial down payment needed to purchase a condo. Whether you’re putting down 5 percent or 20 percent, it requires a big chunk of money.

If that’s not currently possible for you, then renting can be a more affordable option while you save up to purchase a home.

5. Enjoy a Built-In Community

When it comes to buying a condo vs renting an apartment, both options can provide a built-in community. This can be great when you’re moving to a new city or new neighbourhood because you’ll be close to your neighbours.

Condos also typically offer amenities, from common areas to swimming pools to hobby rooms. These spaces can be a great way to get to know people who live nearby and who share similar interests.

Condos also tend to be closer to the city than the suburbs, giving buyers more of a chance to get out, do things, and meet people.

Rent or Buy?

When it comes to buying a condo vs renting an apartment, there are plenty of pros and cons to both. Ultimately, it comes down to your lifestyle and what you’re looking for.

If that’s something more flexible, then an apartment can be the right route. But if you’re looking to put down roots and making a good investment, then buying a condo could be the best option for you.

For more tips on purchasing a property, please contact us today.