The Difference Between an Apartment and a Condo

In today’s bustling real estate market, you may have heard the terms apartment and condo thrown around interchangeably. However, while they may seem similar on the surface, there are key distinctions that make each unique.

This comprehensive guide aims to clarify the difference between an apartment and a condo, providing you with a solid understanding of both housing options and assisting you in making an informed decision if you are in the market for a new home.

Table of Contents

What is an Apartment?

An apartment is a residential unit within a larger building. This building is typically owned by a single entity, often a corporation, which rents out the units to individuals or families.

  • A standard feature of apartments is uniformity, with each unit maintaining a similar layout and design.
  • Apartments offer less personalization as changes to the unit often require approval from the landlord.
  • Maintenance and repair services are typically provided by the landlord or a property management company.

What is a Condo?

On the other hand, a condo, short for condominium, is also a residential unit within a larger building. However, unlike apartments, these units are owned outright by individuals or families.

  • Condos often feature more diverse layouts and designs compared to apartments.
  • Owners have more freedom to customize their units as they see fit.
  • Maintenance and repair responsibilities are usually the owners’ unless these services are covered by the homeowners’ association (HOA) fees.

Key Differences Between an Apartment and a Condo

Now that we’ve defined what each term means, let’s delve into the key differences between an apartment and a condo.


The most fundamental difference lies in ownership. Apartments are typically owned by a single entity and rented out, while condos are owned by individual residents.


Condo owners have a greater degree of freedom when it comes to customizing their living space. Apartment dwellers, on the other hand, typically need to get approval for major changes to their units.

Maintenance and Repairs

Maintenance and repairs are usually the responsibility of the landlord in an apartment complex, whereas, in a condominium, the owners usually handle these tasks unless covered by HOA fees.


The cost can vary greatly between an apartment and a condo. Renting an apartment may have less upfront costs, but buying a condo can be seen as an investment in real estate.

Which is Right for You?

Whether you should choose an apartment or a condo depends on a variety of factors.

  • If you value flexibility and minimal responsibility for maintenance, an apartment might be the right choice.
  • If you’re looking for a long-term investment and a place you can customize to your heart’s content, a condo could be the better option.


Understanding the difference between an apartment and a condo can help you make an informed decision when searching for a new home. While apartments offer flexibility and ease of maintenance, condos provide a sense of ownership and the freedom to personalize your living space.

With this knowledge, you can confidently navigate the world of real estate and find the perfect home that suits your lifestyle and meets your needs.

Disclaimer: It’s always best to consult with a real estate professional before making any significant decisions related to housing.