Post # 1
I’ve heard a few bees mention that they own an apartment. I’m not really familar with this (unless you happen to own the entire building and live there as well). How is this different from a condo?
Do you pay the equivalent of condo fees? If not, where does the money come from for maintainance of the common areas? Do some people rent from the company that owns the apartment building or are all units owned (whether or not those units are then rented after ownership)?
Post # 3
When I read that, I too figured they just meant a condo. I own my condo and many times refer to it as ‘my apartment’ or ‘my house’ just because they’re more common.
Post # 4
Post # 5
People often aren’t precise in their language around this, I’m certainly not. I think of it as a square and rectangle situation. All squares are also rectangles, not all rectangles are squares. Fiance owns a condo, which is an apartment. But not all apartments are seen as condos. Some people rent these units out and those people who live in them certainly call them apartments rather than condos, just like if they rented a unit from a property company that owned all of them.
Post # 6
There are some owned apartments that are not condos. For example, you could own an apartment in a tenants-in-common arrangement. This is common e.g. in San Francisco where rules/zoning/permitting make it a big headache to convert a building to condos.
Also I think in some areas, like NYC, it’s common to call an apartment an apartment whether you own or rent. When I owned a condo in Chicago, I referred to it as an apartment because I don’t like the sound of the word “condo”!
Post # 7
Thanks! I don’t think I’ve heard someone call a condo an apartment here, but maybe I just assumed they didn’t own it when they did.
@Over the Moon: Good to know!
Post # 8
We own our apartment in NYC though its technically/legally a co-op – pretty much same thing as a condo though its more tax friendly.
Post # 9
I also own a co-op apartment in NYC and there are many differences between a co-op apartment and a condo apartment. First of all, in a co-op building there is one underlying mortgage for the building and every shareholder (apartment owner) pays a portion of the mortgage in monthly maintenance fees. As a home owner, you own shares in the corporation instead of real property and you have a proprietary lease to your specific unit. With a condo, it’s considered real property and the rules are much more lenient as far as renting it out, buying and selling. So because of that the purchase prices and maintenance fees are much higher. And the board can only reject you if they purchase the apartment at the exact amount you’re in contract for vs. a co-op board that can reject you legally for ANY reason and they don’t have to tell you why.
My monthly maintenance is very low and includes: my portion of the underlying mortgage based on the number of shares I own, my portion of the real estate taxes, reserves for maintenance to the exterior and interior of the building and the salary of our part time superintendant. I am responsible for the upkeep of my unit and all of the major appliances, but when we had water damage due to an exterior building issue, the co-op fixed our interior walls at no extra cost to us. So in that sense it’s kind of like living in a rental.