Ready for a change of space? Perhaps you live in a large house and want to downsize, or maybe you’ve saved up and are ready to live closer to St Paul, or Minneapolis, metropolitan area. Either way, there is an abundance of apartments and condos from which to choose. The big question, of course, is condos for sale in St. Paul or apartments for rent Minneapolis, what to do, what to do?
Both owning and renting have advantages and disadvantages depending on your priorities and life plans. This pros and cons list should help you make up your mind.
What’s the Difference?
First of all, what’s the difference between an apartment and a condo? They’re both smaller than most houses and usually reserved for urban areas. According to pocketsense.com, a primary difference has to do with the community.
Condo communities are more like shared spaces where residents are encouraged to share their preferences about aesthetics, safety, and other matters. You may have neighborhood events and meetings to attend to keep communication flowing among neighbors.
A Homeowner’s Association (HOA) usually collects fees for upkeep and manages the condo community. On the other hand, landlords generally enforce apartment rules, and tenants rarely have a say in these rules or how they are executed.
Individual apartment units are not usually purchased. If you are looking to own, you should consider a condo. It is possible to rent a condo, though, and you should not overlook these in your home search.
Because people usually rent apartments for a set time, there is a fast turnover rate. This turnover means that if you choose to rent an apartment, don’t get too attached to your neighbors.
Whether you plan to buy a condo or rent an apartment, there are many factors to consider. This list will help you decide what is right for you.
Buying a Condo
If you are sick of having dollars disappear from your bank account each month with nothing to show for it, perhaps buying is your best option. After some time, renting can start to feel like throwing money out a window.
Rent prices continue to rise all over the country. If you buy a home with a fixed-rate loan, your year-to-year payments are somewhat frozen. Also, homeowners can take advantage of tax breaks that are not available to renters. In general, owning a home in the long-run may increase your net worth.
Condos make a great starter home for those who do not require expansive spaces. An average condo is roughly half the square footage of a typical house. Smaller spaces mean less to clean and furnish.
Even better, condos are usually more economical than a single-family home in the same area. More economical generally being a great advantage if you are looking for a starter home.
Condos require less maintenance by the homeowner because many of the duties will be carried out by the HOA. For those busy with jobs or families, buying a condo may be the path of least resistance.
In addition, many condos provide pools, exercise rooms, and other perks. These perks may simplify the life of a busy homeowner as well by providing all these facilities right in the same building.
Before purchasing, be sure that you love the area. If you are unsure or unfamiliar with the neighborhood, renting may be a better option at the start. Needing to sell because you don’t like the neighbors is a little more complicated than not renewing a lease.
Purchasing a home requires more of a financial commitment. You will need to have financial resources available to cover the initial costs. You will also need to consider if you are willing and able to stay in the area long enough to recover some of that initial investment.
Renting an Apartment
Commitment is hard for some people, and this can apply to relationships and real estate. If you’re not ready to settle down, there are many opportunities to explore.
Renting apartments is a great way to get to know different neighborhoods around the Twin Cities, and also get to see what you prefer in a property. Do you like an exposed brick? Is having a big bathtub a top priority? Are you someone who can’t live without a nice balcony? These are questions you should know the answers to before you buy.
Sometimes, the only way to learn about your tastes is to live in a variety of places. Renting an apartment allows you to “try on” different neighborhoods, different aesthetics, different functional spaces.
If you rent an apartment for a year or two and discover that you don’t like the way the area is progressing, you can walk away at the end of your lease. As long as you’re renting, you are free to move across town, or across the country, with no strings attached.
Your rent payments do not build equity or entitle you to any ownership. Rent payment increases are in the control of the apartment’s management company and always subject to change.
Another con of apartment rental is the decorating restrictions. You may need to get permission for anything from the smallest repair to painting a wall or risk losing your security deposit.
If you are a creative type who loves to drill holes, paint in bright colors, and beautify your space, you may want to consider buying. That way, the look of at least the interior of your dwelling is totally under your control. Renting an apartment implies a sense of borrowing while owning gives you a space that is truly yours.
No matter what you decide, the Twin Cities provides you with endless options for buying condos or renting apartments. Remember, your new home is out there waiting for you. All you have to do is go find it!