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Condo Vs. Apartment? What is Condo Property Management for?

Posted by sonrise on October 20, 2017
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Physically, there is often little difference between a condo and an apartment. Both consist of multiple living spaces inside one building and there are often many buildings on a property. There are, however, significant differences between condos and apartments and those searching for a new residence will want to weigh the differences in order to decide the best fit.

What is the difference between a condo and an apartment? What is Condo Property Management for?

Ownership versus rental

With the low mortgage interest rates and low rental vacancy rates, many people find that they are able to purchase a condo that has a mortgage payment similar, if not lower, than monthly rent for an apartment. Condo owners own everything inside the walls of their unit and with each monthly payment homeowners gain equity in their property. Often condo values appreciate over time, giving condo owners an opportunity to receive a return on their investment. Renters do not share this opportunity.

Shared title to common areas

All condo owners share title to common areas which may include hallways, lobbies, grounds, swimming pools, parking lots, etc.  Condo owners pay a monthly fee that is used for common area maintenance and may include costs for insurance, grounds upkeep, landscape, security and administration. Apartment renters have access to common areas that are paid for through monthly rent.

Homeowners association

All condo owners automatically become members of the homeowners association (HOA). Along with managing the operations and upkeep of the property, the association creates the rules and regulations meant to preserve the safety and value of the property. Condo rules and regulations cover issues such as the number and type of pets allowed on the property and any age requirements of homeowners and their household members.

What is condo property management for?

Condo communities generally partner with condo property management companies that ensure and oversee that the association rules and regulations are being adhered to by unit owners and to handle the upkeep of common areas.  Condo property managers must possess a variety of exceptional management skills in order to successfully execute their job. Condo property managers help to settle disputes between the HOA and condo owners and conflicts between condo owners, often playing the role of facilitator/mediator. They offer assistance to condo owners and answer questions they may have about move-in/move-out procedures.

Tasks handled by condo property management:

Hire and supervise all community employees from maintenance workers to leasing agents
Supervise and monitor the performance of site workers during any building construction/when repairs and maintenance are being conducted
Supervise and monitor the performance for all outsourced contract workers that may be on the grounds such as landscapers or physical fitness program instructors
Perform regular and meticulous property inspections

One of the most important tasks handled by condo property managers is financial management:

Developing the operational and reserve budget
Collecting and banking the monthly dues from condo owners and dispersing funds for payment
Maintaining proper and current financial records and using these records to prepare financial statements, tax returns and assist auditors

While there may be physical similarities between a condo and an apartment, for those interested in owning a piece of real estate, a condo offers many advantages over apartment rentals. With the right condo property manager in place, operations and maintenance of the common areas is smooth.

Son-Rise Property Management has been serving the property management needs of Bellingham and Whatcom County since 1996. Contact us today to see how we can help you find a rental property for your family or manage your rental properties.

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