Condominiums offer the safety and stability of homeownership but with fewer responsibilities. However, people often confuse them with apartments and co-ops because of their similarities. Before speaking to your realtor, decide what investment is right for you.

What's the Difference Between Condos, Apartments, & Co-Ops?

What are Condos?

Purchasing a condo is like buying a home. With the help of a realtor, the buyer secures a deed and a mortgage. The mortgage is subject to the same property taxes and deductions of any home. As a buyer, you own the unit. Common areas like hallways, recreation rooms, and gardens are co-owned by all the residents in the development.

A Homeowners Association (HOA) runs the development. They're responsible for maintaining the common areas and repairing the condo’s exterior structure. For the convenience, the owner is charged a monthly maintenance fee. The fee’s amount differs with each development. Speak to your realtor and the HOA about how the fees are determined.

Since buyers co-own shared areas, they can’t make changes to them without the permission of the HOA. This sometimes includes painting the exterior of the condo. The association may limit the colors you can use or have final say in your decision. However, you own the inside space of the condo and you can redecorate or remodel as you see fit.

Condos come in several forms. Many are converted from apartments, townhouses, or detached houses, offering a variety of options for families and single people alike.  

What Makes Them Different?

RealtorCondos are often compared to apartments and confused with co-ops. Apartments are rented while condos are purchased. Condo owners build equity through their condo as they would a house.

Like many condos and apartments, co-ops are multi-unit buildings, but the similarities end there. You don’t technically own a co-op. When presented with the lease by your realtor, you’d be listed as a “tenant” or “shareholder.” Co-ops are collectively owned and managed by the residents. Each resident owns a share of the co-op as a non-profit corporation.

To maintain the building, each resident takes on different responsibilities. Taxes on co-ops are usually lower than a condo’s because the burden is shared with your fellow tenants.

The co-op board must approve new residents. If you decide to sell your unit, speak to a realtor who can help you find a seller. However, the board must approve the person before you sell the unit to them. Depending on the co-op agreement, you may keep the profits of the sale.


If you’re interested in investing in a condo, reach out to Liberty Realty LLC. For 25 years, this full-service realtor has matched clients with the apartments, houses, and offices they’ve dreamed of. They offer a vast array of commercial and residential properties throughout Hoboken, NJ, and Hudson County. To schedule an appointment, call (201) 610-1010. For a full list of their services and available properties, visit their website.