DRG Condo Rentals

Top 5 Differences Between Apartment and Condo Rentals

June 21, 2019 by Paul Begich

There are SO MANY different residential buildings available in Minneapolis! And it seems like every single week a new apartment complex goes up in one of our amazing neighborhoods! With the influx of new apartment complexes, the condo rental market is becoming more and more diluted, and I’m finding that many of my clients simply aren’t familiar with the differences between renting at a condo vs. renting at an apartment building.

This blog post will change that!

Top 5 Differences Between Minneapolis Apartments and Condo Rentals

(1) Condos = More Bang for Your Buck!

When renting at a condo, tenants should expect their units to be substantially larger than the apartment complex counterpart. I’m seeing condo rentals average between $2.00 – $2.50/sq. ft. on a monthly basis. Meaning if a unit is 1,000 sq. ft., the cost to rent a Minneapolis condo could range between $2,000/month – $2,500/month (obviously, there is some variance here based on neighborhood, building, finishes, time of year, etc.). On the flip side, at an apartment complex, the cost per square foot could range between $2.50 – $3.00. Meaning, at the end of the day, you get a little more bang for your buck in terms of space renting at a condo than at an apartment.

(2) More Amenities at Apartment Complexes

While condos may give you a larger unit for less of an overall cost, apartment complexes appeal with the glitz and glam of shiny amenities. Across the Minneapolis market, you can expect the apartment rentals to include more amenity features, like a crazy nice pool decks, amazing club rooms, gorgeous rooftop decks, and decked out fitness centers. This isn’t to say that condos don’t offer some of these amenities, because some of them definitely do, but speaking generally, the apartment offerings far surpass those of the condo.

(3) Condos Include Parking and Utilities

The fee structure at a condo and apartment rental are TOTALLY different! Apartments bill on an a la carte basis, where you have your base rent costs, plus parking costs, plus utilities, plus storage, plus pet rent—you get the idea. Things add up quickly at an apartment! At a condo, however, parking is almost ALWAYS included in the cost of rent and pending what’s covered by the HOA dues (as a renter you don’t have to pay these dues), you could have as much inclusion as the following utilities: water/sewage/trash; gas/heat; and basic cable and internet. The one utility that you’ll almost always have to pay as a tenant (except at the Ivy Residences) will be electricity. Plus, you don’t have pet rent at a condo! Score!

(4) Renting from a Property Management Company vs. an Owner

Another big difference between apartment vs. condo living is who you’re actually renting from—and there’s some pros and cons to both sides. At an apartment complex, you’ll be renting from a property management company: companies like Greystar, Excelsior, Saturday Properties, Greco Properties, Lincoln, and Pinnacle are a few of the bigger players in town. And these property management companies are relatively large with sometimes thousands of doors within their portfolio. This brings with it systems that make the renting process straightforward but it can also lack the personal connection that you could be looking for from a landlord.

At a condo, you’ll be renting directly from an individual (owner). You may or may not be interacting directly with that owner, pending on who manages the unit (DRG manages condo rentals for owners!), but you’re indeed renting from a person as opposed to a company. Additionally, when renting at a condo, you’ll more than likely be surrounded by other owners opposed to transient renters. Most Minneapolis condos have rental caps that keep overall renters in the building to less than twenty-five percent. Both renting from an owner or from a property management company are great, but it’s definitely another big distinction.

(5) Quality of the Construction

Downtown Minneapolis apartments are going up crazy fast! But where are all the condos? There are a handful of reasons as to why that’s the case (and we’ll get into that in another post), but one reason is that most of the apartment build outs are what we call “five over one” wood frame construction. This type of construction has a concrete foundation and first floor with five floors of wood framing constructed above—hence the “five over one” nomenclature. For individuals who desire quiet apartments with zero noise and vibration transfer from unit to unit, these build outs aren’t the best option out there.

Most of the condo build outs are of substantially higher quality construction. In most instances, the builds are post-tension concrete, which is about as good as it gets in terms of noise cancellation and mitigating vibration. Now, this isn’t the case with ALL Minneapolis apartments and condo rentals, and there are definitely some very well constructed apartments out there and some condo that could use some work, but speaking generally, this is a major difference between apartments and condos that you’ll want to know before you start searching.

Stay Connected with Your DRG Agent

I hope this piece helped remove the cloak surrounding apartment and condo rentals near you. Follow me on Instagram at @paulbegich_urbanrealtor to stay up to date on what’s going on in my business! If you’d like to schedule an appointment to find an apartment or downtown condo to rent, contact me at paul@drgmpls.com today!

It’s a great day to be great!


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