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Old September 21st, 2012, 11:05 AM   #1
Manila-X
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Apartment vs. Condo?

The proper term for any self contained housing unit that is part of a building is usually called "apartments".

Apartments may be of all sorts and of all classes whether it is a tenement building to the luxury type.

But another term has sprouted up, the condominium.

Here in The Philippines especially in major cities, the term condominium or condo is widely being used for such whether it is privately owned or is being rented out.

Even tenement or government built public housing buildings here are being called condominiums. Also private owned residential buildings that rent it's units.

Anyway, is there is the difference between the two? Which term is better used to describe such in your country or your city?
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Old September 21st, 2012, 11:09 AM   #2
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In the US, apartment means you're renting, condo mean you bought the place.

Typically in the US they call the place they live their "home". "House" is used in the context of a free standing building.
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Old September 21st, 2012, 01:48 PM   #3
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Well in Malaysia Apartment is more common 'average housing' while a condo is just a higher end luxury apartments. The units in condos are also much larger and less dense such as 1 to 3 units per floor.
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Old September 21st, 2012, 05:16 PM   #4
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Jan is correct for North America; a building of rental units is an Apartment building. One with units that are individually sold are Condominiums, and those are collectives that have a monthly maintenance fee for all owners. There is never any blurring of those definitions here.
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Old September 21st, 2012, 06:06 PM   #5
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In the Netherlands a flat means you are renting, while apartment means you bought it. The word condo is not very common here.
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Old September 21st, 2012, 06:13 PM   #6
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In Brazil, a "condominium" is the standard way most apartment buildings are administrated: as a consortium between the owners of each individual apartment in the building.

It's rare to find a building in Brazil were all apartments are owned by a single person, who rents them all. That usually only happens in small buildings with less than 5 storey, and only in a minority of them.

In buildings 10 storey or taller, it's almost always a "condominium" with many apartments, each one owned by a different person.

Some of the owners of apartments in a "condominium" may rent their apartments to another person, while others will live themselves in the building. So, most condominiums in Brazil are "mixed": some apartments are rented, others are not rented. And in this case, it's the owner of the apartment who have the right to vote in the meetings of the condominium, to take decisions about the rules of the building, and not the tenant. The tenant can only vote if the owner officialy delegates that power to him.
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Old September 21st, 2012, 07:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiboko View Post
In the Netherlands a flat means you are renting, while apartment means you bought it. The word condo is not very common here.
Isn't 'flat' the british term for 'apartment'? At least, that's what they used to teach us in English class.
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Old September 21st, 2012, 08:16 PM   #8
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In the UK 'flat' is the normal term, 'apartment' if you want it to sound a bit more classy. Both terms refer interchangeably to both owned and rented properties, indeed most buildings contain a mixture of tenures.

'Condo' or 'Condominium' is not a term generally used here but many people will understand it from exposure to US tv shows/movies etc....
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Old September 21st, 2012, 08:28 PM   #9
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In New York 'apartment' can mean everything from a sale property to a rental. Usually the non-rental refers to a co-op apartment because 'condo' distinctly means any sale property unencumbered by the co-op board process (which puts a Nazi magistrate court to shame). In the rest of the US the distinction is pretty clear: apartment = rental, condo = owned unit.
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Old September 22nd, 2012, 02:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiboko View Post
In the Netherlands a flat means you are renting, while apartment means you bought it.
That's not how I use those in Dutch. In my book, a flat and especially its diminutive form flatje is usually being considered to be a bit of a derogative term for an apartment, usually when it's a cheap one. The word flat is mostly being used as a noun to point out a commieblock-style apartment building.
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Old September 22nd, 2012, 02:14 PM   #11
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Isnt the usage of "Condo" outside the USA just a cheap marketing trick aimed at people who desperately seek status symbols to feel better about themselves?
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Old September 23rd, 2012, 07:00 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El_Greco View Post
Isnt the usage of "Condo" outside the USA just a cheap marketing trick aimed at people who desperately seek status symbols to feel better about themselves?
Or to make the project look better even if it's not.

Just like this building Residencias De Manila



It is called a condo but in reality it's public housing, the fact was built by the government.

But the units are being sold instead of being rented out. On the other hand, Singapore has a similar scheme on some of it's HDB flats. But they are not called condos.
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Old September 23rd, 2012, 01:55 PM   #13
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In the Philippines, condos is like buying a house with a monthly rental imagine you're paying monthly for a common elevator, common rooftop, common water, common pathway, janitors, guards, and you have to buy your parking area not a good investment. In apartments you're paying only your monthly rental, water, electricity it will never be yours though
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Old September 23rd, 2012, 03:46 PM   #14
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80% of Singapore housing are high-rise. Condo means a high-rise with amenities i.e. with pool, playground, gym, security guards etc... otherwise its called HDB (public housing).
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Old September 24th, 2012, 11:54 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taller, Better View Post
Jan is correct for North America; a building of rental units is an Apartment building. One with units that are individually sold are Condominiums, and those are collectives that have a monthly maintenance fee for all owners. There is never any blurring of those definitions here.
There is a further distinction. Condominiums are owned, those that are rented are either apartments or town homes depending on what kind of structure it is. It's a town home if its a row house, otherwise its an apartment (in a building with one unit stacked on top of another like in a high rise).
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Old September 24th, 2012, 12:00 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El_Greco View Post
Isnt the usage of "Condo" outside the USA just a cheap marketing trick aimed at people who desperately seek status symbols to feel better about themselves?
Why would it be a cheap marketing trick everywhere except one country? And how would it be a marketing term? You're either in the market to buy or you're not. Labeling something a condominium is simply using language to convey information: that the unit is available for purchase.

It's also why we make a distinction between a dentist and a doctor so we don't show up at the dentists office when we get sick. That's how language works.

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Old September 24th, 2012, 03:27 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isaidso View Post
There is a further distinction. Condominiums are owned, those that are rented are either apartments or town homes depending on what kind of structure it is. It's a town home if its a row house, otherwise its an apartment (in a building with one unit stacked on top of another like in a high rise).
So an owner-occupied rowhome in the US/Canada would also be called a condo/condominium?
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Old September 24th, 2012, 03:38 PM   #18
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Quote:
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So an owner-occupied rowhome in the US/Canada would also be called a condo/condominium?
Technically, yes.
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Old September 24th, 2012, 03:46 PM   #19
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but not a detached house?
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Old September 24th, 2012, 04:04 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isaidso View Post
Why would it be a cheap marketing trick everywhere except one country?
Because in America it has a one particular meaning. Elswhere it is a marketing trick aimed at specific type of buyer. Someone who isnt merely buying a place to live but is buying a lifestyle.
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