Searching for a place to rent can be overwhelming if you consider the array of available options. Should you take the studio? Or opt for something a little larger, like an apartment? Or maybe even a condo that’s up for rent?
If you find yourself contemplating these questions in your rental search, check out our guide for answers on which option—studio, apartment or condo—is right for you.
Renting a Studio
The average size of a studio apartment in New York City is about 550 square feet, according to CNN. You may think living in such cramped quarters is all drawbacks, but there’s surprisingly a lot to love about living in a teeny space. Consider the following:
Savings. Studio apartments are generally the cheapest units available, which gives you an opportunity to save money.
Prime location. With the money you’ll save renting a smaller space, you might be able to afford living in the hip and trendy parts of town. Many studio apartments are located in urban areas within a short distance of fun restaurants and shops.
Less cleaning required. If the thought of sweeping or vacuuming makes you feel sick, then studio apartment living may be for you. Living in a much smaller space means less surface area to keep clean.
Perfect minimalism. Life in a studio will teach you how to prioritize your belongings. You’ll quickly figure out what you really need and absolutely can’t do without because of limited space.
Renting an Apartment
If you’re still looking to save money but don’t want to sacrifice space, living in a regular-sized apartment really gives you the best of both worlds.
Bonus amenities. If you’re looking for amenities but want to avoid having to pay extra fees for a gym or health club, you might look into renting at an apartment complex that has a swimming pool, tennis courts, hot tubs or gym facilities. Sometimes, the added extras really make a place worth renting.
Extra rooms. An apartment can be a good option if you like to entertain or if you frequently work from home. Having a bedroom allows you to maintain private areas when you have guests over for cocktails; overnight guests can also enjoy private sleeping quarters. A bedroom can also double as a home office, which you can leave behind at the end of the work day simply by shutting the door.
Yard. Renters that live an on-the-go lifestyle might not exactly have extra hours for time-consuming yard work like mowing, watering or landscaping. Many larger apartment complexes are beautifully landscaped, which means you can enjoy all the benefits of having a yard without putting in any of the work.
Renting a Condo or Townhome
Renting a condo or townhome may be a great alternative to living in an apartment complex, and while the two may seem similar, they have more differences than you might think.
Private ownership. Most condos are owned by private, individual owners, who generally have a bigger emotional investment in the property than a commercial landlord. This means that the space might be better maintained. Carpets, windows and walls may be cleaned or painted more frequently, and the space may be equipped with better appliances and features like premium countertops and flooring.
Negotiation. Since most condos are privately owned, the owner may not be looking to make a huge profit from the rental. The owner may just be looking to cover the mortgage, taxes and other condo-related expenses, which means you might have more room to negotiate monthly rent payments.
Sense of community. Most people living in condo buildings are unit owners, which mean there’s likely less turnover among the residents than in an apartment building. People tend to know each other. And, chances are, you’ll get to know others who live in the building rather quickly and enjoy that shared sense of community.
Security. Living in an owner-occupied building can offer what feels like an added layer of security. Longer-term residents have a better feel for the neighborhood and can be more aware of suspicious activities. Condominium buildings also sometimes have greater security features, like secure entry doors, a staffed front desk or a doorman; and, in many instances, unit owners also have individual home security alarms. Additionally, a parking spot is almost always assigned to you, so you likely won’t have to worry about unsafe street parking.