Comparing Rental Costs of Apartments vs. Condos in Las Vegas
For anyone on the hunt for a new apartment to rent this can mean hours perusing newspaper listings and then going to look at the ones that your search has been narrowed down to. In all the excitement and rush to find a new place, it may be easy to overlook which type of unit represents the best option for you.
Comparing apartments to condos is not as straightforward as many may think. Prices vary from apartment to apartment, as they do from condo to condo, so it not surprising that trying to compare an apartment to a condo will come with some challenges. Often the perks will largely dictate the price tag attached. For the most part, condos come with extra benefits rarely seen in apartments. Whether those benefits are worth, the higher price will depend largely on your lifestyle, and of course your budget. If certain perks of condo living such as a resident-only gym, clubhouse, pools and in-house laundry facilities are things that are important to you, then a condo is likely to be better suited to you than an apartment. If you already pay for a gym membership and have to use coin-operated Laundromats the higher price tag attached to a condo may, in fact, be equivalent to what you are already paying when you consider those items are included in the cost of the condo.
How to Know if the Higher Rental Cost Represents Good Value
According to Las Vegas Real Estate Sales Representative Conrad Roger, the busiest months of the year for Condos Las Vegas hunting are April to June, and that competition can be tough, so it is imperative that prospective tenants know what their priorities are before beginning the hunt. He went on to state that apartments are often the best value for those on a restricted budget, but as most of the condos are located in the downtown area it is possible to save the cost of public transport by walking or cycling.
One of the most beneficial aspects of condo living is that a large number of them have in-house laundry facilities. This appeals to many renters as they don’t have to cart their laundry to a Laundromat. Condo gym facilities are often quieter and less utilized than private clubs and are included in the rental cost. Some condo complexes even have club rooms where residents can entertain friends and family instead of going out.
When MoneySense undertook a cost comparison between condos and apartments, the additional cost of a condo in Calgary was just $42 and in Las Vegas $200. This was taking into account the additional costs apartment renters would have to pay for gym membership, transit passes, Laundromat expenses and entertainment. Montreal figures showed condos cost on average $310 more than apartments, with condos in Vancouver costing between $100 and $200 more that apartments. The difference in Vancouver condo rentals depended largely upon what part of the city the condo was located in.
While the extras that come with a condo rental are certainly attractive, it is wise to make sure that your budget can handle the extra cost. A general rule for calculating affordability is to look for condos and apartments that will cost no more than 30% of your pre-tax income, utilities included. To spend more than that percentage on rent can leave some tenants vulnerable should they suddenly find themselves without a job and not enough money saved for an emergency.
According to a report by the Housing and Mortgage Corporation (HMC) back in 2011, vacancy rates are on the decrease which is resulting in rental price hikes. This is a trend that is growing across all of Canada. As an example of this decrease in vacancy rates in 2012 Calgary’s vacancy rate was as low as 1.3%, with the average for Canada being 2.8%, according to Statistics Canada. Other major urban areas saw similar rates with small fluctuations.
He advises that renters should do the following:
* Decide the date you need to vacate your current apartment or condo by and make sure to give your landlord the required notice
* Decide which part of the city you want to live in
* Make sure your credit is in good standing – Roger advises that it is customary for landlords to want to check potential tenant’s credit so having a good credit rating will greatly improve your chances of getting the apartment or condo you want. Make sure you have a recent credit check available and expect it to be requested.
* Have additional funds available to cover first and last month’s rent
* Compose a list of questions to ask the landlord so that there are no surprises after you move in. Find out what is included in the condo rental cost and what isn’t. Some condos include utilities, while others don’t.* Before you move in make sure you have adequate renters insurance to cover any damages or loss of property.