Apartment vs. Condo Living in Seattle: Pros and Cons

Apartment vs. Condo Living in Seattle

Choosing between an apartment and a condo in Seattle is a significant decision that impacts your lifestyle, finances, and overall living experience. Both options offer distinct advantages and drawbacks. Understanding these can help you make an informed decision about where to call home in the Emerald City.

Apartment Living in Seattle


Lower Responsibility for Maintenance

If you live in an apartment, you usually have to pay the landlord for upkeep and repairs. For many who would much rather not deal with the hassle of house maintenance, this can be a huge relief.


Many apartment complexes in Seattle offer amenities like fitness centers, pools, and communal spaces, which are maintained by the building’s management.


Apartments usually offer more flexibility with shorter lease terms. This is ideal for those who may need to move frequently or are not ready to commit to a long-term residence.


Less Control Over the Property

As a tenant, you have limited control over the apartment. Customizations and renovations are often restricted.

Variable Rent

Rent can increase at the end of your lease term, subject to market conditions and the landlord’s discretion.

No Equity Building

Renting an apartment doesn’t contribute to building equity, unlike owning a home or condo.

Condo Living in Seattle


Building Equity

Purchasing a condo is an investment that can build equity over time. It’s a step towards homeownership without the responsibilities of a standalone house.

More Control

As a condo owner, you have more freedom to customize and renovate your space to suit your tastes and needs.

Potential Income

You have the option to rent out your condo, which can be a source of income or help pay the mortgage.


Homeowner Association (HOA) Fees

Condo owners typically pay monthly HOA fees, which can be substantial, depending on the amenities and services provided.

Resale Challenges

The resale value of a condo can be influenced by factors beyond your control, such as the condition of the building and decisions made by the HOA.

More Responsibility

As an owner, you are responsible for all the maintenance within your unit and may have a say in broader building maintenance issues.

Comparing the Financial Aspects

Initial Costs

Apartments generally require a security deposit and first month’s rent, whereas buying a condo involves a down payment, closing costs, and other purchasing expenses.

Long-Term Financial Commitment

Renting an apartment is a shorter-term financial commitment compared to buying a condo, which usually involves a mortgage and long-term financial planning.

Potential for Appreciation

Condos have the potential to appreciate in value, offering a return on investment, while renting an apartment does not offer this financial benefit.

Lifestyle Considerations

Community Living

Both apartments and condos offer community living experiences but differ in their sense of community and neighbor interactions.

Location and Accessibility

Consider the location and accessibility of apartments and condos in Seattle. Proximity to work, public transportation, and amenities should factor into your decision.

Finding Apartments and Condos in Seattle

Online Search Tools

The most efficient way to find houses in Seattle is to search apartments for rent in Seattle on Google or a leading real estate website like Zumper. These platforms can also help you find available condos for purchase.


Choosing between apartment and condo living in Seattle depends on your financial situation, lifestyle preferences, and long-term goals. Apartments offer flexibility and ease of living, while condos provide an opportunity for equity building and more personal control over your living space. Consider all aspects carefully to make a choice that best fits your needs and aspirations in Seattle.