HomeOwn & InvestApartment Complex vs Community: What’s the Difference?

Apartment Complex vs Community: What’s the Difference?

apartment complex

The unprecedented housing market of the last year has affected more than just home sales. Rents in many major cities are continuing to rise. If you’re overwhelmed by the options, we’ve got you covered. We’ll take a deep dive into the differences between an apartment complex and an apartment community.

From community rooms to parking, and dog runs, we’ll go over common amenities and features of both complexes and communities. Let’s jump in to see which type of apartment living is right for you.

What is an Apartment Complex?

An apartment complex is a collection buildings and apartment homes. The apartments are all a part of the same residential apartment housing development. While an apartment building may have several units in it, a complex is often made up of more than one building.

In an apartment complex, you’ll find common areas and spaces between units and buildings. You’ll typically have shared dumpsters, parking areas, and hallways in an apartment complex. There likely won’t be on-site management or a building lobby or office.

Apartment Complex Features and Common Areas

An apartment complex is more than just a collection of apartment units. With a complex, you’ll often meet neighbors and interact with a few people in common spaces each day. Apartment complexes may have mailrooms, shared garbage shoots, parking, and outdoor spaces.

Common areas in an apartment complex usually include hallways, parking lots, laundry rooms, and mailrooms. You’ll also have garages, dog relief areas, green space, and outdoor grills. Common areas may require reservations and have limited hours.

What is an Apartment Community?

An apartment community has more of a social and lifestyle focus than a complex. You’ll also find more of a focus placed on social gathering, wellness, and amenities. Many residents choose to pay a premium for apartment community common spaces and amenities.

In an apartment community, you may find everything from fitness centers to pools, movie theaters, bars, restaurants, and pet washing facilities. An apartment community aims to give residents convivence as well as a place to gather with neighbors, friends, and family. You’ll often have a leasing office, on-site maintenance, and a main lobby.

Apartment Community Amenities

An apartment community comes with a wide variety of amenities. Many communities offer indoor fitness centers with group classes such as yoga. You’ll also see dog and pet-friendly amenities such as dog runs and pet grooming stations.

Depending on where you live, most communities also offer some form of parking. This can range from a heated, community garage to outdoor surface parking. You may also have individual garages, designated spaces, or community parking for yourself and guests.

Some communities offer indoor or outdoor pools, firepit areas, patios, grills, and outdoor space for residents, family, and friends to enjoy. Luxury communities may also have entertainment amenities such as bowling alleys, movie theaters, and restaurants.

Many apartment communities also come with a shared mail and package receiving room. This is great for receiving deliveries and packages when you aren’t home. There may also be an on-site laundry room and dry cleaner available.

Apartment Community Gathering Spaces and Tenant Events

In addition to the amenities, you’ll often see apartment communities with more gathering and event spaces. The idea behind this is community. An apartment community is designed with entertainment and gathering in mind.

You’ll often find community rooms, event spaces, and outdoor dining areas. These spaces are for community events or private parties. The apartment community itself will often host happy hours, pool parties, and holiday socials for its residents.

Many apartment communities will also have great outdoor space for tenants. In addition to those with outdoor pools, you may also find outdoor grill areas, patios, outdoor seating, and fire pits. These may also be used for community gatherings or private events in some communities.

In urban areas, these outdoor spaces can also include rooftop decks, rooftop pools, and lounge areas. These are designed to give residents access to green and outdoor space when individual units don’t offer their own private balconies. You may also see dog parks and children’s playgrounds for community use.

Apartment Communities with Commercial Spaces

Many apartment communities also come with built-in commercial spaces. These may be run separately or by the apartment management company. You may find commercial spaces such as restaurants, bars, dry cleaners, nail salons, and even childcare facilities.

In dense urban areas, it’s common for apartment developments to include commercial spaces to give residents and nearby neighbors access to convivence. Grocery stores, coffee shops, and fitness centers are also common in apartment communities. This gives residents access to groceries, coffee, and take-out without ever needing to leave the apartment community.

Apartment Complex vs Community: Which is Right for You?

When it comes to choosing an apartment complex or apartment community, there’s no right or wrong answer. Choosing between the two will include a wide variety of factors. Before you start shopping and decorating, you’ll want to consider which features matter most to you.

Whether you have new roommates, a new pet, a new baby, or a new job, finding the best apartment for you starts with your budget and a list of must-haves. This list can include a playground, a dog run, or a lower-priced apartment with a location that’s close to work. For more real estate and finance tips, check out more blog posts like this one

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