Apartment

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Image: Shutterstock

Defined: A rental unit in a complex, whether it be garden-style (two or four stories high), mid-rise (larger complexes of five to 10 floors) or high-rise
Typical Residents: Younger people not ready to purchase a home; older people in a transition in their lives—maybe they’ve divorced, are remodeling their house, or sold during the peak of the market and are not yet sure what’s next
Benefits: Flexibility, including the option for short-term leases; no upkeep responsibility
Drawback: When you rent, you aren’t building equity

Condo

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Image: Shutterstock

Defined: A unit in a multifamily building that is individually purchased by its owner
Typical Residents: Twenty-somethings who buy as a stepping stone to owning a house; later-in-life couples with grown children who want to shed their family home with all of its upkeep and move closer to museums, restaurants and culture
Benefits: Provides the perks of homeownership along with a range of amenities that single-family homes can’t offer
Drawback: Monthly maintenance fees, which for some spaces can be almost as much as a mortgage payment

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