Demystifying the terminology of multifamily housing

Multifamily housing can offer much value to both intrepid developer and investor. However, the layperson could be confused by the many kinds of multifamily housing options and their benefits and value to the occupant and owner. Clarifying certain terminology alerts interested parties to the singularities and salient features of multifamily investing.

Condominium vs. apartment

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The multifamily home is usually taken for the apartment building in medium- to high-density urban centers. It is usually distinguished from the condominium, but the differences between the two are boil down to terms of ownership.

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The word “condominium,” colloquially describing an owned apartment, actually refers to the tenure on a portion of real estate (usually, an apartment flat) that is purchased rather than leased, and applies to units from other kinds of multifamily properties such as patio homes. These can still be leased by their owners or the managers of the property on the owner’s behalf, with some systems allowing them to be used as hotel rooms.

Although multifamily housing developments vary greatly in density, they are usually either leased or sold. There are many kinds of multifamily developments, most of which can be converted to condominiums.

Project amenities

Many multifamily residences outside the inner city resemble classic suburbia while keeping the floor area of their inner-city counterparts. Often these developments also have wide common spaces dedicated to project amenities, which can range from playgrounds and parks to gyms, pools, and other entertainment and lifestyle facilities. In some areas, these can even take a turn for the luxurious, including spas and pet grooming services.

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Although the so-called amenities race is usually seen as an inner-city phenomenon, having an assortment of amenities, combined with a strategic location, can prove advantageous for the multifamily real estate investor.

Spectrum Business Ventures has a broad portfolio of multifamily residential developments located in key growth areas throughout the country. For more on the firm and its guiding investment philosophy, visit this website.

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