An apartment is one or more premises, which can be used for permanent living. This type of real estate normally includes a kitchen, a bathroom and a living area. Depending on its type, an apartment is possible to be located in a residential complex or commercial building (in this case, its premises are considered non-residential, however, they are equipped with everything you need for living).

How does it differ from a flat?

An apartment differs from a flat with the legal status. Legally it is considered as non-residential real estate, like restaurants and offices, for instance. The developer is not obliged to provide apartments’ residents with such facilities as supermarkets, schools, kindergartens and other infrastructure. Future owners should take into consideration that it’s not allowed to get permanent registration in such buildings, due to the fact that it can cause difficulties while getting children enrolled in school or kindergarten.

Utility bills are also worth considering. In apartments, due to their non-residential status, utilities are on average 15-20% more expensive than in flats of the same size. The same situation is with the property tax, which is higher in apartment complexes than in blocks of flats.

Apartment types

This kind of property is generally subdivided into 4 types:

  • Apart-hotels. Accommodation for rent. Residents can enjoy the same services which are provided in hotels.
  • Profitable houses. Normally investors purchase such real estate to rent it out and make a profit.
  • Condominium. It’s really popular in the USA. You can rent it first, and then purchase it for personal use.
  • Multifunctional complexes. Apartments in these buildings are more like regular flats. They can be sold, rented out and used for permanent living.

The advantages of apartments

This type of housing has a number of obvious advantages:

  • Hotel services. Buying an apartment in a hotel the owner can regularly order room service and meals. Convenient location. Apartment complexes are often constructed in the city centre with well-developed infrastructure or in the outskirts with very good ecology. 
  • High demand. This type of real estate is very suitable for rent. People on business trips, foreign students and young families are most interested in it.
  • Impossibility of foreclosure. According to the law, properties in apartment complexes are not residential. Consequently, there is no possibility of foreclosure in case of any unpaid debts.
  • Open plan. In most cases, the owners are able to make their own layout.

The disadvantages of apartments

Among the disadvantages:

  • Impossibility of registration. If your accommodation is in a commercial building, you can’t register anyone or be registered yourself in it. However, hotel apartments’ owners have such an opportunity. 
  • No privileges are provided. As long as apartments are non-residential premises, the buyer can’t purchase one using a subsidy or family capital or other state privileges. 
  • Complicated rearrangement. Owners are required to comply with special standards due to the fact that the apartment complexes belong to the commercial type of real estate.

To summarise: the purchase of an apartment is good for those who want to live in the city centre and still enjoy hotel services. If registration, benefits, low taxes, and a developed infrastructure are of primary importance, it is better to opt for an ordinary apartment.

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