Retiring in Myrtle Beach: Buy a Condo or An Apartment?

With plenty of landmarks for tourists and various activities for residents, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, is a hotspot for people from all walks of life. Those who want to make the most out of their free time often flock to the sandy beaches and nearby temporary lodging. Whereas those who crave a fulfilling retirement lifestyle take to real estate listings to find a permanent dwelling.

If you are planning for retirement in the scenic beach town, you are in for a treat. In addition to reaping the benefits of an affordable lifestyle, you may also start enjoying unique attractions that people visit from all over the country. That’s not all. From classic properties to modern housing units, you can also have your pick of the litter to get the most out of your retirement home.

But that’s where the abundance of choices makes the process a bit challenging to go through. With plenty of apartments and condos for sale in Myrtle Beach, SC, it can get tricky to decide which type of property is the right fit for you.

Fortunately, understanding the differences is easier than you may think at first. By familiarizing yourself with the nuances of both types of properties, you can pick an option that perfectly meets the requirements of your retirement dream.


The Major Differences Between Apartments and Condos for Sale in Myrtle Beach

At first glance, an apartment and a condo look like the same coin with different sides. For the most part, they are. Both options classify as individual housing units within a large complex or a building plan. But their similarities usually end there. There are differences that you need to keep in mind while selecting between these two properties.

The most glaring dissimilarities between an apartment and a condo present in the form of their ownership, operational restrictions, and rent limitations. To help you understand them in a better manner, here’s a lowdown on these aspects.


An apartment is typically owned by a single buyer that holds the deed to the whole building, including all the other housing units. On the other hand, a condo is owned by an individual as an independent housing unit within the respective building.

When you “buy” an apartment, you purchase the shares to the building through a cooperative housing or co-op arrangement. You can then typically use your respective apartment without having to pay rent. But you need to comply with the rules of the homeowner’s association (HOA) of the building and also pay a monthly HOA fee.

When you purchase a condo, the transaction is treated in a manner similar to any other single housing unit. The property is yours to use, own, and maintain. An HOA and its respective fee are present in this case as well. But you can use your condo more freely as compared to a typical apartment. This is why many retirees look for condos for sale in Myrtle Beach.

Operational Restrictions

When you buy an apartment through a co-op, you usually select between different options that need you to comply with some operational restrictions and renovation limits.

These choices include the following categories.

  • Market-rate co-op. This option lets you buy and sell your shares anytime, but the process still requires that you pass such transactions through the co-op board.
  • Limited-equity co-op. This limits the amount you can sell your shares, which caps the profit you can make from your initial investment.
  • Group-equity. Here, you pay a large sum for the apartment but end up paying rent anyway. However, the rent is lower than the usual prices in the area.

In addition to this, your apartment’s renovations are typically also limited by the HOA’s definitions.

But a condo comes free of these restrictions. Buying or selling a condo unit doesn’t usually require you to go through the HOA’s stringent limitations. Since the condo becomes your property, there are no complex types of equities where you need to pay an even small amount of rent.

When you buy a condo, you can sell-off your unit however you want, whenever you want. You can also customize your condo any way you like and make architectural changes that make your unit truly unique.

This ensures that your condo comes with all the comfort of owning a home, including the ability to do any accessibility-related changes within your unit. This is also one of the biggest reasons why many potential homeowners look for condos for sale in Myrtle Beach.

Renting Limitations

This is another significant aspect where apartments and condos have a stark difference between them.

Since an HOA for an apartment is highly strict, it usually puts stipulations on renting the space that you own through the co-op. Almost all apartment HOAs involve complex and lengthy screening processes for new tenants, making it difficult for you to rent out your apartment if you ever need to do so. Some co-ops don’t even allow you to rent out your unit in the first place.

On the other hand, owning a condo comes with flexible terms and conditions. In case you are going away for the holidays, want to move to another home a few years into your retirement, or just need the flexibility to generate income through real estate, a condo can be your ideal choice. Since the HOA doesn’t go through complex processes to allow new tenants, you can rent your condo more easily.

How Does an Apartment Compare to a Condo in Terms of Living Experience?

Due to apartments’ overall features, finding co-ops in select areas is typically harder than accessing condos. This is why those who want to live in an individual housing unit turn towards condos for sale in Myrtle Beach.

But this particular aspect comes with its advantages. It’s because condos offer a more elevated living experience then apartments, with plenty of facilities that aren’t usually available to those who live in co-ops.

Facilities such as a laundry room and a building gym are common between high-end apartments and condos alike. But condos come with added luxury amenities such as swimming pools, lounge areas, concierge services, and even sports courts. These features depend upon the property to property, but they usually all deliver an enhanced living experience than usual apartment listings.

If you are looking for a more comfortable, worry-free, and luxurious living option for your retirement, a condo might be the perfect fit for you. As long as you pay attention to the affordability, amenities, and location, you will get the most out of your retirement years while enjoying an enriching housing experience.