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Purchasing a Condo vs. a House

So you’re in the market for a new home, but now is the time to decide what type of space best suits your lifestyle and how you want to live. Whether you’re drawn to the condominium life or the comfort of a single-family house, both options have their advantages and drawbacks but we’ve outlined some key factors of each home to make your decision a little easier.

Expenses: Generally speaking, owning a condo is less expensive then owning a home. With a condo you can expect a cheaper purchase price and smaller mortgage and therefore you can begin building equity on the property sooner. That said if you a purchase a condo you should also expect to pay monthly condo fees, which amply cover utilities, parking, building level maintenance and amenities. For some, these fees may be a deal breaker, for others the convenience of these services is well worth the additional costs. On the opposing side, when you buy a house you own the house in its entirety but are also responsible for all the expenses associated with the ownership and general maintenance of the property. These expenses include your mortgage, insurance, property taxes, utilities as well as year-round maintenance of the home and surrounding property. However as an investment, one can argue there is higher potential for growth.

Maintenance and Customizing: For some homebuyers, the perk of having someone else take care of routine maintenance is a huge draw and in this case, condo ownership is the best option. Maintaining a property is hard work. Therefore owning a condo may mean additional condo fees, but the trade-off is you have the luxury of allowing someone else to perform this maintenance for you. This is especially invaluable for those with a busy schedule who don’t have the time or interest to burden themselves with these responsibilities. However, because most repairs and maintenance take place on a building level, the same can be said for renovations. If you decide to make any aesthetic changes to your new home, depending on how large scale the project is, you will likely need approval from your condo board. In this case, you may own the property but will have fewer liberties to do as you please and fully make it your own or grow the property. On the flip side, while you are personally on the hook to perform all maintenance on a house; owning a house also means you also have full reign over any stylizing decisions and can to renovate and transform the property however you choose! The option to build upon your home and grow it to your liking is a huge perk for homebuyers.

Location & Amenities: Consider your lifestyle and what most important to you when choosing between a condo and a house. Condo life is all about convenience and therefore, they tend to be located in cities, most often downtown areas where entertainment are in close proximity. Additionally many in-building amenities such as gyms, pools, patios, park spaces, etc., are shared amongst residents, and you don’t even have leave the property to access them. Houses are about simple comfort, and are often found in neighbourhood suburbs, further distanced from these densely packed areas. In some cases this also means longer commutes to amenities and entertainment but also far more privacy and space.

 

Socializing & Neighbours: When owing a condo, you can expect to get to know your neighbours on a much more intimate level then you would owning a house. Subdivisions are densely packed and modeled with condos in close proximity to one another. Living in such close quarters, it’s likely you’ll wind up co-mingling more commonly then you would owning a house, where there is greater distance between you and your neighbour’s property. Because of shared amenities and condos tending to entice people with similar interests and lifestyles, the potential to socialize with like-minded individuals and build connections is high. However, keep in mind that you’ll be sharing walls with these people, and this also means the potential for limited privacy. For some, houses in single-detached neighbourhoods, establish a more comfortable distance between neighbours. You live in close enough proximity to reach out and socialize if you choose, but also have your respected understanding of space. Additionally, unlike a condo, with a detached house, you own a piece of land and with a yard there is endless potential for gardening, back yard BBQ’s, and more intimate entertaining with friends.

 

There you have it, a list of key factors to consider when deciding between purchasing a condo or a house. While there are huge advantages to owning either option, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons based on your particular situation and determine what works best for you! For more guidance coming to the right decision, I’m here to help!

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