Is Living in a Condo Right for You?

| October 22, 2015

Is Living in a Condo Right for You?

Living in a freehold home isn’t for everyone. For some people, the amount of maintenance required isn’t worth the investment. Others simply don’t have the budget to own a freehold home. Apartments, townhouses, and condos are usually good alternatives.

This is especially true in cities where the cost and the inconvenience of homes usually turn people towards these alternatives. Condos have a somewhat dubious reputation. They do come with some responsibilities that might deter potential buyers.

What, exactly, is a condo?

A condo can be anything from an apartment in a high rise to a townhouse. What makes it different is that along with owning the unit, you also own a portion of the land that the condo building is built on. Owning the portion comes with some responsibilities. You have to share the cost of maintenance and operation of the common areas with other residents. The decisions are usually made by the board of directors or some property management company.

The Benefits

There are several benefits of owning a condo. These benefits make condos a worthwhile purchase for most people.

  • Cost- Condos are usually more affordable than freehold homes, though they’re usually more expensive that renting an apartment. You might also have to shell out more for luxury condos and penthouses. There’s little to no difference between the mortgage and rent, even if you include the condo maintenance fee. So instead of renting an apartment, you can own a condo.
  • Location- People who prefer urban areas and cities to suburbs are usually attracted to condos. While condos in cities have a higher price-tag and maintenance fees, they’re close to work, public transport, dining and entertainment, and other such amenities. This makes them a very attractive option for people craving city living. 
  • Amenities- Condos usually come with amenities that you might not find anywhere else. Some condos have a gym, a swimming pool, a built in theatre room, etc. Family-friendly condos might also have a children’s play area.
  • Neighbours- People of certain lifestyles gravitate towards condo living. These are usually young professionals who want to be close to work and older people who want to downsize. Small families might also purchase a condo if they can’t afford to buy a freehold home.

Maintenance and Maintenance Costs

One of the best benefits of condos is that the outside areas are well maintained by the association and staff. This means that you don’t have to mow the lawns, shovel the driveway, or conduct repairs. Of course, these costs are shared by everyone and are usually a part of the condo fees. Major repair cost burden is also shared, which can be a great thing.

There are, of course, some disadvantages. As we mentioned earlier, the price in cities might be a deterrent. The maintenance cost can also be high in popular areas like downtown Toronto. The appreciation value of condos is also quite low. However, for some, the benefits outweigh the disadvantages.

If you want to find good, liveable condos, start looking by browsing through the Hotfrog Canada’s Condo page. You’re sure to find the right information there.