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You are ready to take the big step of buying a new residence. The two choices that you are considering is either to buy a house or to buy a condo. Before deciding because this is a big one you are going to want to look at the pros and cons of both of them. By doing so, you will be able to make an informed decision. Keeping in mind that this decision you are making is a personal one. What may be right for you may not be for someone else.
Purchasing a Residence Involves Your Life Style
What you do in your daily lifestyle and what you like to do as well are two important factors when it comes to the type of residence that would suit you best.
Condo Living May Be Best Suited for Those…
House Living May Be Best Suited for Those…
Want a cheaper residence purchase
Who want to determine how much privacy they need or want
Who want to buy a residence in ready to move in condition
That may want the freedom of making major changes in their home
That don’t want the hassle of repairs and maintenance
Who enjoy making use of outdoor living space
Who don’t care about absolute privacy
That want the option of choosing to live in a remote or rural area
That have a hectic lifestyle
Who have the time to dedicate to the ongoing upkeep of a home
Seniors who want extra security and to be able to socialize conveniently
That may want to extend their family in the future and want the option to increase space if they choose
That enjoy the extra amenities that some condos come with
May decide to upgrade the home to rent out a basement for extra income
Who choose to live in the busier sectors of an area
That want to be able to make all the decisions about their residence without having to vote on issues
Don’t have a lot of pets or children who need more access to the outdoors
Who don’t expect to need a lot of additional space in the future
The Pros of Owning a Condominium in Toronto
A condo does not place as many demands on its owner when it comes to the upkeep. Compared to what owning a house does. The condo owner is only responsible for the interior of the unit they have purchased. The upkeep and maintenance is the responsibility of the condo corporation.
The Extra Amenities
For some condo owners, they don’t have to worry about putting in a pool or hot tub. Or even buying gym equipment if that is their thing. Many condos have a recreation complex built into it that provides all these extra amenities.
Home security is an important component, and for condo owners most often their building has extra security features built into the building — items such as secure password doors, security cameras, and perhaps even security staff on the premises.
It is not uncommon for many condo owners to band together and form a social organization. This allows those in the condo building to get to know their neighbours in a social setting.
Although Condo owners do not have to become physically involved in the upkeep of the exterior or major interior repairs they do have some control over this. Condominiums are controlled by the owners of the condo which form a corporation. Owners have voting rights. They can also become elected to be part of the board of directors if they wish.
The Cons of Condo Ownership in Toronto
Limited Decision Making
The repairs and maintenance are controlled by the condo corp. They decide when the repairs are going to get done and by who.
Paying for What You Don’t Need
It is great to have the extra amenities, but if you don’t use them, then you are paying for something you don’t need.
Condo living is similar to apartment living when it comes to privacy. You have to be aware of the noise levels and that this is not affecting the other units.
The Condo corp is responsible for major repairs. The money for this comes from the unit owners who make a specific payment every month to the condo corp. But, sometimes there is not enough money collected for major repairs. This means each unit holder has to pitch in more money to cover these costs.
Condos have by-laws for the condo. This can include restrictions such as pet ownership, noise restrictions and even the type of window coverings that can be used.
There is no opportunity to add extra space to a condo. Nor in many cases is there any opportunity to enjoy outdoor space for outside activities like gardening.
Financial Pros and Cons of Condo Ownership
Finances always play an important role when buying a residence. This is one of the main factors that those who are in the market for buying a new residence will look at.
Condos are usually cheaper to buy when compared to some starter homes on the market.
Repairs and maintenance are normally covered in the common fees.
In some cases, the common fees paid monthly also covers the utilities like heat, water and hydro
The extra amenities can help to reduce costs that some individuals incur like going to a public pool or gymnasium.
Parking costs can be reduced as parking usually comes with the condo
Security costs are eliminated as there is normally no need to purchase individual security systems
There is a common monthly fee that has to be paid. Sometimes this can be more expensive than paying for utilities separate. Or, the repairs and maintenance can create unexpected costs.
A condo doesn’t normally appreciate as much as what a house may. So the building of equity may be limited.
The Pros of House Ownership
Just as there are pros and cons with condo ownership the same applies to homeownership.
Homeowners can determine how much privacy they want. This can be done by the amount of land that comes with the house purchase. Or, they can install privacy fences. Also, houses that are detached are not going to be subjected to the noise from homes nearby them as much.
Homeowners can do what they want to their home as long as they are adhering to the by-laws. They can change its looks both on the interior and the exterior and add extensions.
A house comes with land that allows the homeowner the chance to enjoy this outdoor space the way they want. They can install a patio if they choose or they can plant a flower or vegetable garden.
Homeowners have their interior as well as exterior space. They also have the option of creating more space.
The Cons of House Ownership
The Initial Repairs
Quite often there may be immediate repairs or upgrades that are necessary to suit the new homeowner.
Home ownership comes with more upkeep. There are continuous maintenance chores to be done such as mowing the lawn or shoveling the snow.
Financial Pros and Cons of Home Ownership
Home ownership has to be viewed from a financial aspect as well. There are pros and cons that apply to it.
Financial Pros of Home Ownership
More Control Over Costs: Homeowners have more control over their utility costs. They have the option of installing more energy efficient equipment. Or, taking extra caution to reduce the amount of usage of the utilities to reduce their costs.
Increasing Equity: Those that own home can make changes to the home that could increase its value, such as addition or finishing the basement. Another important factor is the equity in a home is usually more substantial than a condo and increases substantially over time.
It is usually more expensive to buy a starter home compared to a condo unit.
The purchase of the home will more than likely require a larger down payment.
It may be more difficult to get insurance for a house compared to a condo.
If something major goes wrong with the house, the repairs costs can be huge and unexpected.
Taking into consideration the pros and cons as well as the lifestyle will help make the decision of which to buy easier.
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