The condominium lifestyle is attractive to many. But like most investments, you’ll want to ensure you consider all of the advantages and disadvantages prior to committing. Does an easy breezy condo lifestyle excite you? Are you financially prepared to take ownership? And what about those darn cash calls that can crop up when you’re least expecting them?
We’ve compiled a list of the main advantages and disadvantages to help you with this important decision.
- More affordable for first time buyers. A condo can be less intimidating than purchasing comparable houses.
- Depending on the exact rules of the corporation, the common property is owned and maintained by the board of directors of the condo corporation. This means you can wash your hands clean of time-consuming and pesky maintenance and repairs of these areas. Common areas may vary from condo to condo, so don’t forget to read all of your documents.
- Outdoor maintenance such as landscaping and snow removal is taken care of. No more freezing your butt off having to shovel all that snow.
- Flexible living. Condos provide more freedom and a worry-free lifestyle for owners wanting to spend time travelling or simply avoid the responsibilities of home ownership.
- Access to sweet onsite amenities that usually don’t come with a house, such as gyms and swimming pools
- Monthly fees do not change. They are constant, making it easier to budget.
- Elaborate security features. Most buildings have enhanced security to keep their residents and guests safe, including video surveillance, top-of-the-line locking systems, and entry buzzers.
- As an owner, you have the right to vote and be elected to the board of directors. Once elected, you’ll have the opportunity to contribute to all the important decisions about your building, not to mention get your wants and needs pushed to the forefront.
- Social and recreational activities. Who doesn’t love a good social gathering? The building may have a common lounge for residents to gather complete with a kitchen, seating space, and more.
- Instant community. Neighbours are near and lifelong friendships can be built.
- Rules are set in place to protect property values and keep maintenance costs low.
- Attractive re-sale options.
- Little outdoor space. While no yard work is definitely an advantage, you’ll want to consider the minimal green space, especially if children will be regularly occupying the unit.
- Repairs and maintenance timelines are out of your hands.
- Possible special assessment fees required for unexpected repairs. You’ll want to have a stash of cash just in case.
- Limited parking. Parking garages, guest stalls, and street parking might be available; however, you might have to pay additional monthly fees.
- Less privacy. There’s potential for people to be living beside you, above you, and below you, and all public areas are communal. You will run into neighbours and encounter smells and noises from time to time.
- Due to its community lifestyle, condominiums attract a variety of personalities, sometimes making consensus difficult.
- Pet restrictions. Some condos have specific guidelines regarding types, sizes, and number of pets.
- There are sometimes limitations on certain décor, including wall and window coverings.
- Lack of storage space. Some condos include a small storage space, but it always isn’t a guarantee.
Depending on your personal needs, a condo can be an excellent and affordable option, with minimal hassle. Maybe you’ll even luck out with a fitness facility, hot tub, or other desirable perks. On the other hand, if you’re in need of extra space, parking, a yard, and own pets, you may want to consider a house or townhome. Either way, buying a new place can be a fantastic investment and fulfillment of a lifelong goal.