What are the pros and cons of buying a condo vs a house?
When trying to decide whether or not to opt for a condo or a house, would-be buyers are often faced with a conundrum: while there are many reasons to choose one over the other, trying to determine which option is right for your particular lifestyle and budget can be legitimately puzzling. The fact is, there are pros and cons to both routes, and being informed can go a long way toward making the right decision.
There’s no denying that condos have enjoyed a surge of popularity in recent years due to a rise in urban dwellings and the lifestyles of convenience that go along with them. Generally, condos are situated in urban areas, within proximity to stores, restaurants, and other high traffic places. Many condos also offer luxury-style amenities like pools, communal lounges, or gyms, making them a compelling, low-maintenance choice for busy people in need of a turnkey solution. Condo association fees generally cover maintenance of the exterior of the property along with the common areas, leaving condo owners with little maintenance responsibility aside from their indoor living space.
Experts say condo values usually reach their peak within the first decade, while Canadian houses continue to rise in value. But perhaps the main downside to living in a condo is the association fees, which are collected in addition to your mortgage payments in order to go toward maintenance and amenities in the building. These fees can be quite high and can rise even higher when funds are required for maintenance purposes. Additionally, because all homeowners participate in the condo decision-making process, it can be frustrating and tedious to deal with your condo association’s rules and restrictions if you do not agree with the majority when it comes to deciding how to allocate funds or which design to choose.
It’s hard to beat the value of a house if you’re after a strong long-term investment. In particularly hot real estate markets such as Toronto and Vancouver, houses remain in very high demand. One sure pro to purchasing your own house is the total control you have to remodel, redesign, or renovate to your heart’s content—without anyone else’s input—as long as they don’t break any city bylaws. Additional indoor and outdoor spaces can better accommodate larger families, and pets as well. Not to mention, houses offer more closet storage space, as well as unique attics or basement spaces. If you value a lot of privacy, a house may be the right choice for you: neighbours don’t live as close by as they do in condo buildings.
Owning a house does have a downside. For one thing, you are fully responsible for all maintenance work, both inside and outside the property, including yard upkeep. The purchase of extra equipment and tools are often required when you buy a house. While home improvements will very likely increase your home’s resale value, you have to be able to invest time and money in order to get to that point. Utility bills are generally higher than in condos as well due to that extra space.
Ultimately, your choice shouldn’t just come down finances alone. It’s important to consider which property type best suits your needs! Happy hunting.
If you’re looking to buy a condo, consider one of DevMcGill’s innovative construction projects. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or not we have something to suit your needs. View our current Montreal condo projects here to find your next home or call at 514-288-4737.
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