When making a decision to purchase a new home, many buyers face the long standing question: single-family house or condo? The decision is a difficult one and depends largely upon your lifestyle and needs. It is no secret that condos, especially in big cities, can be lighter on the bank account. But making a decision like this based only on cost isn’t always the best idea.
For many, a detached home with a two-car garage, backyard and white picket fence is the ultimate real estate dream, but it’s not always based in reality. On the other hand a flourishing condo market means a wider variety of property options for homebuyers and the realization that a house doesn’t always have to be the goal. The first step in making an educated choice is to weigh the options based on a variety of factors:
• Location and lifestyle
• Maintenance costs
• Rules of ownership
• Lending and price
• Monthly fees
To get a true cost of home ownership in your dream location, start by working with a trusted Realtor and scouring the current real estate listings, compare the various properties that interest you, keeping track of what features and costs best fit your lifestyle and budget. Most of us hang on to the idea that our first foray into real estate should be to own a beautiful detached home on a nice stretch of land. But there are advantages and disadvantages to owning a house or owning a condo and it just really depends on your personality and how you live your life.
On the one hand, a house will allow for the freedom and independence many yearn. With a home you will get to choose what colour you paint the exterior, designing your landscape and much more. This is very much the opposite of a condo where someone else has already made these types of decisions for you. With home ownership you have almost complete control over all aspects of your home.
However, because all the decisions are yours, the responsibilities are also all yours. If there’s a problem with the roof or any issues with the home, it’s something you have to look after. Overall a house is a good choice for a buyer who:
• is comfortable with handiwork and maintenance
• is able to afford the upkeep and any emergency repairs
• appreciates and desires privacy
• wants control over design
On the other hand a condo is a great solution for a buyer who is after a turnkey lifestyle. All the amenities and luxuries of a condo are there to enjoy without all the maintenance. However, that freedom doesn’t come free of charge. Overall, a condo is a good choice for a buyer who:
• doesn’t want the responsibility of maintenance and repairs
• wants access to amenities such as a gym
• wants a living space that will be move-in ready
• doesn’t mind living in a large community
Ultimately, the choice is yours and will depend on the needs of you and your family. Get started by meeting with your Realtor who can walk you through the steps needed to make the best decision.