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Condo or House?

Condo or House?

Toronto has always been a busy, bustling city in Canada. Being one of the best cities in the world, the population here comes from a different mix of culture and background. While some in the city prefer to enjoy the scenic and picturesque view of the lake, others like to be amidst the hustle bustle of the city, like that in the Downtown core. Naturally, this defines their choice of living too. And, when it comes to living, comes the real question- which side to pick – condo vs house?

Looking at condos vs detached homes, there are obvious advantages and disadvantages to both. Ultimately it comes down to preference and what is important to you, so read on!


Ownership

When it comes to ownership, if you live in a condo, you will only own the interior space of your unit and in some cases a parking space/storage locker. Common areas and outdoor space will be owned in common with other owners in your building. You will pay a monthly condo/maintenance fee, which can cover items like heat, hydro, water, pest control, landscaping, building insurance and miscellaneous amenities. A portion of this fee will go into a reserve fund to cover major repairs and upgrades to the building, such as the roof or elevators. In most cases, you (and the other unit owners) will also have to pay a one-time special assessment for “emergency” repairs not covered by the condo fee. This is never fun but be aware that it is a risk for any condo owners.

A house comes with complete ownership and indulges the owner is no issues with issues whatsoever. They own the complete rights of the place and doesn’t evoke any sense of nuisance with the neighbors. Issues of misunderstandings can take place in a parking basement of a condo which can be refrained initially by following rules, but a house is free from issues of this sort. Places like the driveway, the lawn comes under the common property in a condo, and one certainly cannot customize it according to their wish, but maintenance takes care of maintenance involved with that. In houses, it’s all in the owner’s choice to customize or design or set templates for every single area of the house or even the areas outside the house, but again it’s his complete responsibility and hence a few skills and time is required for a house.


Costs

As mentioned earlier, reserve fund fees are a real consideration in budgeting for a condo since the fee you pay will depend on your unit size and can arise unexectedly.

The insurance costs in a condo are slightly less than in a house. A house needs more money for insurance as it includes every area of the house, hence more objects to be insured. In condo, the amenities are typically not owned by residents and so the common elements do not have to be insured by a unit owner. But condo owners are responsible for paying pesky monthly maintenance fees, which includes services of cleaning, checking, servicing, plumber costs, repairs and another day-to-day services that may be required for the maintenance of the building. Whereas in houses, all the responsibility is on the shoulders of the owner and maintenance is costly. The problem becomes even more apparent among larger houses.

As for the cost of necessities, houses acquire and consume a lot of electricity and heating bills as again the single owner is responsible for all of it. In condos, this billing to comes under the condo fees paid by the residents. They also share the load with their neighbours.


Convenience

Toronto is a well-built city with proper division of infrastructure, greenery, and roads. Individuals of today’s world treat convenience as their priority and generally it is important to have a market nearby, school or office or even a day-care.

In Toronto, the condos are mostly located in the heart of the city, next to transit hubs, near parks and located next to the main roads. Most of the condos in Toronto are self-sufficient as they have an indoor supermarket, general stores, and facilities of a gym, and other amenities in the building. Some are equipped with party halls, pools, gaming area, bowling alleys, screens, and courts too. The charges of using this amenity come under the condo fees but it is important to note that there is typically no privacy or enjoyment of the amenities in solace, as they are shared with other owners. Regardless, if you can make the most use of these features, it’s a lot of money well spent for convenience.

Houses at locations like this would cost a fortune and are mostly located inside on the side lanes and not on the main roads. But housing complexes are always built near schools making it easier to commute. Both houses and condos location matters to the investors and its nearly impossible to have the best of both worlds, hence a proper decision among purchasing a condo vs house is a very tough one.


Choosing a Condo

So you think condo life might be best for you. What next?

Deciding on a particular condo building or development can be a tough job. With so many developments in different parts of Toronto, and the options at hand with desired characteristics uncountable, which condo to pick? The first and foremost point is- your budget! The options available to fix condo vs house will always be plenty. The answer lies in- which one can you afford?

Next, the beauty and scenic aspect of the location should be in consideration. However, you shouldn’t forget the fact that the distance of commute plays a major role. Make sure it is close to all your necessities and your place of work.

Apart from these basic points, the developer of the condo also plays a role. It is always a smarter idea to look at the background of the condo’s developer before you make a final purchase. The developer’s reputation speaks a lot about the quality of their construction.


When it comes to investments, condos and homes are both going to appreciate in value, so figure out what is most important to you! I hope you found this information useful. As a realtor specializing in the Liberty Village and Toronto real estate market, I am here to help guide you through the entire buying or selling process. Grab a copy of my FREE Toronto guide by reaching out to me on the Contact page or on my social media. Look forward to speaking with you!