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Have you ever thought about purchasing a condo? For future home buyers, this housing type might be a more accessible option right now. Supply continues to dwindle for traditional houses, but the condo market isn’t quite as competitive yet. As more and more people opt for smaller homes in favour of efficiency and cost, condos have also become more desirable.
When you buy a condo, you’re looking at an entirely different kind of home ownership experience compared to a house. Therefore, condo living comes with its own unique set of pros and cons. Many of the circumstances that come with owning a condo are actually both a benefit and a drawback. Here, we go through some of the common aspects of condo living that can be either appealing or problematic.
Every condo building comes with its own set of condo fees that owners have to pay. In some ways, these fees can be one of the benefits of purchasing a condo. Condo fees often include water, heat, and sometimes other utilities. The costs are a fixed monthly expense for the owner. Therefore, you can be sure of how much you will owe every month. They’re never a surprise, so it’s much easier to budget for these expenses compared to variable costs.
On the other hand, these fees mean you have no choice but to pay the set amount every month. Even if you use a smaller percentage of water than others in your building, for example, you’re responsible for paying the same amount. Your condo fees also contribute to payments for the upkeep of all areas of your condo building. This is, in most cases, not a problem, but it does mean you have no say in what your payments go towards.
You should note that condo fees depend on the building type. Newer condos tend to have lower fees because they’re more efficient and can run in a more cost-effective way. Meanwhile, older buildings will charge more to maintain their structures. If your condo building has extra amenities like common areas and game rooms, that will also be included in your fees.
The next aspect of purchasing a condo comes down to the size. From a positive standpoint, having a smaller living space means you’ll have a smaller area to look after. You’ll have no lawn work and far less maintenance, which equals less hassle. Many people favour condos for their (relatively) stress-free upkeep.
However, this smaller space can be a con for many people as well. For those who want a big yard and lots of privacy, you likely won’t find that with a condo. You don’t have your own backyard, and any areas outside of your unit are public. You’ll also have less storage space, which can be an especially large issue for those relocating from a full-sized house.
Renovations and maintenance
A huge draw of condo living is not having to worry about major renovations. As a homeowner, it’s a huge pain when you find your roof is wearing out or your air conditioning system is shot. In a condo, big repairs like roofing, heat, and water systems are covered by the condo association. Since these are shared among all condo owners in the building, it won’t fall on you to cover those costs.
Unfortunately, this means your ability to renovate within your own unit might be limited. If you want to do a project that involves tearing down walls and changing the structure, odds are this won’t be allowed. You’re probably safe to do remodeling like paint, flooring, and countertops, but no huge changes to the structure itself.
Finally, the location of most condo buildings can be a big advantage. Traditionally, condos are located in active city spots. Most condos in the area here are in central Halifax, for instance. This brings you closer to all the amenities of a downtown city, so you can experience city life. Condo locations are usually quite convenient for people who need quick access to transit, grocery stores, coffee shops, etc.
For people who prefer a quieter living environment, condos might not be the best fit. Purchasing a condo means accepting a bustling city life. It’s harder to find a condo far removed from downtown cores, simply because there’s less need for that type of housing outside busy cities. Prepare for a louder living space if you purchase a condo.
Purchasing a condo is a choice that really depends on the individual preferences of the person. While some might love the idea of not maintaining a lawn, others might cringe at the lack of an outdoor space. The same goes for condo fees, which some are more willing to pay for than others. Consider if you fall closer to the “pro” or “con” side of these common aspects of condo living, which will give you a better idea whether it’s right for you.
If you have questions about the mortgage process for purchasing a condo, get in touch with us at Clinton Wilkins Mortgage Team! You can call us at (902) 482-2770 or contact us here.