Toronto real estate markets have seen more condos available in recent years than ever before. This poses an interesting question to many buyers looking to own their property: is it better to buy a condo or a house? It used to be that a detached house, with a huge yard and big garage was the signifier of success, but those days have long since passed. When searching through Toronto real estate listings, buyers can find both houses and condos for nearly every lifestyle, making the decision an increasingly difficult one. Here are just a few things buyers can keep in mind when considering whether or not a condo is right for their lifestyle.
Is Having A Lot Of Outdoor Space Important?
Some families, especially those with young children, will want to have a ton of outdoor space easily available. Other homeowners with pets will want a fenced in yard, to limit the amount of time spent walking the dog. If these things are important to you, a house is probably the better choice. However, many condos offer outdoor amenities, such as pool, tennis court, and outdoor green space available for exclusive use by residents. If shared space is something you’d be happy with, or if having that additional opportunity to mingle with your neighbours is a priority, a condo is definitely the way to go about it achieving those ownership goals. A huge perk of condo living is the ability to enjoy shared areas such as those, without putting in the time or effort of ongoing maintenance.
How Much Room Do You Have In Your Budget?
Aside from the initial purchase price, the costs of owning a house can be huge. Ongoing expenses such as property taxes and insurance are significantly higher when it comes to detached houses than those associated with condos. In addition, owning your own home means that monthly payments such as utilities will also need to be accounted for each month. Typically, those costs are either included in your condo fees, and will only fluctuate yearly, as opposed to monthly. This helps you to budget on an ongoing basis, and for your initial purchase, in a much easier way. By purchasing a condo, you won’t need to worry about setting extra money aside in case your costs increase dramatically in any particular month, or worrying about how to replace the roof if it begins to leak.
Are You Looking To Make Significant Improvements?
One of the perks of purchasing a detached house is the ease with which new buyers can renovate and make huge improvements to both the interior and exterior of the property. Condo owners are not afforded this luxury, and in some cases may be prohibited from renovating altogether, depending on the content of the condo agreement. The upside to this, however, is that most condos are move-in ready, meaning that you and your family won’t have to wait too long before you can have a fully functioning home, with all the perks you desire.
Are Amenities Important?
Having a luxury lifestyle, including a gym membership, access to pools, and the ability to participate in certain sports are very important things to many people. While the costs associated with a membership to a facility or facilities that provide each of those things can be costly, it can often be easy to find a condo that offers these perks as part of condo ownership. The costs are often included in your ongoing condo fees, which can sometimes even save you money in the long run.
Is Location A Key Factor?
In certain desirable areas, owning a house is simply beyond the means of most people. In addition to low availability, the costs of insurance and municipal taxes can make living in detached homes in many popular neighbourhoods prohibitively expensive. Owning a condo in one of those locations can be an affordable alternative, allowing the owner access to the neighbourhood and amenities desired, without the massive price tag associated with purchasing and maintaining a house.