Is Condo Life Right For You?
Ultimately, the decision about whether or not a condo is right for you comes down to your individual preferences and tolerance levels.
First, some clarification on what "condominium" actually means. When you purchase a condo, you're actually buying the rights to the space inside your walls, and partial ownership in the common grounds, including the parking lots, the pool, sidewalks and stairs, balconies, elevators, common hallways and so forth.
If moving to a condo appeals to you, it is essential to consider the advantages of disadvantages of these types of homes.
Advantages of living in a condo
- Owners are not responsible for outdoor or common areas repair
- One of the biggest perks of condo ownership is freedom from outside maintenance, such as mowing the lawn, shoveling snow or repairing external structures. The monthly strata fees cover all of this.
Many major costs are shared
- A portion of the monthly strata fee paid by all residents in the building or complex goes into the reserve fund. This fund covers major repairs like a new roof or other eventualities. Even when the contingency fund is not enough to cover the expense, owners are not alone, and a special assessment is done, equally sharing costs among owners.
- Condo living usually offers secure entrances and other safety measures. Also, it allows residents not to worry as much when they travel.
- Some condos offer benefits that might be more complicated and expensive to have in a detached home such as gym, swimming pool or party room.
- Usually, condos tend to be closer to urban amenities and are within walking distance to public transportation, services, shopping, and restaurants.
Potential disadvantages of living in a condo
- Let’s face it; not everyone loves living in a condo. Here are some of the issues you need to consider before moving to one.
- Strata Fees. Like other types of homeownership, the costs don't disappear when you pay off your mortgage. They depend on each complex and range from $300 to $600 or more, particularly if the condo offers amenities such as a swimming pool and a gym – even if you don't use the amenities you have to pay for them.
- Additionally, they tend to increase over time and aren’t likely to go down again.
- When there are major repairs to be done (like a new roof), and there isn't enough money in the contingency fund to pay for it, a special levy might be approved. In such situations, owners usually need to pay a lump sum to cover such expense.
- Less privacy and possibly more noise
- Living in such proximity to other people can have its disadvantages. The neighbours could be noisy and loud.
- Depending on each individual complex, there might be restrictions about noise levels, parking, pets, an even the style and colour of things like doors and window coverings.
If you want to learn more about condo life, contact me, and I will be happy to talk more about these types of homes.