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  • Tori Phillips

Pros and Cons: House vs Condo Edition

If you are thinking of buying a home but are having a hard time deciding between purchasing a traditional house or purchasing a condominium unit, there are advantages and disadvantages to both options that you will need to weigh out to see which option best fits your lifestyle. Below I will break down some of the advantages and disadvantages to traditional home ownership & condominium unit ownership.

Condominium Unit Ownership

Advantages:

· Condo buildings are usually located in or in close proximity to an urban area. Typically, this entails being in walking distance to transit, grocery, shopping, fitness facilities, restaurants and more.

· Access to amenities within your building. Depending on what the condo building has to offer, you may have access to a pool, sauna, fitness center, rooftop patio, party room or co-working space all without stepping outside your building.

· Your maintenance is limited to the interior of your unit. In a condo you pay a monthly maintenance fee which covers things such as the upkeep of the building & amenities, window washing, lawn maintenance, snow removal, minor repairs, and more.

·Safety - condos in general have a lower incidence of break-ins than traditional houses. This is largely due to the combination of security staff & building features and the fact that there are more people around in general.


Disadvantages:

· Typically, the interior and exterior square footage of a condominium unit will be smaller than that of a house.

· There is the possibility of more noise than that of a house as you have more neighbours and they are in closer proximity.

· There may be restrictions set in place by the condominium corporation on things such as renovations, noise levels, parking, pets, smoking & window coverings.

· Elevators - if waiting for an elevator every time you leave or come back to your home is considered a major hinderance to you, you may prefer a traditional home that walks right out to the street.

Traditional Home Ownership

Advantages:

· In many cases, you will have more privacy. In a detached home you will share walls with no one. There will be no balconies directly beside or above your outdoor space, nor will you be sharing a common hallway/elevator with other residents each time you want to leave your home.

· You have the freedom to re-model or renovate your home as & when you please, unlike in a condominium unit, where you may have to seek permission to do so and will likely be subject to a set of rules and regulations decided by the condominium corporation.

· A traditional home more often than not has a yard of some sort. This can be especially convenient if you have a dog or children, as you will have easy access to bring them outside to the yard to play, without the hassle of getting yourself & them ready and taking an elevator down to the street level to walk to a park.

· Traditional homes often provide the opportunity to separate and create spaces. If the home has multiples stories and/or a basement, it can be much easier to divide living spaces, office spaces, sleeping areas, play space for the children etc. In a condominium unit, most layouts are one storey and some of your rooms may be used for multiple purposes (example; your living room has a nook where you have situated your home office due to lack of space).


Disadvantages:

· Traditional houses are often located in residential neighbourhoods. Depending on where you live, this could mean that things such as transit, gyms & shopping are not in close proximity, and a car may be a necessity, and an extra monthly cost.

· Your home will require regular maintenance & repairs. Think things such as lawn maintenance & landscaping, snow removal & salting, roof repair, gutter cleanings etc. This can add up and sometimes costs can be un-predictable.

· Having that extra square footage that a traditional house provides can sometimes become burdensome. Cleaning a large house can be very time consuming and furnishing/decorating a large house can be very expensive. Heating and cooling a bigger space is also something to consider.

· More space can often come at a higher price tag, especially in dense urban areas.


In conclusion, there is much to consider when choosing the type of home that best fits your lifestyle. Whether you choose to purchase a house or a condominium unit, it is important to have an experienced and trustworthy realtor representing you and your interests throughout the process. If you have any questions about the purchasing process – I’m here to help. Please don’t hesitate to reach out.

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