Should I Buy a Condo or a Single-Family House? 4 Reasons to Invest in a Condo
"Home sweet home" can be just as sweet in a condo! While many people associate the word "home" with a single-family dwelling, condominiums have plenty of their own unique perks.
Maintenance is often included in association fees and handled by building staff, neighbours in close proximity often become close friends, and there's almost always someone physically keeping eyes and ears on the building's safety and security. Plus, condos are frequently less expensive than single-family homes, making them a viable choice for people looking to become homeowners on a budget.
Numerous benefits come along with owning a condo, but here are the four most likely to make you want to sign on the dotted line.
Condo Communities Often Come With Great Amenities
Whether it's light landscaping or full-blown concierge services, condos generally have many benefits and perks over their single-family counterparts. These amenities are most often sponsored by the COA (condominium owners' association), and residents are responsible for paying association fees.
The purpose of condominium fees, much like homeowners' association fees, is to cover costs such as maintenance, landscaping, and other expenses related to building upkeep. Depending on the type of condo, these fees can range significantly. However, the upside is that they offer residents a less hands-on, more immersive lifestyle.
Another advantage of condo ownership is that condo associations are often flexible and cater to changing demands. That means if residents lobby for a specific amenity, there's a good chance the association will comply. For example, in recent years, many condominiums have added private co-working spaces to accommodate residents who work from home. Developers and building owners are usually eager to meet residents' needs.
Some condo buildings offer easy access to The Great Outdoors via a rooftop deck or patio. These are often communal spaces maintained by building management, ideal for hosting get-togethers and parties and encouraging residents to socialize. Higher-end buildings sometimes have private balconies on residents' units for an even more luxurious outdoor experience.
Condo Owners Have Fewer Maintenance Responsibilities Than Homeowners
Condos are great because they let you sit back, relax, and enjoy life without the hassle of having to trim the bushes or shovel the sidewalk. Maintaining common areas, both interior and exterior, is the responsibility of the building management. However, remember that residents are responsible for maintenance and repairs within their own units. They could also be held accountable if they cause damage or destruction in a common area beyond normal wear and tear.
Owning a condo takes much of the responsibility out of traditional homeownership, which can be excellent for people who want or need a more laissez-faire living arrangement. Living in a condominium can also be a perfect option for people with accessibility needs or older people who may prefer to enjoy their golden years without worrying about household maintenance.
While condo residents don't have any control over their building's outdoor spaces, they gain the ability not to have to worry about all the duties and responsibilities related to its upkeep.
Condos are Affordable Entry Points to the Real Estate Market
It's no secret that fluctuating interest rates and home prices are barriers to entry for many potential homebuyers in the housing market. Fortunately, homeowners can mitigate some of these costs by purchasing a condo rather than a single-family home.
Even in the hottest real estate markets, condo prices tend to be consistently more affordable than single-family homes. This is partly because it's often a little trickier to resell condos, and demand in some areas is not as high. Another reason condos are less expensive is that they don't come with private land like single-family homes often do—and again, depending on your perspective, that can be a plus.
Not only is a condo's initial purchase price usually lower, but its move-in readiness also differs from other types of dwellings. Some condos come fully furnished, or at least with appliances. This is great for people moving in from out of province or who don't have the means (or desire) to transport bulky furniture.
While the barrier to entry is lower in terms of listing price, it's essential to keep condominium fees in mind. The amount condo owners pay in fees varies significantly from building to building. It could be as little as a few hundred dollars or as much as a few thousand each month. Condo fees are also subject to change and increase per the association's rules and regulations.
Condos Come With Built-In Community & Security
Everyone wants to feel safe in their own home, and condominiums offer an added layer of security that may not always exist for single-family residents. Because of the proximity to neighbours, condo residents often feel more connected and live in a more close-knit community.
It's also not uncommon for condominium associations to host community events or gatherings to bring residents together. For example, barbecues in the summer and volunteer opportunities during the holiday season are often ways for neighbours to meet and connect.
Condos also usually have cameras and other security devices in common areas, which can serve as an extra set of eyes on the community. Some have other built-in security features, including keycode-activated doors and security guards.
When living in a condominium, it's essential to follow basic etiquette and rules, such as not allowing unknown individuals into the building and immediately alert management if you see something odd or concerning. One of the many benefits of condo living is that everyone is collectively responsible for the safety and well-being of their neighbours.
Community for All in Condos
Condos are the way to go when it comes to fostering connections in a safe environment and having access to various amenities and benefits. They're also a great option for those starting out in real estate investing. Buyers at all price points should be able to find the perfect condo for them and start enjoying that coveted laid-back, maintenance-free lifestyle.