For many home buyers purchasing a condominium is preferable to buying a more traditional detached house. However, there are pros and cons to living in a condo and there are some things you should keep in mind before deciding to buy this kind of property. While some people love the freedom condo living affords them, others are more suited to owning a detached home. If you think you would be happy calling a condo home there are many options to choose from.
Condominium complexes are often built urban areas and they are also typically cheaper than a house in the same neighbourhood. If you are house hunting in the Toronto area, the Springfarm Yorkville real estate market may have a condo that is perfect for you. Just make sure to do your homework beforehand as condo living is not for everyone. These are some things you will want to consider before committing to this lifestyle.
- Home Owner’s Association
One of the most important things when buying a condo is the quality of the Home Owner’s Association or Condo Committee. Each complex has its own rules and you will need to know what they are and if you are okay with them before buying. You should also be aware of the association’s budget and what you are expected to contribute. Some condo communities are good at upkeep while others are not. This can affect resale and monetary contributions in the future.
- Monthly Fees
Once you are the proud owner of your very own condominium home you will be responsible for paying monthly fees that go toward general maintenance and amenities like a pool or tennis courts. More amenities usually mean higher fees. Make sure you know the fees and add them to your monthly mortgage payments as this will be a part of your yearly housing budget. While some fees are low you will want to ensure regular repairs and maintenance are done.
- Good Upkeep and Maintenance
Condo living typically means never having to pull another weed or mow another lawn. Repairs and maintenance should be done in a timely manner. Get a guarantee that the association is well-run and has the financial capacity to take care of the general upkeep and maintenance. An organized and functioning committee can make condo living a dream while one that is not can make it a nightmare. Resale may not be easy with unkempt condo communities.
Each condo complex will have its own type of amenities. While some may be simple with only the residences others might have a swimming pool, weight room, tennis courts, clubhouse and/or a guest room. Of course, typically the more amenities the higher the fees but for many the costs are well worth it. Make sure when you are house hunting that you talk to your realtor and let them know what amenities you would like to come with your condo.
- Number of Rental Suites Allowed
In the days of short-term rentals you should ask some questions in regards to how the condo association manages this. You do not want to be the unlucky owner who happens to live beside a property with a revolving door of people on holiday. I would also suggest inquiring about the number of rental properties that are allowed within the complex. Though renters may not pose a problem it does not hurt to be educated on this before committing to a unit.
- Research the Neighbourhood
Like when you buy any home location is one of the most important pieces to the puzzle. You might love the condo, the community and the association but if the neighbourhood is not as walkable as you would like or too far from your work all the research you did may be for naught. Before zeroing in on a complex I would instead choose the area and go from there. You may not need a bunch of amenities if the surrounding community already caters to your needs.
- The Demographic
Every condominium community will have its own demographic with some geared to retired buyers while others are more focused on a younger clientele. Consider your lifestyle needs, because if you are a newly retired couple you are unlikely to want to live among a bunch of 20-somethings or young families. If you are parents with young children having a park and green-space within the complex might be important. Make sure you discuss this with your realtor.