So you’ve determined that you’re finally ready to take the plunge and make your first real estate purchase. That’s great news! But your next decision will be an important one that requires some serious research and consideration. The condo vs a home debate is a common one that many first-time homebuyers find themselves in. Condos are a popular choice these days since they’re generally more affordable, require less maintenance and include other perks and amenities. But that doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for you. The answer lies in determining what’s best suited to your individual needs, lifestyle and budget. To help you navigate through this debate and major life decision, we have the pros and cons of each to guide you during your first real estate purchase.
Cheaper to Purchase
Though your location will greatly influence the cost factor, condos are an overall cheaper option to purchase. If you’re starting out and have a tighter budget to work with, a condo can come at a much better bargain than a home.
One of the most attractive features of condo living and an important point to consider is the amount of maintenance that’s involved. In a condo, your monthly fees will take care of any snow ploughing, grass cutting, and general maintenance in or around the building, giving you more time to do what you enjoy. The same can’t be said for homeownership.
Safe & Convenient
Living in an urban setting keeps you closer to all the action, offers a shorter commute, and gives you quick and easy access to local services. Also, living within a building complex that includes modern security features, surveillance and even 24/7 concierge services in some locations, can be a much safer option.
Can Be Difficult To Sell
Though you may save money during your initial purchase, if you plan to sell, your condo likely won’t appreciate in value as a house will. Competition can also be a challenge if there are other tenants within your building, trying to sell at the same time.
As convenient as it may be to have the maintenance taken care of, it can come at a steep price, running anywhere from $300 to $1000 plus per month. As a condo owner, you’ll have to fork out money each month for those Association fees, which will be charged in addition to your monthly mortgage payments. That can add up fast.
Less Privacy & Space
You’ll also have less storage and space to live in, which can be an issue if you have a lot of stuff or decide to expand your family. Plus, living next to and across the hall from your neighbours can mean less privacy and more noise to deal with.
Can Renovate As You Please
Unlike a condo, when you purchase a house, you have the liberty to renovate it as you please. So if you feel like knocking down walls or altering the exterior, you won’t have to endure the same restrictions as a condo building. A lawyer can assist you in determining if you will require a permit in order to complete your renovation.
More Space To Utilize
Of course, with a home, you will be able to enjoy more space to live in, which can be more suitable if you plan to expand your family in the future. Plus, your space will be yours, so you won’t have to share any facilities with the neighbours unless you want to.
If you enjoy your peace and privacy, a detached house might also be better suited to you. Unlike a condo, you won’t be sharing any walls or hallways with other people, which gives you more privacy and peace and quiet.
More Time & Money To Maintain
Houses can quickly turn into a money pit. When the HVAC system breaks down, the roof needs repair, the basement leaks, and the exterior needs to be raked, mowed or shovelled, it’s all up to you. You’ll need to dedicate more time and money to home maintenance and those unexpected repairs.
Higher Utility Bills
With more space to heat and cool, it means utility bills will be more expensive each month. This can also eat away at your budget and leave you “house poor” if you don’t plan accordingly.
If you’re a first-time buyer, a single-family home is often much more expensive. In comparison to a condo, it can take more time to pay off the mortgage and build equity.
To help ensure your first time purchase is a sound and smart one, our legal team at Accord Law is here to assist you. With so much to navigate through, having a legal set of eyes to guide, you can protect your interests when signing any legally binding documents. Get in touch today to learn more about our services and how we can help.