A House or a Condo — Which Do I Choose?

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So, you feel ready to buy a home — congratulations! You know where to start, and you know all the hidden costs of buying a property, but what kind of home are you looking for? You might be looking at both houses and condos for sale and feel torn about which one to buy. Sorry to say, there's no right answer. But there is a “best” answer when you figure out which one suits your personality best. Before you decide, ask yourself these questions first:

1. Do You Like to Have a Say in Your Home’s Personality?

Do you see a house for sale and get excited about its potential and how you can fix it up? When you own a house, you can do just about anything you want. You can paint your front door a bright colour, replace your lawn with a large garden, or knock down a wall to install floor-to-ceiling windows. You are in charge.
However, when you own a condo, you get little to no say on the exterior colour, and you likely can’t go painting your front door red. Want to change your windows? We don't think so. In fact, in a lot of condominiums, you must get approval before knocking down walls or doing major renovations within your own unit. When you're looking at condos for sale, it's important to read the fine print, and your MLS REALTOR® can help you sort through the exact strata rules.

2. Do You Consider Yourself Handy?

Owning a house means taking on a lot of repair and maintenance responsibilities. You must mow your lawn, weed your garden, and take care of all home maintenance — including winterizing. When you own a condo, this is all taken care of for you.
The costs do work out roughly the same in most situations. Condos will charge you a monthly strata fee to take care of all of this, and occasionally other fees if major repairs are required. Owning your own home, though, means you'll need to come up with the money at the time you need it. Again, your MLS REALTOR® can help you sort through those numbers if you find it confusing.

3. Do You Value Your Privacy?

Depending on the house or condo, privacy concerns can vary, but typically with a house, you'll be able to have a little more privacy. Condos can come with hundreds of units and communal parking, so you're bound to run into neighbours on a regular basis.
Keep in mind that condos share walls with others. Oftentimes, your floor is someone else’s ceiling, and your ceiling is someone else’s floor. Living in a condo means you'll likely have to be a little quieter at home than in a house.

4. Do You Like On-site Amenities?

Some condos come with gyms, pools, saunas and other common areas you can use, which are generally included in your strata fees. Having amenities this close to home can be very convenient. For instance, fitting in time to exercise becomes easier, and you save money on a gym membership.

5. Do You Have A Reputable MLS REALTOR®?

When you work with a reputable MLS REALTOR®, they have the knowledge to help you figure out which type of home fits you and your family best. At the Garman Group, you're guaranteed to get an MLS REALTOR® who will help you weave through these questions, and any others you may have. Please contact us today for more information.