Are you thinking about moving into a condominium? If so, you’re not alone. Condo living appeals to a wide range of buyers, from first-time purchasers to downsizers. Fortunately for those who love the lifestyle, there’s no shortage of options in this city. Toronto is home to a wide selection of new and resale units, and the luxury market is booming.
What if you’ve never owned a condo before? Does the idea of purchasing a unit appeal to you, but you’re not quite sure what to expect? If so, fear not. In this post, I’ll weigh some of the pros and cons of condo living to help you make an informed decision.
Pros of Living in a Condo
A low-maintenance lifestyle
Many homebuyers opt for a condo over a house for one simple reason: there’s less maintenance involved. How do you feel about shovelling the sidewalk and mowing the lawn? What about paying the (often astronomical) costs of having a roof fixed or a furnace replaced? Condos provide the benefits of homeownership with a lot less hassle.
Access to condo amenities
Building amenities are a major draw for condo buyers. Buy the right unit, and could be just a few steps (or a short elevator ride) away from your gym. You could de-stress with an evening at the spa—without ever leaving your building. From the lavish (saltwater pools and squash courts) to the practical (kids’ playrooms), condo amenities can make life far more convenient.
Location, location, location
In many cases, owning a condo means living at the centre of it all. You’ll find an abundance of luxury buildings in Toronto’s most in-demand neighbourhoods—such as King West and Yorkville. Many of these units offer spectacular views and close proximity to transit.
It’s an investment
If you’re still thinking about the pros and cons of condo living, consider this. A condo is an investment. While it can be hard to predict appreciation rates, it’s hard to go wrong when you buy a gorgeous unit in a popular neighbourhood. Your real estate agent can help you find a condo that’s likely to fetch you a good price when it comes time to sell.
Cons of Living in a Condo
Purchasing a condo means taking on the monthly maintenance fees associated with it. These fees can be on the steep side—between 70 and 80 cents per square foot isn’t uncommon downtown. While most owners find that the lifestyle provided by their condo is well worth the cost, you should know exactly what your fees will cover before making a purchase. To understand the financial health of a building, get a lawyer to review the status certificate for the unit you’re considering.
Condo Rules and bylaws
Are you a proud dog owner? Do you like to play music late in the evening? If so, it could impact your condo search. Every building is subject to management rules, which govern aspects of life such as noise, pet ownership, and visitors’ use of amenities. Fortunately, if you find a building that fits your lifestyle, the impact of these rules will be minimal (or even nonexistent). That said, some homebuyers prefer the freedom that detached homes offer.
Less privacy than a house
In a condo, you’re closer to your neighbours than you would be in a house. As a result, you’re bound to hear the occasional noise from the people next door—and vice versa. When you’re looking at a condo, ask the seller and building management about soundproofing. What type was installed, and when? Have there been any recent noises complaints? The answers can help you make a more informed purchase decision.
Now that you know the biggest pros and cons of condo living, it’s time to consider whether it’s right for you. The answer will depend on your finances, the lifestyle you want, and your future plans. Whichever route you decide to go, a bit of research and a great real estate agent can help you get started off on the right foot.
Thinking of purchasing your first condo? I can answer any questions you might have about the buying process. Get in touch, and we can discuss your needs!