Though very popular for decades in Europe, the condominium style of ownership is relatively new in North America. The growing demand for access to the amenities of downtown despite the limited land area means that people have to start thinking smaller- therefore creating a market of townhouse and apartment condominiums with shared community spaces and services.
But rather than just simply size, there are many more attributes to the condo living that you might not know about until you are ready to dive into living in one:
Depending on the unique condo rules of your community, there are various items that are taken care of communally, meaning that you don’t have to put in the time or financial investment to maintaining it. From snow clearing, garbage disposal, roof replacement, and even hallway cleaning (if in an apartment), there is less trouble for you on a daily basis. This is especially attractive for busy professionals who lack time or retirees who lack the health to take care of these things on their own.
Some condo boards are very strict on what you can/can’t do in your apartment. From what can or can’t be stored on your balcony, to bans on altering certain parts of your living space, the condo rules are meant to create a better standard of living for everyone, even if you don’t agree on every point. That said, as a resident, you also have a say in what happens in your condo, and you have a chance to voice it at condo board meetings.
Since condos traditionally have smaller lots than a self-standing house, the property taxes are generally lower than what you would pay for a freehold. It’s nice to save on a cost that you can’t recoup in any way, unlike what you would on a valuable renovation or spruce up.
Not every homeowner can afford a pool, large party room, or extensive rooftop patio for entertaining. However, if all the condominium members come together, it’s common for there to be some kind of community amenity, from a small private park, to fitness rooms, and more. Having these on-hand means that you don’t have to spend extra money out of your pocket to access such services outside of your little community or apartment.
Condo living often allows for people to afford to live in a better location than if they wanted a freehold- closer to the action. Check out the condos for sale in Montreal, West Island and you’ll understand. These condo-style townhouses have lots of community amenities, all just a 10-minute drive from downtown.
Of course, all the maintenance comes at a price, so monthly condo fees are something that condo residents have to get used to. This flat fee covers the price of maintaining and repairing common areas. However, this also affords you peace of mind, since you don’t have to personally keep an emergency fund if something major had to be repaired. A word of caution however, is that though condo fees do not change month to month, they do tend to grow over time, increasing every few years or so. It’s a charge that you will need to spring for on top of your mortgage, however, wouldn’t you say that it’s worth the time and resources you save?
So is condo living something that you would be interested in? Does worry-free living with extra amenities everything you have ever dreamed of? Do you want to live closer to the action and be more in-tune with your community and your city? It’s time to call up your real estate agent and get started on finding the perfect condominium for you and your lifestyle.