Wondering whether or not condominium living really is the right choice for you? You may love the idea of ditching your snow shovel and lawn mower when you move into a condo, but you might not be so happy about leaving your satellite dish behind to comply with a bylaw.

Like most types of accommodation, condominiums have their advantages and disadvantages. Carefully consider all of these pros and cons when deciding whether or not a condo fits with your lifestyle, personality and financial situation.

Pros of Condominium Ownership

  • Fewer maintenance and repair responsibilities.
  • Access to on-site amenities, such as a sauna or swimming pool, which you otherwise might not be able to afford.
  • Enhanced security features in some condominium units. You’ll also have peace of mind while you’re on vacation knowing that your neighbours are close by.
  • Monthly maintenance or condo fees are usually predictable.
  • You have a say in the running of the condominium corporation. As an owner, you have voting rights and can be elected to the board of directors.
  • A community that may have a wide range of social, entertainment and recreational activities sometimes geared to a specific lifestyle (seniors, for example).

Cons of Condominium Ownership

  • You may not be able to decide when maintenance and repairs get done
  • You may have to pay for amenities that you might never or rarely use
  • Less privacy in some condominium units and possibly more noise
  • Possibility of special assessment charges for unexpected repairs
  • Like most communities, a condominium attracts individuals with a variety of personalities. It can sometimes be a challenge to reach a consensus
  • Less space in some condominium units
  • Possible restrictions on things like noise levels, parking, pets, smoking and even the style and colour of things like doors and window coverings.

EVALUATION CHECKLIST: IS CONDOMINIUM OWNERSHIP RIGHT FOR ME?

If you answer “yes” to most of the following, then buying a condo may be a smart move for you.

For all Condominium Dwellings

  • I like the fact that a condominium is an “instant community” and my neighbours won’t be far away.
  • I want to participate in the running of the community with other condominium owners.
  • I don’t want the hassle of shovelling snow, cutting grass and other outdoor chores.
  • I’ll use some of the condominium’s amenities.
  • I understand that I will pay monthly fees for maintenance and repair of the condominium and will budget accordingly.
  • I know there may be restrictions on the number of occupants in my unit, pets, noise, parking, etc.
  • I’ll read through the condominium’s documents before I buy so there’ll be no surprises.
  • I understand that a board of directors can make decisions on my behalf.

Also, for Condominium Apartment Units

  • I’m an empty nester or single and would be satisfied with the space provided in a condominium apartment.
  • I’m reassured by the building’s security measures, such as entry buzzers and video surveillance cameras.
 

Explore related content using the tags below:

Date Published: March 31, 2018