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.