Should I Buy a Condo Or a House?

Luxury Condos Unit

People often ask if thy should buy a condo or a home.  Both are perfectly fine, it really comes down to your personal preferences as well as your current life situation.  Here in Canada, the housing market is insane and real estate is always on the rise.  This has led to an increase in condo development in major cities and has driven up the population density of these areas.

I spoke to my mortgage broker friend last week, he owns a mortgage brokerage in Toronto specializing in private mortgages, I asked for his option and below is a summary of what he told me.

1 – Both are good options, it comes down to personal preference.  If buying a condo, make sure you investigate the reputations of the builder and their rules for living there.  Some condos in Vancouver are super expensive and largely empty due to foreign investors who scoop them up to park their cash in Canada.  Who wants to live in an empty building?

2 – What is your lifestyle?  Do you like the great outdoors, do you like gardening, do you relaxing int he backyard?  If so, a home with a backyard may be better suited for you.  Some condo buildings offer really nice public outdoor green spaces, if you are comfortable with sharing these spaces with other.

3- Do you like pets?  Condos can be tough on pets or even not allowed (unless you have a toy dog).  You’ll have to bring your dog outside several times a day, which can become a pain.  Cats are even worse, they run out into the hall and into your neighbors unit.  If you plan on having lots of pets, think twice about a condo, for your sake as well as your pets.

4- Family.  Having kids one day?  Investigate schools and future living space needs.  No sense in buying a condo if you will be moving out in a year.  Or if the school are better out in the ‘burbs.  Before buying a condo or house, consider what life will look like with a handful of little ones terrorizing your home.

5 – Your budget.  Unless they are really upscale, condos tend to trail behind detached homes as far as home values.  Detached homes are usually bigger and with more property in total so they tend to cost more.  If a detached is out of range, then a condo may make a great starter home.  You can always sell or use as an investment in the future.

6 – Storage.  If you are a pack rat, you may find living in a condo a nightmare as there is not as much storage space as a house.  If you are super organized, then living in a condo can be a dream of efficiency and organization.  My friend Linda is great at organizing and decluttering.

Hope these tips help in helping you decide!

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