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7 Big Differences Between Owning a Condo and a House

calendarNovember 7, 2018

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When you’re finally ready to invest in a property, your first step should always be to determine what type is suited to your lifestyle. And when it comes to purchasing, there are big differences between owning a condo and a house. If you’re unsure of which type of property is best for you, use this short guide to find out!


One of the biggest differences between a condo and a house is what you own. When you purchase a freehold home, you own the property and the land underneath it. With a condo, you only own the unit and a share of the common areas.


If you don’t love the idea of cutting your lawn, raking the leaves, or fixing the roof, a condo is best for you. In fact, a condo will arrange for the maintenance of the building and common areas to be completed by an outside management company. The expenses for the support will be covered in the monthly maintenance fees that you’ll pay. You will be responsible for the upkeep inside your own unit as outlined in your agreement. When you purchase a house, you’ll be responsible for all of the repairs and maintenance of your home and land attached to it.


What you are allowed to do to your home and condo also differs. For example, as long as you follow all the applicable by-laws in your municipality, you can modify your home and the land as you wish. In a condo, however, there may be certain restrictions when it comes to modifying the interior and exterior of your unit. The homeowners association sets rules regarding what modifications condo owners are allowed to do, which might not appeal to everyone.


Living in close quarters to other people can provide residents with a sense of community. And sharing common spaces and amenities allows you to interact with others on a regular basis. For some, this is a bonus, but for others who cherish their privacy, owning a home might be a better option.


A home is typically larger than a condo. There are a number of luxury condos that provide 3 plus rooms and large living spaces, but these often come with higher price tags. If you need extra space to grow a family at an affordable rate, a home is usually the best choice.


Most condos come with a slew of amenities on-site, like a swimming pool, fitness centre, dog run, bike storage, and party room. You can enjoy these as you please because the cost to use them is included in the condo fees that you pay each month. When you own a home, you have to install and pay for your own amenities which can add up significantly. To find a home that comes with all the bells in whistles already included can be difficult and also costly.


The mortgage requirements and interest rates for homes and condos are very similar. The main differences would be including condo fees in the qualification calculations when buying a condo, and since the building complex is governed by a homeowners association and not you, lenders would also take into consideration how the corporation handles their reserves, insurance, and maintenance when underwriting the risk level.  With a home, they only take in your financial situation, credit and the condition of the home into account. Homebuying is a big decision. If you need professional guidance, contact us at the Mortgage Advisors. We’ll walk you through the entire process and give you the advice you need to make a better-informed decision.
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