Is Condo Living Right For You?

With the scarcity of houses available for purchase in the GTA and specifically Toronto proper, condo living is becoming more popular and more attractive than ever. For many people that have never lived in a condo before, a common question that arises is, ‘is condo ownership right for me?’. Now, more than ever before, the answer to that question is an astounding, yes!

Condo living provides benefits to people of all ages. While these benefits often differ on an individual basis, the ease of living that a condo lifestyle often affords allows a better opportunity for balanced living than home ownership does. Whether your focus is on work, school, leisure activities, kids, or a combination of the above, condo residents have more free time as maintenance of the building and common areas is all taken care of. That means time consuming exterior tasks such as shoveling, gardening, window cleaning, and cleaning of common areas, are all handled by the building, which frees up more time for you to devote to other things.

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For young families

Condo living can provide a number of benefits such as proximity to good schools, and an attainable price point for entry into the ownership market. There are great school systems throughout the GTA and by purchasing a condo you can gain access to certain schools that you may have been ‘priced out’ of by home prices in the same area. Closeness to parks, bike trails, and local community events are also attractive factors for families looking at condos within the city.

Ccondo living can provide a number of benefits such as proximity to good schools, and an attainable price point for entry into the ownership market. There are great school systems throughout the GTA and by purchasing a condo you can gain access to certain schools that you may have been ‘priced out’ of by home prices in the same area. Closeness to parks, bike trails, and local community events are also attractive factors for families looking at condos within the city.

For young professionals

The convenient locations that many condominiums are located is a big draw. Being close to work and having a short commute frees up time for more important things. Close proximity to grocery, transit, restaurants, and other amenities, often means that car ownership is not required while living in a condo, and they can forego the expenses associated with this.

The convenient locations that many condominiums are located is a big draw. Being close to work and having a short commute frees up time for more important things. Close proximity to grocery, transit, restaurants, and other amenities, often means that car ownership is not required while living in a condo, and they can forego the expenses associated with this.

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For empty-nesters and seniors alike

Downsizing from a home to a condo comes with a number of benefits. The month-to-month savings that condo ownership can often provide compared to a larger home is at the forefront. Monthly budgets are often reduced once retired and living off of  a pension or savings, so from a financial standpoint living in a smaller space makes sense. Other benefits for this demographic include single-level designs, and the amenities that many condos offer. With most condos offering a single-level design, and with amenities such as pools, fitness centres, saunas, steam rooms, and games rooms within the building and accessible via elevator, this means that climbing stairs is no longer necessary for condo dwellers that are aging and as mobility issues begin to arise.

Another great perk for anyone that chooses to own a car is the underground parking that is available. Parking your car in a heated, underground parking lot means that you are always entering a warm vehicle that is parked in a secure environment. This is an often overlooked benefit of living in a condo, but can help with the longevity of your car’s lifespan as it is not subject to the elements for extended periods overnight, and can even help with insurance rates as underground parking is more secure that street parking.

Other benefits to condo ownership include:

  • Fewer maintenance and repair responsibilities
  • 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).

Here are some questions that you should ask yourself to help determine if condo living is right for you as recommended by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation:

  • 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.
  • 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.

Regardless of age or walk of life, there is a good chance that condo living is the right choice for you. Get in touch with a real estate agent today to discuss your options.

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