If you’re ready to become a homeowner for the first time, or you’re just about ready to downsize from your big family home, it’s likely the idea of buying a condo has already crossed your mind. We’ve put together this list of pros and cons to help you decide if a condo is the right type of home for you.
1. If you are a first time buyer, some condos are lower priced than other property types, and this can help you get your foothold in the market
2. Light maintenance and upkeep required, because you pay your condo fees and the property management company to take care of it all
3. Location, location, location! Condos are almost always close to grocery stores, shopping, transit, even work… have you ever seen a condo built in the middle of nowhere?
4. Your condo can be a good investment vehicle: generate rental income either now or in the future by renting your unit out
5. Some buildings have excellent amenities on site: pools, gyms, theatres, meeting space, billiard rooms, music rooms, etcetera
6. Unlike your rental apartment, when you buy a condo, it often comes with (sometimes at an additional cost) a storage locker – a place for you to put your bicycle
7. Most have parking available, often secured, so you don’t have to park on the street
8. It’s a compact space which is quick and easy to clean and maintain inside. Much more time for you to spend on your leisure activity of choice.
9. There’s a greater chance of a moderate to great view. Condos are built vertically – unless you’re on the first or second floor, chances are pretty good you’ll have a much better view than your house in the ‘burbs.
1. Storage space can be an issue. If you’re coming from a large home in the ‘burbs, you might laugh (or cry) at the size of the storage locker and wonder how you’ll fit your entire basement into it
2. Proximity of neighbours. Next door, upstairs, across the hall, you will likely hear them as they come and go
3. Party noise. No way to escape this one. Somebody near your unit at some point is going to have a party. Maybe it will spill out onto the balcony next to yours, so you get to smell their smoke of choice, hear their music and every detail of their alcohol-fuelled conversation
4. Elevators. When they work they’re awesome. But they’re man-made, and they do fail. A few years back I lived on the 25th floor of a Yaletown-area condo in Vancouver. I’d broken my ankle playing squash. Less than two weeks later, with the elevator broken down, there was a fire drill. My slow descent involved hopping, holding the handrail and lots of pain afterward. (The good news is there was a fire drill – safety first!)
5. There’s no really good way to find out who is buying/selling the units around you. You could be buying next to an absentee landlord who lives overseas and doesn’t check up on his/her tenants. Or it could be that your neighbour has bought his unit in order to rent it out via short-term rental sites like AirBnB.
At KANDY we love condos and believe the pros outweigh the cons, but they aren’t ideal for everyone. Is there a pro or a con that we missed? Let us know!