Which Is Better to Buy - A Condo or a House?

By: Melissa Henderson

Which Is Better to Buy - A Condo or a House?

Tags: Real Estate Toronto, Toronto Condos, Housing Toronto, waterfront, Liberty Village, Distillery District, Corktown, Melissa Henderson

When acquiring real estate in Toronto, buyers have the option of purchasing a house or a condominium. Aside from location, one of the most crucial decisions you'll have to make is the type of home you'll live in. Toronto Condo ownership involves only the living space inside the condo unit and shared use of the common amenities of the condo building, whereas home ownership includes both the house and the land it sits on. Both types of housing have advantages and disadvantages, and your lifestyle and budget can help you decide whether a single-family house or a condo is a better fit for your needs.
 
Advantages of living in a house
One of the major benefits of purchasing a home is that you have complete authority over the property and can remodel or make improvements without obtaining permission from others. Another benefit is that it provides greater interior and outdoor space, which is better for accommodating families, children, and pets. In addition, houses have additional storage spaces in attics, basements or even in garages. Since neighbours are not as close in a house as they are in a condo building, there is greater privacy and less noise. You may expand your home as your family grows, allowing you to demolish walls and build an addition. You can construct a deck in your backyard, put in a hot tub or even a basement apartment.  You can accommodate more people in your own space without having to rent a party room or book a guest suite.
 
Advantages of living in a Condo
Due to a boom in urban life, more homebuyers are choosing condominiums over houses in recent years. Toronto has a large concentration of condos along the Waterfront (Queens Quay West and East) and downtown and other pockets that have emerged over the years, such as Liberty Village, Corktown and the Distillery District.  Some condominiums in Toronto also include resort-style amenities like pools, fitness centers, rooftop terraces, 24 hour security (, always someone to accept a parcel), all these extras can be prohibitively expensive in a house.  Condos are becoming more popular as people's lives become busier, due to their convenience and low-maintenance lifestyle. Going on a vacation is easy, no worries about having to shovel snow within the first 24 hours of it falling on the sidewalk or cutting the grass; just lock your door and go. The condominium building’s roof and windows and many of the more expensive components of the structure are covered by the monthly maintenance fees, thus less hassle when you own a condo. Underground parking is an added protection and convenience versus some Toronto homeowners that have no driveway and have to search for a spot to park their car on a street hopefully close to their home.
 
Cons of living in a house
There are several disadvantages to owning a house as most houses in Toronto are over 70 years old so you can expect constant upkeep.  A homeowner is solely responsible for all maintenance on the inside and outside of the home, as well as the care and maintenance of the garden beds, yard and trees plus snow removal.  When purchasing a house, there is the added expense of purchasing additional maintenance equipment and tools. Although any renovations you make will almost certainly raise the home's resale value, they will necessitate a huge inconvenience of time and financial investment. Another disadvantage is that utility bills are often greater in houses than in condos.
 
Cons of living in a Condo
One of the significant disadvantages of condo living are maintenance fees, which are collected separately from the monthly mortgage payments. The fees might be costly, and they can rise if more money is needed for unexpected expenses that were not in the budget. Another disadvantage is that not all condo owners are involved in the condo building decision-making process. Although many owners value the sense of community and security that condos provide, some home buyers dislike the rules and restrictions that come with them.
 
As you can see, both houses and condos have advantages and downsides. You can pick and choose what works best for you. More specifically, you may discover that each has distinct advantages at different stages in your life. For example, if you're single or married and don't have children, or if you are a retired snowbird you might want to purchase a condo. On the other hand, owning a house may be the greatest option if you have children because there are more playgrounds and schools to select from. As a result, none of the two housing types is inherently superior to the other. It all depends on your stage in life and your personal tastes.
 
If you're unsure whether to buy a condo or a house, hiring the appropriate real estate agent will help you make the best decision. To get started, contact me, Melissa Henderson today. I am always accessible to answer any questions or inquiries.