There are plenty of reasons why you could choose a condo over a more traditional home purchase like a detached, townhome or duplex and also just as many pitfalls to be aware of. When looking at purchasing a condo, there’s one question you should ask yourself before you start: Is a condo the right real estate choice for me?
Let’s take a quick look at some of the pros and cons of purchasing an Edmonton condo and hopefully we can determine if the condo lifestyle is right for you. Whether you’re a first time home buyer, seasoned homeowner or just curious about condo ownership, you need to know a few of the ins and outs of living the condominium lifestyle.
The Pros of Condo Ownership
Condos are relatively maintenance free. That is someone else usually takes care of the upkeep of everything outside of your unit. That means no painting, grass cutting, outdoor sweeping, roof repairs… you get the picture. You are, however, responsible for everything inside your unit. Unlike with a rental, you still have the opportunity to decorate and renovate the inside of your condo so paint and decorate how you like, it’s your to embellish how you see fit.
Most condominiums offer convenient on-site amenities. As mentioned above, some condos offer perks in the form of onsite amenities that are usually exclusive for condo owners to use at their will. These amenities can take the form of tennis and basketballs courts, swimming pools, saunas, full fitness facilities and recreation rooms that can be booked for large gatherings or parties.
Some condos are geared toward the specific lifestyles. Whether for adults only, retirees or high-end luxury, some condos cater to a select group of individuals or families and can have strict policies in place to ensure that they maintain the status quo.
Condos offer prime city locations, especially in the downtown core. High-rise condos often exist in areas where single-family homes would be completely unaffordable due to land costs. The benefits of being in a downtown high-rise are numerous including the unprecedented access to conveniences like transit, shopping, entertainment and nightlife.Top that off with stunning panoramic views and a potential walk to work and Downtown Edmonton condos have plenty to offer.
Condos can be more affordable than detached homes. Although it depends on location and style, condos can often be more affordable that detached homes. Even with a combined mortgage, property taxes and condo fees, the cost of ownership can be equal to or less than the cost of a large home and is more often less expensive than renting where you’re paying off someone else’s mortgage.
The Cons of Owning a Condo
You’re on the hook for a portion of all the maintenance costs, even if it’s doesn’t really affect you. For instance, if you don’t drive, swim or even use the onsite amenities, you’re still required to help maintain the facilities through your condo or strata fees. That said, the major costs are also covered such as a roof repairs, electrical upgrades, elevator repairs and on and on.
Condo and strata fees can skyrocket. While it’s usually the case that condo fees are fairly consistent, older buildings and complexes that may require more upkeep or repairs could potentially see a rise in monthly fees to cover expenses. Remember how we mentioned that you’re on the hook for maintenance and repairs above? This is where it can become an issue. Make sure you check into the existing fees being charged and request to see the strata meeting minutes to see if there are any predicted costs upcoming.
Condos don’t always appreciate as much in value compared to single-family homes. While all Edmonton real estate appreciates (and depreciates) over time, the increase in value of condos is a fraction of what can be expected with single-family homes. The reason is mostly due to the increase in land value. Land is one of the most valuable commodities in real estate. Just look at the number of “in-fills” that are being constructed and you’ll see that the land typically has more perceived value than the house that sits on it. With condos, you don’t own the land, just the building or unit so there’s no opportunity for expansion, improvement or rebuild. Not to say that your condo won’t increase in value over time, it likely will, just not as much or as fast as homes with property.
As with any type of real estate in Edmonton, there are advantages and disadvantages to owning an Edmonton condo. That said, condo ownership is becoming increasingly more viable, affordable and desirable in today’s real estate market. The maintenance free lifestyle appeals to more and more Edmonton home buyers as do the conveniences and amenities that condominiums offer. Let’s face it, in today’s busy environment; leisure time is becoming less and less achievable. Condos provide you with the opportunity to spend less time painting the house, mowing the lawn or cleaning the gutters in favor of a bit more recreation and relaxation. So, are condos the right choice for you and your lifestyle? Let us know if we can help you decide by touring you around some different Edmonton condos for sale and introduce you to the condominium lifestyle.