Is condo living right for you?

If you’re about to start house hunting, don’t overlook the possibility of moving into a condo.  Although it’s often overlooked by house hunters, who usually think first about purchasing a freehold home, condos can be a great housing option.

If you go the condo route, there are a few things you should know beforehand.  First, living in a condo is a very different lifestyle than living in a freehold home.  For example many condo communities don’t allow children to live there, so if you have a family that is obviously not an appropriate option for you.  Similarly, some communities require that all of their residents be over a certain age (55 or 60, usually).  Once you do find a condo community that fits your family and lifestyle, though, there are many benefits to living this kind of life.

One of the benefits of condo living is a financial one. They offer the benefits of home ownership (such as the ability to build equity) at a lower cost than freehold homes.  Also, because we all know that location plays a significant role in one’s choice in real estate, condo living also offers residents the chance to live in affluent areas, or close to the beach or in an area with an otherwise great view.  Condo communities such as Destination YUL are selling more than just homes, they are selling a lifestyle.

When you purchase a condo, you essentially everything from the drywall inward.  That means that although you have virtually free rein to do what you want with the interior of your space, there are usually rules about what the outside of your unit must look like.  If you live in an apartment-style condo, for example, there might be rules about what you can and cannot hang on your apartment door.  Similarly, if you live in townhouse condo, there are likely going to be rules about the colours you can paint your garage door, etc. Just be aware of that when you are considering purchasing a condo.

Some of the most popular perks of condo living are the onsite amenities these communities offer.  This could include everything from tennis courts and gyms to recreation rooms and even spas and golf courses.  There is generally no additional fee for the use of these facilities.  The price is included as part of the condo fees you will be expected to pay.

Because they are typically located in urban centres, condos offer built-in amenities that go beyond what is actually part of the condo package.  For example, if you live close to where you work, you won’t have to worry about being caught in commuter traffic twice a day.  You can either walk or take public transit to work.  What’s more, you’ll be close to the city’s cultural centres, meaning you’ll have easy access to restaurants, theatre, shops and more, adding to the lifestyle perks offered by condo living.

Another attractive feature of condo living is that these buildings are secure.  Many feature private on-site security, doorman service, camera monitoring and secure pass-card access, making them a very safe place for residents to live. 

Condo living offers many benefits, but it’s important to have the whole picture before you make that decision.

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