fb pixel code reCAPTCHA demo: Simple page

House vs Condo – What’s right for me?


When the phrase “dream home” comes up, many people imagine a house with children playing in a large backyard with a white picket fence. However, in todays society more and more people are considering purchasing a condo as their new home. Determining what option is best for you may seem like a daunting task, but you can easily decide on what’s right for you by asking yourself two simple questions; what better suits my lifestyle, and what better suits my budget. At the end of the day, it all comes down to finding the type of property that fits your needs and lifestyle. We have taken the most common considerations and deciding factors between purchasing a home, and purchasing a condo which will help you determine which one is the most ideal choice for your situation.

House

Condo

Space

You will have more square footage in a detached house so you will have a lot more flexibility in furniture layout and how you utilize each room. A house is a good choice for those who are searching for some extra space such as a home office, exercise space, or a recreation room. Plus, if you enjoy spending time outdoors, you will appreciate the private outdoor space that a house offers. You will have less square footage in a condo, which works well for many people. Young professionals starting out, first time home buyers, and those looking to downsize like the smaller spaces and the amenities that a condo will provide.

That being said, older condos – those usually 10-years-old or older – tend to be larger than condos built more recently. The downside? They most likely will have fewer amenities.

Privacy

When you return home after a busy day, you want some peace and tranquility to care for yourself and your loved ones. A house can provide you more separation between you and your neighbours. As well, the added space within a house adds privacy when you have more family members. Within your Condo there are shared walls. Although most condo’s are somewhat soundproof, your neighbours are a wall width away.

Investment

Single-family homes generally offer a better resale value than a condo. If there is a basement or second suite, renting it out can help towards your mortgage payments as well. When purchasing a condo, you are investing in a lifestyle, in a community. You will not se the same resale value of that of a house, but it can be a very lucrative investment if you are purchasing for investment purposes.

Restrictions

When you own a house, you make the rules and are the master of your own domain, maintaining total control over all aspects of the property. You do not have the limitations of a Strata. Stratas generally have rules to ensure a uniform external appearance of units, such as on the use of window coverings or timely take down of festive decorations.

Maintenance

Single-family homeowners take pride in cutting their own lawns, shoveling their own snow and painting their own houses. However, it’s important to keep in mind that you will also have to manage any contingent plumbing or electrical needs. Your monthly maintenance fees will take care of the exterior upkeep of your condo and some utilities like water, garbage disposal or gas. The strata will handle the maintenance from the walls out so you can concentrate on your own living space.

Proximity

Houses are usually built close to the heart of a city with some moving further to the edges. When you live in a house you usually have a vehicle to commute in and out of the city. Condos tend to be built in the heart of the city, close to shopping malls or near public transportation. Condo living can save travel time so you can dedicate more time to the activities themselves.

Amenities

Houses do not come with amenities, however, depending on your neighbourhood there are usually community centers, libraries, and city recreational facilities near-by. Most of today’s condo’s offer one or more amenities such as exercise rooms, meeting rooms, guest units, recreational spaces, hot tubs, and playgrounds.

Community

Although a condo offers close proximity to your neighbours, a house can also offer a very close-knit community. There are neighbourhood watches, everyone usually knows the neighbourhood children and look out for one another. There are plenty of opportunities for community events such as block parties and community garage sales. There is a sense of security and community that comes with condo living because your neighbours are right there if an emergency should arise. People who live in condos tend to look out for one another.

Budget

When you purchase a home, you do not have a strata to take care of maintenance for you. You will need to budget for things like roof maintenance, plumbing, electrical and furnace repairs. Condos generally cost less than detached homes. They are commonly more accessible to transit, meaning more savings if you want to pursue a car-free lifestyle.
If you own a house, you can save some money on not having to pay strata fees, but insurance rates are higher as it needs to cover the exterior of the house as well. Most condos will have a master insurance policy that you pay into through your maintenance fees. This master insurance policy will cover any damage to the exterior of the building. However, you will still be responsible to purchase your own insurance for your unit.

Purchasing a home – whether it be a condo or a house – will be one of the major financial decisions you’ll make in your life.  Do your research and take advantage of the trained and knowledgeable agents we have available to help you through the entire process.

Find out what people are saying about us.

Back to top

Keep informed with the Katronis monthly newsletter. Direct and concise, this detail-oriented newsletter will make sure you are the first to know about changes in the market. We will never send you additional, unwanted emails.

Sign up HERE!