Are you ready to buy a home? If you’re open to more than one property type, you’ll have no shortage of options. For some buyers, it’s a question of whether to purchase a condo—or dive directly into the single-family home market. While both options can provide you with a beautiful living space and a strong return when it’s time to resell, there are some major differences you should factor into your decision.
If you’re choosing between a house and a condo, here are a few things you should consider…
Let’s start with the most obvious point. As a general rule, you can expect to pay significantly more for a single-family home than a condo. In Toronto proper, average house prices are upwards of a million dollars. Then there are the associated expenses, like higher insurance, maintenance, and utility costs.
A unit will likely set you back more per square foot. That said, condos are relatively affordable on the whole. While monthly maintenance fees can be a pain, they typically cover things like building repairs and landscaping (costs you’d otherwise have to bear on your own). Utilities are often included as well—though buyers should double-check, as heating and cooling are sometimes separate.
What does your dream neighbourhood look like? If you have your eye on a quiet, family-friendly community, you’ll likely have more houses than condos to choose from. If you’re after a lively area close to retail, dining, and nightlife, you may have more luck finding a unit.
While the location you’re looking for may determine the type of home you wind up in, that’s not always the case. A local agent can do some serious digging to help you find the right property—in an area that suits you.
Part of the appeal of condo living is the low-maintenance lifestyle it offers. Those monthly fees go to things like maintaining common areas and covering building repairs. If you’re the type who hates raking leaves and replacing furnace filters, that’s worth keeping in mind. Access to well-cared-for amenities (like a beautiful pool and exercise room) can also sweeten the deal for prospective condo buyers!
Of course, those who dream of owning a single-family home aren’t daunted by the maintenance they require. They’re happy to spend a little extra time fixing up their living space (both inside and out), and they’re proud of the results.
One of the best things about living in a house is the freedom you have to renovate. You’ll need a permit from the city to make certain changes, but that’s about it. You can gut your bathrooms, rip up your flooring, and even convert a closed-off kitchen into one that’s open-concept.
In a unit, you’ll almost certainly need your board to sign off on extensive upgrades (and your standard condo insurance typically won’t cover them). Of course, that’s not the only rule you’ll have to follow. From pets to noise restrictions, sharing a building can feel a little confining for some people.
Noise levels and privacy
Looking for peace, quiet, and complete privacy? If so, a single-family home may be your best bet. In a house, you can make plenty of noise (within reason) and still enjoy a quiet environment when you want. You’re also more likely to feel like you’ve entered your own private refuge when you step inside.
When it comes to condos, noise levels and privacy can vary from one building to the next. Luckily, your agent can help ensure that you ask the right questions. From sound-proofing to how noise complaints are handled, you deserve to be informed!
Making a decision
While these are some of the biggest things to think about when you’re deciding between a house and a condo, there are other factors to consider. Fortunately, a knowledgeable local agent can help you make the right decision for your budget, preferences, and lifestyle!
Looking to find your dream home in West Toronto? We know the area inside and out, and we’d love to help! Get in touch to learn what’s available.