Many people struggle with the decision of whether to buy a condo. The stage of your life has a lot to do with the answer to this question. For those in their 20’s and 30’s, the only property that they can afford to own is a condominium. For empty-nesters, it makes most sense to sell the family home and move to a condo. There are many lifestyle considerations that guide this decision.
The following is a list of the advantages and disadvantages of buying a condo.
Amenities: Condos come with underground parking, concierge service, mail service, pools, exercise rooms, party rooms, libraries, computer rooms, business centres, etc. How nice would it be to have a pool for your friends, kids or grandkids to swim in? How about walking into a warm car in the middle of the winter?
Community: In condo living, you get to know your neighbours. Many condos hold social events, classes, card games and shows where you get to meet your neighbours.
No more maintenance: The days of mowing the lawn, shovelling the driveway or fixing the shingles on your roof are over. This is especially ideal if you travel for business or pleasure. You just lock your door and leave all your worries regarding your property to the condo managers.
Location: Although condos are available everywhere, many people are motivated to purchase condos to move into the city and enjoy city life. Very few people can afford to live at the most prestigious locations such as Avenue Road and St. Clair, Yonge and Bloor, King and Bathurst, or Yorkville. There are fabulous condos throughout the city and new ones under development.
Security: Entry into condos is very secure. Guests need to be authorized to enter. Anyone else is unable to enter without the approval of a condo owner. Almost all condos employ lobby security guards.
Comfort: Young or old, healthy or compromised, condo living is for everybody. Parking is underground. Access to all floors is by elevator. The entire space is on one floor. No more stairs, floors or basements.
Affordability: Condos are available in all sizes, neighbourhoods and levels. There are high-rises and low-rises. There are adults-only condos and family-friendly condos. There are condos that permit pets and those that don’t. There are condos on the subway and condos outside of the city. Maintenance fees vary from building to building depending on the number of units and the amenities offered. Condos usually cost considerably less than a home. Choosing the right condo requires careful investigation and research. That is why most people find the right match by using realtors who are most familiar with the condo, the condo manager and the original condo builder. Realtors like The Graff Girls are extremely knowledgable and familiar with condos in Toronto so that your particular lifestyle and economic needs are met by the right condo.
Condo Fees: All condos levy a monthly charge on its owners for services such as maintenance, services, security, garbage removal and landscaping. Condos with lots of amenities have high condo costs. There can also be special assessment for unforeseen expenses. Condos with many units spread the expenses amongst many owners and can be lower. It is critical to seek advice on the quality and quantity of the particular condo’s services when considering options.
Parking: Parking is generally limited. Normally each owner is granted 1 or 2 parking spots. Although there is guest parking, some condos charge for guest parking and prohibit overnight parking.
Elevator: In some condos, the wait for the elevator can be long and frustrating. Moving furniture or large items can be challenging. The elevator always needs to be reserved in advance.
Less Privacy: In condos, walls, ceilings and floors are all shared with your neighbours. Although most condos are constructed with noise prevention, there are cases where the noise from the neighbour is heard. For some, this could be distracting and frustrating.
Rules & Bylaws: Condos have lots of rules. Condos have rules for guest parking, barbecues, door hangings, balcony use, etc. Most of the rules are created in order to ensure a consistent and uniform appearance, as well as the safety and security of the occupants. But for some, the rules could be annoying.
In conclusion, condo living can be amazing, exciting and comfortable. However, in a city like Toronto, with so many options for condo living, it is critical to be guided and advised by a realtor who has the experience, familiarity and expertise in condominiums. The Graff Girls have represented buyers and sellers of condos for the last 25 years and are able to ensure that you make the right choice, to buy the right condo, in the right place, from the right builder, at the right time.