Buying a House versus a Condo

Should I Buy a House, or a Condominium?

The question of whether to buy a house, or a condominium, tends to crop up most often when we are evaluating our lifestyle or contemplating change in relation to our current living situation.

If you are moving, just starting out, down sizing or retiring, the decision of what to buy in terms of a house, be it detached or semi detached, or a condominium has probably crossed your mind.

There are several factors that come into play when making this decision, but in my opinion, the largest determining factor should be lifestyle and future income/ cash flow.

For instance, if you are approaching retirement, and are planning to travel, and are also looking at a fixed cash flow, you might lean towards purchasing a condominium.

If you are just starting out, are a single professional with little time or interest in maintaining a home, a condominium might be the best choice for you.  Conversely, if you are planning a family in the near future, and want extra space both indoor and outdoor, then a home might be more suited to your needs.

Some of the things that you might want to think about when making this decision could be;

  • Do you have the extra cash flow to address the normal and ongoing maintenance that goes along with home ownership?  Things to consider are repairs and replacement of shingles, windows, furnace, AC, plumbing etc.  If not, a condominium might be the better choice, since the condominium corporation takes care of exterior maintenance of the buildings and grounds in most cases.
  • Do you like to just pick up and go, and not have to worry about your house sitting empty all winter?  If so, a house would not likely be the best choice.
  • Do you have a lot of ‘stuff’ that requires extra space/ parking?  Have an RV, boat, quad, etc?  Lots of toys such as bicycles, canoe/ kayak etc?  Then a house with a garage might be your best choice.
  • Planning a family in the near future?  You might want to consider a house- especially if you like the idea of having a backyard for family BBQs, and a swing set or sandbox for the kids to play in.
  • Pets?  Some condominiums allow for pets, and sometimes it depends on what type of pets you have and how large they are.  Have 3 labs?  A condominium is most likely not going to be suitable.

Of course, these are just some of the considerations that you might want to keep in mind when trying to decide between the purchase of a home or a condominium.

The choice is highly personal, and the varying aspects of each lifestyle will appeal differently to different people.

 

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