For many homebuyers, the path to homeownership begins with owning a condo with the intention to buy a single-family home down the road. A condo is considered to be the perfect stepping-stone to building equity and saving up for a larger home.
But this trend is shifting, and condo ownership is swiftly becoming the target from the start. For a lot of buyers today, a condo is simply a more suitable fit for their needs than a new house.
Condos Can Be More Affordable
Depending on the style and location of the condo you buy, you could pay significantly less for a condo than a home. As of April 2021, according to the Realtors Association of Edmonton, the average price of a single-family home was $425,000, more than double that of the average price of a condo at $214,000.
A lower purchase price means having to save less of a down payment and taking on less debt in a mortgage. This frees up more of your money to invest or spend on your lifestyle.
Additionally, you’ll build equity much faster and earn debt-free living sooner than in a single-family home.
Insurance premiums are also less expensive in a condo. In most cases, you’ll only be required to carry insurance for the interior of your condo unit, whereas in a single-family home, you’ll need insurance to cover the entire property and your belongings.
Freedom From Maintenance
If you’re a busy young professional, travel a lot, or are simply looking for more free time, the last thing on your mind is mowing the lawn or repainting the fence. In a condo, you’ll have a condo association or homeowner’s association to take care of these tasks on your behalf. You can spend your free time on recreation and hobbies rather than shovelling snow or cleaning out gutters.
Although you will have monthly condo fees to cover the costs of these tasks, the convenience is well worth it.
Location, Location, Location
Condo properties are typically located within urban centres surrounded by local amenities and the buzz of activity. A condo lifestyle also allows you to be more environmentally conscious: exchange the car keys for a transit pass and/or a bicycle. Since you’re located close to anything you could need, you significantly reduce commute times and earn back your free time.
Living in an urban centre gives you access to additional green space, river valley trails, grocery stores and a plethora of restaurants, as well as the fun festivals and events typically held in the city. Not only will your lifestyle be more walkable, but you’ll also have access to all the best parts of living downtown!
Condos Can Be More Social And Secure
Since condos are typically built with many units in one property, naturally you’ll have plenty of neighbours to connect with. Not only are there opportunities to build new friendships, but you’ll also benefit from a stronger sense of security having more neighbours nearby.
Additionally, many condo properties offer added security such as gated entrances, camera systems, and alarms.
More Recreational Facilities
In a condo property, you’ll likely have access to extra amenities such as a fitness centre, well-maintained outdoor spaces, and gathering spaces for special events. These features are typically included in your condo fees, so you don’t have to pay extra for access. To have these same features when owning a home, you’d likely need to spend tens of thousands of dollars installing them on your property or pay extra monthly membership fees at a separate facility.
If you’re the type of person who prefers to spend your time on travelling, recreational activities, or you work long hours, owning a single-family home can feel like a burden. Considering the required maintenance, higher costs to buy, maintain, and insure, and having to work with neighbours on the shared fence, owning a single-family home is an intense amount of work.
Owning a condo gives you the freedom to live your life.