When the word “dream home” comes up, many imagine a house with a large backyard and flaming grill. However, more and more people in Vancouver are considering purchasing a condo as their new home. In fact, according to the 2016 census, metro-Vancouver has the highest proportion of condo dwellers across Canada — more than 30% of households live in condominiums.What it all comes down to is finding the type of property that fits your needs and lifestyle. Below you’ll see the advantages to owning either a condo or house, which will help you determine which one is the most ideal choice for your situation.
Buying a House is A Good Choice If…
You need more space
Detached homes provide more square footage so you have a lot more flexibility in furniture layout and how you utilize each room. It will be a good choice for those looking to have extra bonus space, such as a home office or recreation room. Plus, those who enjoy being outside often will appreciate the private outdoor area.
You want more 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.
You are looking for long-term 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.
You want control over the look and design of your house and yard
Stratas generally have rules to ensure a uniform external appearance of units, such as on the use of window coverings or timely takedown of festive decorations. But 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 enjoy handling the maintenance and upkeep of your property
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.
Buying a Condo is A Good Choice If…
You want to be closer to 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.
You don’t want the responsibility of maintenance and repairs
Your monthly maintenance fees will take care of the exterior upkeep of your condo and some utilities like water, trash or gas. The strata will handle the maintenance from the walls out, so you can concentrate on your own living space.
You want amenities like a fitness room or a pool
Many condos feature amenities you won’t get in a single-family home. They are professionally managed so you can enjoy the facilities instead of working on maintaining them.
You want to live in a community
There is a sense of security and community that comes with condo living because your neighbours are right there if an emergency should arise.
You are working with a certain budget
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.
Be aware of Closing Costs
Whether you decide to buy a house or condo, you will have to pay closing costs (eg. legal fees, inspections, transfers tax, GST for new homes, etc.). These generally range from 1.5% – 4% of the total purchase price of your new home. Thus, it’s important to factor these closing costs into your overall budget.
Both single family homes and condos will also require insurance. 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.
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.
Talk to Jovi Realty’s Vancouver home specialists
Whether you choose a house or a condo, Realtors® at Jovi Realty are experts in finding the best property that fits your budget and your needs. Contact us to schedule your free consultation!