Condominium ownership is an increasingly popular option for property buyers who prefer living in dense urban areas, first time home owners, young couples moving in together for the first time, or empty nest couples interested in downsizing their life. Owning a condo can be the perfect stepping stone for many first time buyers transitioning from the rental market, or a more permanent place to settle down for those who prefer to live without worrying about yard maintenance.

Condominiums come in a wide range of sizes, floor plans, and price points, from affordable and cozy 1 or 2 bedroom condos to luxury penthouse suites in high-rise residential towers. For some home buyers, living in a condominium is the best blend of property ownership, mixing the advantages of owning and having equity in your own home with the convenience and sense of community that comes with renting an apartment.

Affordability

A condominium can be the perfect entry point into the real estate market for first time home buyers, especially for those on a tight budget. Mortgage payments on lower priced condos are often comparable to rental prices, making them ideal solutions for singles or young couples who want to purchase their own home but are hesitant to commit to a single family home.

Condominiums are available in a wide range of floor plans that generally have a much smaller footprint than houses, which often reduces the price tag significantly. How many 600 square foot houses have you seen on the market compared to 600 square foot condominiums? These smaller sizes allow condos to have smaller price tags than even the coziest house.

Location

For some, living on a quiet cul-de-sac in the suburbs doesn't suit their personality or lifestyle: they'd much rather be living in a dense community in the city's downtown core, and these urbanites will find themselves naturally inclined to favour condos over houses for their location alone.

Condo owners in downtown areas will live within walking or transit distance to everything they love about big city living, from bars and restaurants to shopping and groceries. For many living in dense condo-heavy communities, a major perk is the short work commute. Many downtown condo dwellers don't own cars because they live in the heart of the city where public transit options are plentiful and everything — even work — can be within walking distance.

Eco-friendly home owners tend to choose an urban condo lifestyle over houses on the edges of the city because they can choose smaller homes that are located close to everything they need.

Low Maintenance

The maintenance-free aspect of condo living is one of its greatest advantages for many people. Because you own only everything within your walls and everything outside them is shared, you pay condo fees to cover the maintenance and upkeep of the building and land. Someone else will take care of the yard work and the snow shovelling, leaving owners free to spend their time doing more important things.

Because there is so much shared common space in condominiums, condo owners pay into a joint fund to cover repairs and maintenance for these spaces. What condo fees cover varys from condominium to condominium, but they will always cover the external features of the building, the roof, shared plumbing and heating systems, foyers and hallways, and yard upkeep.

Home owners who purchase a house own the building and the land it sits on, so they are responsible for all the associated upkeep. For those who want the perks of home ownership without the strenuous bother of maintenance condos are often the obvious better choice.

Community and Security

Since most of the condominium building is shared space, condos offer a unique community atmosphere. Depending on which building you choose to live in, you may even find a huge variety of social opportunities right within your condominium!

Some buildings cater to certain age ranges or types of people: many empty nest couples enjoy moving into a 40+ or 50+ building where they know everyone around them is in the same life stage, and won't have to worry about the noise and unpredictability that comes with condos that welcome a younger demographic. Professionals and executives might prefer living in a trendy, downtown space that is child-free, while those with animal allergies might be most interested in a pet-free building.

Condos naturally offer an extra layer of security for their home owners: because so many people live in your building, there are always lots of extra eyes keeping watch over things. This built in community helps a lot of condo owners feel more secure and safe, both when they're home and when they're away. In addition, some condos offer extra security feature such as doormen, secure parking, and locking exterior doors that must be buzzed open by a resident.

Amenities

Many condos offer in-building amenities that most single family homes can't compete with, such as swimming pools, gyms, tennis courts, meeting spaces, and audio-visual rec rooms. Some even have rooms that can be booked for parties or special events.

There are even some high end condominiums in some cities that are condo/hotel hybrids, offering concierge and housekeeping services in addition to top-notch amenities.

For some people, it's these special perks that make condo living such an attractive option. When you're looking and condos, always be sure to ask what the shared facilities are like, if there are any special amenities, and what the rules governing their use might be.

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