- Maintenance: Many condo properties hire onsite maintenance personnel to care for common areas. Those with a concierge service may coordinate repairs in your unit and let in workers when you're not at home.
- Amenities: Many condo properties have swimming pools, fitness centres, or other facilities that would make life much more convenient and would be hugely expensive in a single-family home.
- Security: Keyed entries are the norm for most condos. You're also closer to other people in case of an emergency.
- Neighbours: You're much closer to your neighbours in a condo apartment or townhouse. If you like a sense of community, make sure you introduce yourself to your neighbours.
- Storage: Some condo apartments offer either titled or assigned storage lockers, for the things that won't fit inside your own unit. There just aren't basements and attics to hold your extra belongings like you'd find in most single-family homes.
- Outdoor Space: Yards and outdoor areas are usually much smaller in condo properties, so if you like to do more than container gardening or like to regularly entertain outside, this may not be a good fit. However, if you dread yardwork, this may be your perfect option.
- Condominium Rules: Although you have a vote, the rules of the condo association can affect your ability to use your property. For example, some condos prohibit or limit the number of pets. Some require you to get board approval to install hardwood floors or air-conditioners. Most restrict loud noise. These rules are in place to allow every one the ability to enjoy their own unit, while also helping to protect the property value by creating uniformity. Read the by-laws and restrictions of the condo carefully before you make an offer. Your real estate agent can access the condo by-laws with ease.
- Reserve Funds and Condo Fees: Although fees generally help pay for amenities and provide savings for future repairs, you will have to pay the fees decided by the condo board. You don't get to opt out of some fees because you don't use a particular amenity. Never shop for a condo based only on low fees! Shop for appropriate fees to maintain and enhance the condo complex. The better the complex is maintained, in conjunction with a healthy Reserve Fund and enforced condo rules, will help protect your resale value.
- Resale Value: The ease of selling your particular unit can be impacted by the number of other units available for sale in your building or complex, since units are usually fairly similar.
A blog cannot deal with all aspects of a subject and is not intended to replace professional advice. It's purpose is to highlight information and identify areas of possible interest. Anyone wishing to discuss this blog or to make any comments or suggestions about this blog is invited to do so by either posting comments or emailing me directly.
Condominium apartments and townhouses offer a quite affordable option to single-family homes in the Calgary area, and they're ideal for those who truly appreciate the maintenance-free lifestyle. Buy before you buy a condo, make sure you do your "homework."
These are some of the really important elements to consider: