When it comes to choosing the perfect first-time home, downsize property or even long-term investment, the Calgary condo market may have just what you're looking for. There are many reasons why people might choose to buy a condo. Single professionals, new to the housing market, often find them convenient and perfectly sited. Many retiring 'baby boomers' are increasingly leaving their large family homes, and find the idea of living in a community with low-maintenance considerations, highly appealing.
But what are the advantages, and disadvantages, to owning a condominium over a more traditional house? To answer that, we must first determine just what a condo is, and how it differs fundamentally from a single family home.
A condo is essentially an apartment, in as much as it is a unit within a building comprised of other, similar, units. However, each condo is privately owned, as opposed to being rented from the apartment block proprietor.
Condo owners each pay a fee toward the upkeep of the common areas such as gardens, exteriors and general maintenance; well worth bearing in mind if you spend a good deal of time away, or simply don't have the time or the inclination, for DIY projects. Many condominiums also have a range of tempting amenities on site such as a gymnasium, sauna or pool, exclusively for residents' use. One of the appealing things about living in a condo is that it can be a great way of meeting neighbours and making new friends.
A condo will often have a great location as a prime incentive, and the convenience of many downtown blocks means that city workers can cut commuting time down significantly, and of course, enjoy easy access to all the best that a city has to offer. The lure of living within walking distance of theatres, parks, shops and favourite restaurants and cafes can be a strong one.
On the downside, there can be many restrictions put in place by the condo association, which may compromise your lifestyle choices. A lack of privacy and the proximity of neighbours may affect your decision when it comes to considering a condominium. Also, the fact that condos do not have a tendency to appreciate in value as much as similarly priced houses might well deter some buyers. Take a look at our Calgary Housing Stats for a price comparison of single family homes versus condos over the years.
With an extensive selection of new and established Calgary condos on the market, it could certainly be worthwhile looking into the potential of investing in one. And with a growing demand for rental properties, maybe now is a good time to think about buying a condo strictly for leasing out.
I am a licensed member of the Real Estate Council of Alberta since 2005 - proudly representing CIR REALTY, Calgary’s largest real estate brokerage. I enjoy keeping my readers up to date with real estate related information that they can easily understand and use for their own benefit. I welcome feedbacks and comments equally from first-time visitors to my blog, past clients and also from my fellow REALTOR® colleagues. Thanks for stopping by!