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Laws governing what condo associations can charge and allow or disallow vary from state to state; however, they all must abide by federal housing regulations such as the Fair Housing Act or the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.
Review your state's laws to determine what might be different where you live. Some condos are part of buildings or communities constructed specifically for that purpose. Others might be converted from rental apartments or might be renovations to a previously built industrial or commercial space. A fair cost comparison considers the amount of a condo's association fees upfront and adds that sum to the total cost of the house or condo. Such fees are essential to calculate when establishing your budget for a new home.
Much depends on the amenities the condo association covers, however. If your fee pays for vital services such as water and trash collection or amenities like an on-site health club, you might be saving money in areas that would be separate monthly expenses if you buy a house. Look to the future and the entire condo community when considering the marketability of your unit when you wish to move on.
Your unit will never be worth more than an identical unit, plus upgrades. If another owner sells at a low price, that might affect your market value. Some condos will not qualify for FHA loans if the entire community has not completed a Department of Housing and Urban Development review and approval process. However, individual units can be approved in unapproved complexes if they meet certain conditions.
Be sure to check the status of the community where you are buying or selling. Condo owners may save on property taxes over private homeowners, but that isn't guaranteed. Condos might have a lower value relative to private homes in the same neighborhood, but a condo in Los Angeles may cost more than a private home in a small town.
Condo owners don't use homeowners insurance. Instead, they use condo insurance. Condo insurance tightly focuses on the dwelling unit, and it doesn't offer as much structural coverage for the building beyond the condo. That makes it cheaper than homeowners insurance, but many other variables determine exactly how much cheaper it is.
Homeowners Protection Bureau. Department of Housing and Urban Development. California Legislative Analyst's Office. Table of Contents Expand. Table of Contents. Defining a Condo. Comparing Condo and House Prices. Or do you want to live in a place that has not been gentrified? How do you feel about gentrification and urban revitalization? Another consideration is your access and proximity to outdoor spaces. Do you want to live near or on Lake Ontario or one of the rivers in Toronto?
If you are not able to live near Lake Ontario do you want to live in an area with close proximity to outdoor spaces i. Do you have pets who you will be taking on walks who could benefit from living near outdoor spaces with walking paths? Another thing you should consider is related to cost and what your most important needs are. You should consider how much you are able and willing to pay if you find your dream home and it costs more than you were hoping to pay.
Are you willing to compromise on something price, amenities, location, house size, floor plan, etc. Related article: Looking for a deal? While you may have only considered houses, you should definitely not sleep on condos since they are often the choice for first-time homebuyers in the City of Toronto, because entry-level condos still tend to cost less than houses in the City of Toronto. There are many benefits you can take advantage of living in a condo that you might not be able to take advantage of if you were living in a house.
If you buy a condo, theoretically you can see a large return on your investment, and you might even save money if you live in an area that is closer to work and other activities. However, living in a condo is not right for everyone. You should decide whether or not a condo living is the best choice for you and your family before you decide to purchase a condo.
There are many advantages to purchasing a condo and condo living. In this case, it might make sense for you to own a condo instead of paying rent each month and not having anything to show for the rent you paid at the end of your lease. And depending on you and where you live, owning a condo still might be more economical than owning a detached single-family home or a townhouse.
If you live closer to downtown Toronto or in downtown Toronto, depending on you, your lifestyle, needs, etc. If you choose to give up your car or be careless you could potentially save thousands of dollars on gas, parking, insurance, and maintenance, while eliminating so many headaches related to parking and owning a car, and everything that you have to do if you own a car. This could be great for people who do not like driving or want to avoid driving, especially if you find a place that is within walking distance to grocery stores, stores, restaurants, public transportation, parks, and other amenities.
Living in a condo means that you can enjoy some of the amenities that you could enjoy while renting an apartment while enjoying the benefits of homeownership. In other words, depending on which condo complex you choose to live in, you might be able to live at a place with access to a pool, fitness centre, party room, rooftop patio, sauna, etc.
Living in a condo with these shared amenities and common spaces might help you to be more social than you might be if you were living in a single-family detached house and can be great if you want to befriend your neighbours or meet new people. Also, if you live in a condo that has a gym, you will have no excuse for missing the gym because your complex has a gym. Depending on how well-equipped the gym is, you might even be able to forego paying a monthly gym membership and dues since there is a gym in your complex.
Another great thing about condos is that the costs for maintaining the common areas, the building, and the complex are shared between residents. For example, when it snows or icy, you do not need to worry about shovelling snow or salting the walkways outside since your condo fees are meant to cover the cost of hiring someone to do this for you.
This convenience factor makes condo living particularly attractive since you are only responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of your home, but you are not responsible or tasked with directly dealing with the upkeep of anything outside of your unit.
Another advantage of living in a condo is security. This can help protect you against theft and prevent other issues. If you are in a condo, more likely than not you will have neighbours living on both sides of your unit, living above you, and living below you. This is great if you travel frequently since your neighbours can be on the lookout while you are out of town.
If you ever have packages your doorman or others can hold them for you until you arrive home, which means if you are ever ordering anything valuable or expensive, this can help ensure that your packages are not left in front of your house where they could be stolen by someone walking by your house.
Finally, condos are ideal for people looking to be homeowners and take advantage of all that homeownership has to offer such as owning your own home, having your own space, the tax incentives for homeowners qualify for, without some of the headaches associated with owning a house. Condo living can be great for people looking to downsize, for older people who do not want to deal with all of the headaches you confront when you own your own house. Condos can be great for people who want to invest in the real estate market who cannot otherwise afford to buy a full-sized house or who do not want to buy a house.
While condo living can be great, it is important to note that condos are not for everyone and there are some cons and things you should keep in mind before deciding to buy and move into a condo. A potential negative aspect of owning a condo is the fees that you will pay as a condo owner.
These fees could include condo fees, special assessments, condo association fees, condo association dues, and more. Ideally, your condo fees should cover the maintenance and insurance for your complex and all of the other costs associated with maintaining your complex.
While your condo fees cover everything outside of your unit, you will be responsible for paying and completing repairs for anything that breaks or needs to be repaired inside of your unit. Another thing to remember is that condos increase over time since your condo fees are not a fixed rate.
This means that while the monthly or quarterly condo fees help pay for the maintenance and upkeep for your complex, they do not cover unexpected damages that might occur. For example, if something unexpected happens, i.
Or if a neighbour damages a common area, all of the condo owners in your complex will be assessed an additional fee to cover the cost of repairing the damage caused by your neighbour, even if you were not directly responsible for the damage that necessitated this repair and special assessment. Ideally, a well-managed condo association capital reserve fund will ensure that repairs and maintenance for a condo complex will be completed without condo owners having to pay any additional fees.
There might be instances when your condo fees might not fully cover the full cost of maintaining your complex and the upkeep for your complex, as well as any unexpected costs which might come up. If you own a condo, you might find yourself in the following situation. You might be at home minding your own business and someone knocks on the door. You go to answer the door and answer the door and find a board member from your condo association, who has come to inform you that you are responsible for paying a special assessment.
This special assessment could be for a number of reasons. This also means that if your condo association goes over budget, faces any legal issues, or unexpected costs arise, you and everyone else in your condo association will be responsible for paying these fees. This situation could happen because in owning a condo, this means that you are responsible for paying these fees and special assessments whether you want to pay them or not.
Another important consideration is that when you own a condo, you are jointly owning a property with people who you might know or would choose to jointly own property with. The people who you will be jointly owned property with will be always be changing for however long you own your condo. This means that you will only be able to control what happens within and inside of your unit, you may not have a say or choice when there are group decisions that impact the complex.
In other words, if you do not like other people telling you what to do or making decisions that impact you, condo living might not be the best choice for you. When you own a condo, when you finish paying off the mortgage for your condo, your condo fees and condo association dues will never be going away. This is not the case if you own a house, when you finish paying off a house, you will only be responsible for paying taxes, utilities, services, and for upkeep.
Different amenities such as a swimming pool, fitness centre, sauna, rooftop deck, or elevators mean that you might have higher condo fees. If you are selling your condo and your condo fees have doubled or tripled since you bought your condo, when the time comes to sell your condo, it might be more difficult for you to find a buyer who would be willing to take on a mortgage plus condo fees and utilities.
If this were to happen to you this could mean that you might need to lower your asking price so you can find a buyer and risk your investment ending up as a loss for you so you can find a buyer for your unit. Related article: GTA home buyers and sellers are overpaying by thousands. Another important potential downside to consider is the condo association rules and bylaws. You might be reading this and wondering why this might be a downside?
Condo association rules and bylaws are important since they dictate what you can and cannot do you inside your unit, as well as other things whether or not you are allowed to have a satellite dish, what types of pets you can have, how large any pets you have can be, and how many pets you can have.
Not everyone will be willing to abide by the rules created by a condo association since they dictate what you can and cannot do as a condo owner. Other people might have issues living in such close proximity to others given that you cannot choose your neighbours when living in a condo. You might have great neighbours, but you might have neighbours who do things that bother you and cause issues for you, anything is possible. Another risk you face when you buy a condo is what happens if you are treating your condo as an investment.
If you treat your condo as an investment you might not see as high of an increased return on your investment ROI over time with a condo as you might see with a house. If you are worried that this might be the case for you, you should do some research and find the sale prices for comparable condos in the area where you are looking to buy to see whether or not you might run into this. This is an important consideration given how many condos are being built in the City of Toronto and the demand for condos, especially luxury condos.
It is important to note that any major repairs or renovations you do for a house might lead to a higher sale price for a house this is not the same for a condo. Even if you do major renovations or repairs for a condo this might not necessarily correlate with an increase in value and higher sale price for your condo, when the time comes to sell your condo.
Another important thing to remember is as a condo owner, that you are responsible for everything inside your unit. This is usually not the case when you are renting. While you can do things to your unit when you are a condo owner, such as paint your walls, customize your unit and do renovations when you own a condo, that you cannot do as a tenant when renting a place.
As a condo owner, you will also be responsible for ensuring your unit and all of the contents inside of your unit. It is recommended that before you consider buying a condo you make sure you clearly understand the things you are responsible for and the things you are not responsible for. While living in a condo might be great for some, there are some things you should take into consideration before you decide to commit to living in or buying a condo.
If you do decide to buy a condo, you are not only buying a condo, unless your condo will be an income or rental property, you are making a commitment to make your home in a certain neighbourhood and be part of the community there. Related article: Tips for Buying a Condo in Toronto. Before you decide to commit to buying a condo or move into a condo, here is a set of questions that you should be asking. Finding the answers to these questions can help you to figure out whether or not making are you making the right choice to live in a certain condo community.
This will help you to determine whether or not you can and are willing to abide by their rules. To be frank, you need to ask yourself if you have any issues with rules dictating different things such as what types of pets you are allowed to have, how many pets you are allowed to have, and anything restricting anything you do to your unit, including adding certain upgrades? This should help you to decide whether or not living in a certain condo community is the right choice for you and your family.
You should also have a trusted attorney review these rules and go over them with you, this way you can ensure you clearly understand what the rules are and how they work. This is an important question to ask, especially if you are buying a condo in the pre-construction phase or a newly built condo. If you are purchasing a pre-construction or newly built condo, this question can help you to ascertain what if any phases of the condo community have been completed, what phases have not been completed, how long more work might take and whether or not there are any plans for additional work.
This is another important question to ask because it could serve as a potential indicator if there is any trouble within the condo association. If you are considering moving into a condo complex, you should ask about how much money the condo association managing the complex has in their capital reserve fund.
Finding out the answer to this question is incredibly important since if the condo association in question does not have sufficient funds in their capital reserve fund this could mean that you might face an increased risk down the road for paying a special assessment. A special assessment is an additional fee that a condo association will have owners pay to cover the costs of capital improvements or other costs.
You should find out who is responsible for fixing what, in other words, what things are your responsibility to fix and maintain and what things will the condo association be responsible for fixing and maintaining? Before deciding on whether or not you want to live in a condo complex, you should find out whether or not there is a professional management company managing the complex.
It might cost you more money initially to pay for a professional management company to manage your complex. However, enlisting the help of a professional management company might save you money in the long term because those who work at management companies who manage a lot of complexes may have greater power in negotiating the prices for things like maintenance services.
This means you might be able to pay less money for different things such as landscaping. Before you decide to buy a condo, if you will need a loan or financing from a bank to help finance your purchase you should consult your lender to find out which type of loan would be the best for you so you can purchase a home within a certain community. Your lender will have a set of questions about the complex, how many units are owner-occupied, what percentage of condo association fees are delinquent, etc.
If you are buying an existing condo as opposed to buying a pre-construction or newly built condo, you should speak with the people who are living in the complex. When speaking with residents who might end up being your neighbours, you might want to ask them what they enjoy about living in the complex, get their thoughts about the quality of maintenance and the condo association.
This is a good time to learn about whether or not there are community activities they can recommend that you can participate in. Conversations with residents can be incredibly important and helpful as you decide to buy a condo within a condo community.
Finding the answers to these questions before you decide to buy a home can help you to avoid some headaches down the road and help you as you decide whether or not a certain home is the best fit for you. Related article: How to choose the right real estate agent when buying a home in Toronto? There are many similarities and things that houses and condos have in common, the following is a list of some similarities and things houses and condos have in common.
This list applies to the home buying process and homeownership. If you choose to buy a house or a condo, this can allow you to put down more permanent roots in the community. Also, there is a certain sense of pride associated with being a homeowner and owning your own home.
Whether you own a house or a condo, you can still enjoy the benefits of homeownership. One benefit of homeownership is the possible tax benefits you can take advantage of as a homeowner. In some cases, it might be possible for you to deduct the interest from your mortgage and your property tax payments. This might be the case since the government tries to provide tax breaks to encourage homeownership.
This is not usually the case for people who are renting. Another benefit or advantage of buying a house or condo is that if you have a fixed-rate mortgage and condo fees you might have more predictable costs. This might be easier for budgeting and savings purposes, as opposed to renting and possibly having to worry about your landlord upping your rent if you are not in a place with rent control laws or having your landlord decides not to renew your lease when it is up, leaving you with no place to go.
Additionally, each month that you pay your mortgage, you are getting one step closer to owning your home outright. And if you eventually reach the point when you can pay off your home, you might have lower monthly and yearly costs since you might only need to pay utilities and other services, maintenance, taxes and depending on where you live condo fees or assessments. When you have a mortgage, you will have something to show for it at the end, when you have a lease and may have spent a lot of money on rent, you will have nothing to show for all of the money you paid in rent at the end of your lease.
Also, if you are considering your future, if you own your home, in the event of your unexpected or untimely death, you can designate a person or people to inherit your property. This is usually not the case with a lease since you cannot usually pass a lease onto a person who is not on the lease or a family member or loved one who is not an occupant.
Whether you decide to buy a house or condo, buying either of these will allow you to invest in the Toronto real estate market. While there are many positives associated with buying a home and homeownership, there are some downsides and risks associated with homeownership and real estate. For example, while rent payments in the City of Toronto, your monthly mortgage payment while it might be fixed, might be even higher than your rent payment. And you will also need to be able to pay closing costs.
All of these costs make buying a home more expensive than renting. Additionally, if you are buying a home, it is possible that the value of your home might not increase during the first few years that you own your home. In fact, usually during the first ten years of homeownership, the majority of your mortgage payment generally is going towards paying down the interest on your mortgage, instead of paying down the principal on your loan.
Additionally, it is not usually easy for people to qualify for a mortgage with favourable terms and interest rates to purchase a home. In order to qualify for a mortgage with favourable terms and interest rates you will need to show lenders that you have a steady source of income, solid employment history, a low debt-to-income ratio, a great credit score and credit history, sufficient funds available for a down payment, sufficient cash to cover the costs associated with moving and buying a home.
Another risk you face when you are purchasing a home, whether you are buying a house, condo, or a townhouse, this has the potential that you might not see a return on your investment. While trends that impacted the real estate market when you purchased your home meant that you might have paid an extremely high price for your home, there is no telling what the housing market might look like when the time comes to sell your home. You might not see the return on your investment that you expected or hoped to see, or this might result in a net loss.
Whether you decide to buy a house or a condo, you will be able to customize your home in a manner that better reflects your tastes, suits your wants, and needs. While if you rent a home, you might be able to add furniture, hang pictures or paint the walls, chances are that you are not allowed to renovate or do any major construction. If you buy a house or condo you can usually do whatever you want inside your own house or condo. While houses and condos have many similarities and things in common, they also are distinct from the other.
The following list includes some aspects of homeownership that distinguish owning a house versus owning a condo. When you own a house and when you finish paying off your mortgage, assuming you have other loans for your house, you will own your home outright. This means that you will only be responsible for paying for maintenance, upkeep, repairs, utilities, and services, you will have no longer a monthly mortgage payment. However, when you own your condo and pay off your mortgage, you own the condo outright as well, but you will always have condo fees, assessments, and condo association dues that never end.
The only time that your condo fees will end is when you sell your condo. If you own a detached single-family home in a neighbourhood where there is no HOA, you can do whatever you like with your home. You will have no one to dictate what you can and cannot do to customize your home on the interior and exterior to better match your preferences, tastes, and needs. An important difference between owning a condo versus a standalone house or a townhouse is the ownership aspect.
When you own a condo, you own your unit, and you also own a share in the ownership of the land where your condo building or complex is located, as well as a share in the common areas in your complex. This means that as a condo owner, you share the costs for upkeep and maintenance with the fellow condo owners in your condo association. This means that the Board of Directors for your condo association or the property management company that manages your complex is responsible for making important decisions about maintenance and upkeep for the building, the complex and the common areas in the complex.
As a condo owner, all of your maintenance costs for the common areas in your complex are shared with the other condo owners and they should be covered by your condo fees. So, if it snows and you live in a condo, you will not be charged with shovelling and salting the walkways, someone else will be charged with doing this.
As a condo owner, you are responsible for insuring, maintaining and repairing things inside your unit. When you own a standalone house, you own the dwelling, the house and the land it is located on. You might also co-own the house with another person but you and whoever else you own the house with is charged with maintaining the house and the lot it is on and making decisions about the house and its future.
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Single-family homes tend to appreciate more than condos, partly because people have a hard time envisioning paying a higher sales price for a property where. Condos are often less costly than houses and offer a more hands-off property. Houses, on the other hand, offer you your own piece of land. Plus. Remember that condo is easy to rent? Well, in the case of the house, it will be easier for you to sell it, if there will be a need for it. The general.