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StreetSide Developments Blog

Is Condo Living For You?

Posted by Vanessa Freeman on June 28, 2016

condo-living-for-you-exterior-building.pngCondominiums offer a unique and independent living option for those with a busy lifestyle. With a condo, you get all the perks of homeownership without the hassle of maintaining and caring for a home; all in a convenient location.

If you are ready to take charge of your living situation and future, consider these benefits and drawbacks of condo living:

Your Own Space. With a condo, you own all the space inside your four walls as well as an interest in all the common areas in the community or condo building. This means you have your own dedicated space you can customize to your tastes and a right to use all common areas.

Typically there are options to either purchase a unit still in the construction phase and customize it to your liking or buy a new, completed home with all the interior selections carefully picked out for you.

Low Maintenance. Condo living is low maintenance living. As a condo owner, you also become a member the condominium association, which is responsible for the upkeep and repair of all the common areas and exterior of the building. You are only responsible for repairs and issues that occur inside your condo unit - the association takes care of the rest.

With a newly built condo, you will also have the peace of mind that interior components such as plumbing, electrical and appliances will be trouble-free for years to come. If issues do arise, new builds also include builder warranties to take care of any problems.

Secure Living. Most condo buildings include the added peace of mind of building security, such as gated entry or security monitoring. Restricted access to the building provides a safer community with less worry about crime happening.

Cost-Effective. Unlike single family homes, condo's provide cost effective homeownership options. In addition to the money you’ll save by avoiding maintenance costs, utility bills are also less expensive. This means that you have more money to put towards doing the things you enjoy, rather than sinking it into bills.

Access to Amenities. Condos offer the added benefit of common areas that are maintained by the association. This often includes amenities such as community halls, pools, and exercise facilities. Many larger buildings also include elevators and covered parking garages, which make living in the city much more convenient.

As with any situation, condo living has its cons too, with drawbacks including:

condo-living-for-you-tool-box.pngCondo Fees. Access to amenities and the upkeep of common areas doesn’t come without a cost. Owners and members of the condo association are generally required to pay monthly or quarterly association fees that cover those services and maintenance.

Additionally, if an unexpected cost or repair comes up, owners could also be hit with a special assessment to cover the unplanned expense. Finally, some condos charge an additional fee for parking. When considering a condo, evaluate all the fees and costs to determine if they are reasonable in light of the benefits provided.

Community Living. Living in a condo development can be restrictive in that there are always other people around you. Owners will give up some privacy and must get used to noises commonly found in a large community, such as music or talking coming from outside patios. However, these are the consequences to the built-in community and neighbourhood that condo living provides.

More Rules. Being a member of a condo association means you are subject to the association's rules and the Condominium Property Act of Alberta, which at times can be limiting. For example, some associations will not allow you to keep plants or flowers on your patio. However, the rules exist so that all owners can enjoy living in the community. Also, if you are concerned about the direction of the association, being a member entitles you to join the association board and have a say in the condo community rules.

Too Many Benefits. As an owner, you make not take full advantage of all of the condo amenities that you pay for. This can often feel like a waste of money, for instance, if you prefer using your own gym membership to the condo’s workout facilities. Consider all the amenities offered, the cost and the likelihood that you will make use of them when researching condo communities.

If you are wavering on the purchase of a condo, be sure to consider all the pros and cons carefully. Regardless of the drawbacks, condos are a great, low-maintenance choice for first-time homebuyers. We are happy to demonstrate the virtues of condo living in one of our newly developed condo units.

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Topics: buy a new condo, condo living