Should You Be In A Condo.
What's your idea of the EASY life? Do you dream of jumping out of bed on a Saturday morning and grabbing the golf clubs with no thought of mowing the lawn? Or do you love puttering about the yard, planting shrubs and planning where to erect the swing set you built with your own hands? If landscaping isn’t for you, then condominium living might be right for you.
A condominium can be an apartment, loft, townhouse, vacation property as well as detached homes. Each owner receives a deed for their unit, enabling them to mortgage and sell it independently of the owners of the others. When you buy a condominium unit, you take title to your unit and have all the privileges and burdens of ownership, including the paying of taxes. You will also be required to pay a monthly condo fee representing your unit share of the cost to service, maintain and repairing those areas you share in common with others.
The word condominium comes from the two Latin words - con, meaning together and dominium, meaning property. In a condominium there is always property owned in common with others - recreation areas, lawns, basement, garage, as well as the individual unit, which are owned outright. Condos make it possible to provide more living space on less land. As land prices rise and population increases, condos are becoming more and more popular. Whether or not to buy a condominium are both financial and social decisions.
Condo ownership is seen by many people as a good entry or 1st time purchase housing choice -- a kind of graduation from apartment living, but not as heavy a financial and time commitment as a house would be. In a condo, you won't enjoy all the same freedoms and privacy you would enjoy in a single-family dwelling. You will share a wall of your living space with a neighbour. Painting and minor renovations are fairly easy in a condominium. You should always check with the condo corporation before making any structural changes. You just can’t decide you need more space and tack on an addition. That would get you in big trouble with the condominium board of directors.
A condominium corporation is run by a board of directors elected by the owners at the AGM (Annual General Meeting). The board's function is to manage the corporation. Major decisions are voted on at owners' meetings. Condominium associations may set restrictions on such things as owning pets, or having an outdoor barbecue. Many condo owners consider participation in community decision-making a benefit of condominium living. A condo owners' association is a fact of life when you choose condo living.
A well-run association is an attractive convenience for residents. Condominium fees cover the maintenance of the exterior of your unit and your neighbours' as well as homeowners' insurance, trash pick-up and outdoor landscaping. Those fees might seem steep at first glance, but it's likely you would spend even more performing indoor and outdoor maintenance on a house. Assuming that your condo owners' association is operating, as it should, your property will be well maintained. That means that the value of your unit should remain high over time.
Just think if you buy a condo, your weekends can be spent on the green golfing, not mowing.