House or Condo?

HOME BUYING FOR SAVVY SHOPPERS!

Is a detached home for you? Or would condominium living suit your lifestyle?

With more houses and condominiums being built every year in the Greater Toronto Area, the lifestyle choices available when buying a property in continue to increase. Moving is a good time to investigate your options; even if you have never thought of living in a condo, for instance, perhaps you will find that it would be great for you after all.

Consider the following as you search for a GTA home with living space that will suit your needs. We will discuss condominiums in a little more depth, since the ins and outs are less commonly understood.

buy a toronto condoCONDOMINIUM LIVING

Proponents of the condominium ‘lifestyle’ speak of the convenience, the ease and comfort of living where many essentials, such as property maintenance, snow removal and security, are taken care of. On top of this, there are often private facilities that add to the convenience – such as underground parking and a wide variety of recreational facilities – depending on the condominium. Some of the common areas and amenities in today’s Toronto area condos are truly stunning, with extensive facilities for your enjoyment.

Although there are several types of condominiums, for GTA residential real estate purposes a condominium consists of individual units of living space along with shared common areas such as landscaped grounds, parking areas, and recreational facilities, which are enjoyed by all or most unit owners. Many townhouse complexes in the GTA are actually condominium communities.

Your own self-contained and private ‘unit’ or suite will belong to you; it can be purchased and ownership transferred legally; you can rent it out or live in it; you will arrange financing, if necessary, just as in a detached home, and you will own the home once your financing is paid off. The common areas belong to every member of the community who owns a unit, and each pays a portion of the expenses via monthly maintenance fees. Some maintenance fees include certain additional services, such as heating, hydro and cable TV, and some do not, so be sure you understand what is included when you are budgeting for a condo purchase.

Each Condominium Corporation is run by a Board of Directors, which includes members of the building/s, and there are rules and regulations created to ensure safety, efficient use of condominium resources, and the maintaining of your investment. Each owner is responsible for adhering to the rules and regulations of the condominium; some examples would be whether or not pets are allowed, hours of use of facilities, and treatment of emergencies. Should a major expense come up, all owners are responsible for paying their share of the expense, which will be levied (determined and charged monthly to owners). This is another issue which should be carefully looked at before purchasing a condominium; be sure to include a provision for lawyer’s approval in any offer to Purchase a condominium unit. Your lawyer will look carefully over the condominium documents before advising you whether to go ahead with the purchase.

Most condominiums are well taken care of, and most deals close without a hitch, so if you think Toronto condo living might suit you, let’s start looking in neighbourhoods you like and you’ll be one step closer to your dream!

DETACHED HOMES

On the flip side, we have a home which is completely detached or semi-detached, most likely at street level, and usually with a private backyard.

Many owners take pride in and enjoy holding the responsibilities that a detached home implies, such as yard maintenance, snow removal and general upkeep. In this case, any major expenses which come up are the sole responsibility of the owner/s, but they also have the knowledge that they alone are in charge of the condition of their property.

There is a staggering variety of detached homes in most marketplaces, so many different needs and budgets can be met. Are you looking for a beautiful older Victorian-style, or a sparkling new subdivision home? Perhaps a bungalow, or a house with an apartment for investment purposes? If detached living is your style, I’ll find you something perfect for you – get in touch and let’s begin your search!

NOTE: I absolutely LOVE working with buyers, especially first time buyers. Many Realtors don’t. I love the excitement and I love it when my hard work of searching pays off in happy clients (I’m a treasure hunter and will stop at nothing!)…and I love ensuring all the little details are taken care of so the experience is a positive and rewarding one.

If you’d like to discuss your purchasing options, please get in touch any time! Direct: 416-930-4388 • shauna@royallepage.ca

Buying a Home in Toronto – Buying a GTA Condo – Find a Home in the GTA – Toronto Realtor Works with Buyers