Houses vs Condos – Which Is a Better Investment?

Being in the Oakville real estate market for several years, we come across one of the most debated questions that home buyers often seek help for – a condo or a house? But the truth is, each option has its advantages and disadvantages and the purchase decision entirely depends on what home buyers are looking for in the property.

If you’re a prospective buyer in the dilemma of choosing the most suitable type of ownership for you, then you’ve come to the right place. Read this blog post to find out which is a better investment for you between a condo and a house.

Why You Should Buy a Condo?

A condo or condominium is a private residential unit within a multiunit community or building. It is a popular choice of housing among millennials and young homeowners because of the following reasons.

  • Condos are less expensive compared to houses, thus making it an ideal choice for buyers who have a limited budget. According to Zolo, the average price of a two-bedroom condo in the Oakville real estate market between December 2018 and January 2019 was C$ 612,000 whereas the price of a detached house with two bedrooms was C$ 1,200,000.
  • When you live in a condo, you are not worried about mowing your lawn, building the fences or shovelling snow as the exteriors of a condo have shared ownership and are maintained by the homeowner’s association (HOA). All you’re concerned about is the interiors of your condo, thus freeing up a lot of time and money on upkeep of your property.
  • Another perk of buying a condo is you get a number of luxurious facilities that house owners generally don’t get. It includes clubhouses, BBQ areas, spas, gyms and swimming pools.
  • As mentioned earlier, condos are part of multiunit buildings and these buildings have sophisticated security systems including guards at the entrance and exit. Also, condos are attached to each other and there are other people residing in close proximity, thus avoiding the fear of theft or burglary.
  • Most condos are located in densely packed areas that are closer to amenities such as shopping malls, hospitals, schools and community centres. Also, if you want a shorter commute to work, then condos are the better option compared to detached houses that are generally located in distant suburbs.

Reasons Behind Choosing a Condo in Oakville

Why You Shouldn’t Buy a Condo?

Well, when there are positives, there will be negatives too. Similarly, investing and living in a condo has some drawbacks. Let’s take a look at them.

  • The condo association fees collected monthly for the upkeep of building and amenities can be quite expensive. That said, these fees can increase if there is maintenance work needed in the building. Also, this fee is collected outside the monthly mortgage payment which can break your budget.
  • When you live in a condo community, you have to follow plenty of nitpicky rules and regulations of the condominium You can’t do a lot of activities without approval such as putting potted flowers in the fence and washing your car in the driveway.
  • Living in close proximity to other condo dwellers can hamper your privacy. Sound and smell can travel from one condo to other that have adjoining walls.
  • You don’t have full ownership of the condo building as the decision-making process related to the exterior is shared by other homeowners.
  • Condos are compact and the square footage is less than a house. For example, a two-bedroom condo will be smaller than a house with two bedrooms as a house will have hallway, stairway, patio, porch and other features that extend your living space and make it feel like a home. 

Why Should You Buy a House?

Owning a detached house is a dream of many people who have spent a good amount of their life in rented houses or apartments. Here’s why people prefer buying a house over any other property.

  • When you own a house, you have full control over the property. You can remodel, renovate and make changes in the property anytime you like without the consent of others.
  • You get more privacy in your home, unlike condos where your neighbours can hear sounds from other side of walls. You can freely move around in your yard, throw a party near the swimming pool and listen to music whenever you want, without worrying about neighbours or onlookers.
  • Houses are more spacious than condos. According to a post on darrinqualman.com, the average size of a newly constructed single-family detached home is 2,200 square feet in Canada. On the other hand, a report published in the Financial Post stated that the average size of a condo in the GTA is 789 square feet. Living in a detached house allows you to have extra indoor and outdoor space, thus giving its residents more room to grow and accommodate children, pets and even guests.
  • Unlike condos where association rules affect every decision of the condo dwellers, a house allows you to have the freedom of using the property as you like. You can run a small business at your house, rent out rooms and even organize extra-curricular classes for kids to support your family income or pay off your mortgage.
  • The resale value of a detached house is more than a condo. A house has unique features that homeowners add to boost its livability, unlike condos that have identical units which affect its marketability. For instance, if another condo owner sells an identical condo at a lower price, it might affect the market value of your unit. Experienced agents in the Oakville real estate market suggest that buying a house is your best bet if you’re purchasing it as an investment and plan to sell it in the future.

Reasons Behind Buying a House

Why You Shouldn’t Buy a House?

Here are the reasons why you should not buy a detached house.

  • As mentioned earlier, houses are more expensive than condos. It is because of the size (square footage) and other perks attached to a house but can strain your wallet. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly alternative, then you should avoid investing in a house.
  • A house comes with a lot of responsibilities and regular expenses. From variable expenses like maintenance and repairs to fixed expenses such as electricity and water, you have to take care of ongoing expenses related to the upkeep of a house. Also, the additional responsibilities of lawn mowing, snow removal and gardening are laid on your shoulders.
  • Generally, detached houses are located in exterior areas of a city because of the availability of land. Living in a house can make a daily commute to work troublesome for you, especially if your office is in the heart of the city.
  • Houses are not as secured as condos because they don’t have security systems or guards at the gate. If anyone with bad intentions enters your premises by jumping over your fence, then your safety will be hampered.

The bottom line is that both condos and houses have their pros and cons. Investing in a condo might be a wiser decision for buyers who want fewer responsibilities, more security and access to luxurious facilities. However, buyers who want freedom and control over their property, peaceful environment and less interference of neighbours might prefer closing the deal for a detached house. The final decision depends on your finances, lifestyle, preferences and future aspects.

Hopefully, this blog post has helped you analyze all factors to make an informed decision. If you haven’t been able to decide yet, then it is advisable to consult a specialist who has knowledge of real estate markets in Oakville, Mississauga and other parts of the GTA.

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