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Buying a condo, pros and cons?

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[OP]
Deal Addict
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Jun 8, 2008
3332 posts
634 upvotes
GTA

Buying a condo, pros and cons?

Currently decided to look into condos etc but it's starting to stress me out quite a bit. Everyone keeps tell me only the positives of owning a condo like paying for your own thing, never really lose money if i decide to sell in the next couple years (with mortgage) but what are the negatives?
9 replies
Deal Addict
Dec 25, 2005
1447 posts
477 upvotes
jarko wrote: Currently decided to look into condos etc but it's starting to stress me out quite a bit. Everyone keeps tell me only the positives of owning a condo like paying for your own thing, never really lose money if i decide to sell in the next couple years (with mortgage) but what are the negatives?
I'm not sure about the "never lose money" point. If the market value goes down (high supply, low demand), you absolutely can lose money; not to mention selling costs. I can't imagine buying a place knowing I want to sell in a couple of years due to the selling costs alone.

Pros: Low maintenance - just interior cleaning, cheaper than a house
Cons: Condo fees and assessments, lack of ownership of land, can be expensive for the square footage, having to deal with potentially obnoxious neighbours
Banned
User avatar
Nov 1, 2014
4317 posts
561 upvotes
Toronto, ON
Great lifestyle... None of the work and maintenance of a house..carefree living..just pay monthly and everything is taken care of

No stupid garbage days, picking up crap around house...lawn care, driveway, finding handy mans ..even bulbs are changed by someone if outside unit, never have to deal with elements, car always warm and dry... No need to goto gym at different location, someone there to sign for parcels,
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 16, 2007
3906 posts
1027 upvotes
Toronto
Cons; elevators, lack of storage, unwanted noise, additional parking, maintenance fees and adjustments, paying for amentities that you may not use, in between times of heat/ac, lack of land ownership, condo boards and regulations, small sq ft, lack of versatility (renovations)
Deal Fanatic
Sep 29, 2005
6471 posts
1593 upvotes
Montreal
Need to follow rules which can be a pro or a con depending on your point of view. The rules are intended to protect your quality of life in the building but can be too limiting for some.

For example, our building only allows dogs up to 17 lbs. Dogs must be carried in the resident's arms in common areas.
Another example, kids aren't allowed in our gym or jacuzzis. Some people don't like that.
Another example is that we prohibit satellite dishes on our balconies.
Another example, we force people to change their hot water tanks once the tanks are 10 years old.

So if you don't want to have to deal with types of restrictions, you probably should stay away.

A pro or a con again is that whereas companies hire professionals to work for them, condo boards are very often lay people without professional credentials. Some condo boards are less professional than others. For example, in the interest of keeping condo fees down, they don't contribute to the reserve fund creating a special assessment surprise issue for the future. When I moved into my condo 11 years ago, our reserve was $89,000. Our roof(s) cost us $500,000 about 6 years ago. Needless to say, that issue doesn't exist where I live now. Our reserve is ~$600,000 so the chance of a special assessment is very slight at this point.

The other issue is legalities. Condo boards have lots of authority but they do not always know what they can legally do or not do. For example, here in Quebec, any improvements need a 75% vote of the shareholders.
Phils
Deal Expert
Feb 29, 2008
19393 posts
17858 upvotes
Tarrana & The Ri…
youo can indeed lose money on condos. Especially now. Talk to an agent you trust. I know people who have made a lot of money and those who have lost money or broke even.

Here are the downside of condos:

Loud neighbours and overall noise in general (hardwood floors, concrete, etc good conductors of noise). Newer condos you tend to hear everything.
Also, there are strict rules in condos.
Your condo board determines how the building is run.
Maintenance fees. This is very important. You need to get into a building with reasonable fees. Look at how much the fees have risen over the last 5 years. Also look into the financials.
[OP]
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jun 8, 2008
3332 posts
634 upvotes
GTA
The market is pretty hot right now, when my agent sends me mls reports almost within 3 days everything worthwhile is sold. I literally have to message the agent instantly and almost instantly go to view a condo because it's usually sold within a day. Either way thanks for the pros and cons. My biggest con is the feeling of being stuck for at least 5 years and literally dropping a huge sum of money on the first day. Everyone tells me it's not losing money but investing but I have a thick nogging and treat it as a loss in the beginning. Pretty much had 4 friends over and all own houses or condos and was getting hammered with positives, while i tried looking at it realistically.

Calculations wise if I rent I would spend $16,500 / yr for a 1 bed room but I wouldn't have to worry about much. The rental has a very nice indoor pool, a gym etc and no worries in repairs and maintenance but the negative that my friends where giving me is that I would be wasting $16,500. While other wise paying for my own thing with the $16,500

Another big factor is that I'm new to the city, it's a city in gta but I always lived in the heart of the city and never really outside so I don't even know if I will like the area long term. My mind and from reading online is telling me to rent here for a year and see if I even like it here. I'm actually posting here because I have to decide within 1 day what I want to do.
Newbie
May 7, 2015
16 posts
7 upvotes
Ottawa, ON
I'll share one of my experiences with condos.... so one of the condo we own which we purchased 2 years ago @ $240k... put in about $8k... new floors and kitchen. Recently, we've had issues with the water mains and the condo corp loosing money and charging back some of the costs to the owners.. there are now 4 condos in this complex for sale and the last one just sold for $215k. If we tried to sell, we'd probably loose around 30k. On the flip side... the one we own is rents at top dollars due to the renos with a positive cash flow of around $350 / month. If your plans are to sell soon, keep renting... your chance of loosing money are high.
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Deal Guru
Dec 31, 2005
13306 posts
741 upvotes
Condos are great if living in the city...any major city for that matter.

Here I wouldn't touch a condo outside of the downtown core...
Member
Nov 29, 2007
496 posts
60 upvotes
Lived in a condo for 4 years and just moved to a townhouse. Here are some of the things I didn't like about living in a condo
- Dirty underground parking (very dusty)
- management fee
- limited space

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