What's your idea of the good life? Do you relish the notion 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 nothing more than puttering about the yard, planting shrubs and planning where to erect the swing set you built with your own hands? If you are more like the former, then condominium living might be for you.
The word condominium comes from the two Latin words - con, meaning together and dominium, meaning property. A condominium can be an apartment, house, townhouse or a unit in an apartment house in which the units are individually owned. There are many types of condos e.g.; townhouse or row house, apartment flat, semi-detached or detached structure or even a hotel suite. Each owner receives a deed for their unit, enabling them to mortgage and sell it independently of the owners of the others.
A condominium corporation is governed by the Condominium Act, a legal statute, and is run by a board of directors elected by the owners. When you buy a condominium unit, you take title to your unit and have all the privileges and burdens of ownership, including the payment of taxes. You will also be required to pay a monthly fee representing your proportionate share of the cost of servicing, maintaining and repairing those areas you share in common with others.
|Hence, in a condominium (condominium townhouse, condominium apartment, semi-detached/ detached condominium or hotel condo) there is always property owned in common with others - recreation areas, lawns, basement, garage --as well as the individual units which are owned outright.
Condominium ownership is seen by some as a good intermediate 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 condominium, you won't enjoy the same freedoms and privacy you would enjoy in a single-family dwelling.
You can modify or beautify the interior of your unit to your heart's content, but usually painting or planting outdoors by individuals is forbidden.
The condominium 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 condominium owners consider participation in community decision-making a benefit of condominium living. Condominium 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 condominium 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. And remember, if you buy a condominium, your weekends can be spent on the green -- golfing, not mowing.
Affordability is the number 1 reason for condos' popularity. Especially, in Mississauga and Toronto, freehold home prices are almost unaffordable for most first time buyers. Condo living is also a preferred choice of home owners who are downsizing, especially in case of baby boomers. Once the adult kids move out, parents seek a more comfortable lifestyle. Many adults choose to do less of home maintenance (lawn cutting, snow shoveling, gardening, leaves raking etc.) and spend more quality time to enjoy amenities, travel, relax and to pursue other personal goals in life.
Another reason for the condo boom lies in the economy. There is an acute shortage of affordable rental apartments in the GTA housing market. And there is a great demand for rental housing. This rental shortfall is met by condominiums, investors (individual owners) buy condo apartments to rent.
One may find maintenance charges less in condominium townhouses in comparison to condominium apartments. In condo townhouses in general the owners are responsible for their own utilities- heat, hydro, water etc. Condominium fees seems to be higher in case of high rise condominium apartments, reason being the utilities are mostly covered in the condo fees with a few exceptions (cable/ telephone or hydro). Moreover one receives additional benefits like 24 hour security, club, gym, sauna, racket, tennis, party rooms, guest suites etc. depending upon the condo buildings.
Amit specializes in condominium buying, selling, investing and renting. If you are thinking to buy or sell a freehold home and move into a condominium- townhouse or an apartment; new builder or resale condominium in Mississauga or a condo in Downtown Toronto, contact Amit.
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