The transition to a condominium entails many lifestyle aspects. You may be familiar with many of them. Here is an overview for you to consider.
Condo living is quite different than living in a house – there are obvious advantages and disadvantages. Advantages include no outside maintenance, no snow shovelling, no grass cutting – although these come at a price in the form of monthly maintenance fees. Generally, the older the building, the higher the fees.
There is a range of shared amenities for the use of the condo residents. Some amenities such as swimming pools require significant upkeep and maintenance and will have an impact on the monthly fees. If you’re an avid swimmer you’re probably ok with this.
Consider also how many units will share the expenses. Smaller boutique buildings have fewer owners sharing the costs so individual fees will be higher. Often these buildings have fewer amenities as well, so that helps to keep the fees down.
Older buildings often have great locations and larger units, but have higher fees due to their age requiring more spending on items such as new roofs and repairs to underground parking garages. A portion of each owner’s condo fees is allocated to build the Condo Corporation’s Reserve fund for these purposes.
Also, look at which utility costs are included in the monthly fees. Newer buildings for example tend to have individual metering for hydro which are the responsibility of the owner. Older buildings may include hydro in the monthly fees. All these items need to be accounted for.
Condo living is all about convenience and location
If you plan on travelling a lot or spending many months in warmer climes as a snowbird, or as a Cottager in the summer, the condo life may be perfect for you. Lock it and leave it!
Perhaps you’re a suburban dweller now and you’re thinking of moving downtown to take advantage of all the attractions that downtown has to offer. Maybe you’ve always dreamed of living up in the clouds with an amazing view – maybe even a water view!
Other points to consider
Condos have bylaws, rules, and regulations that owners must abide by. This helps maintain standards, but it also imposes restrictions in what you can do. Any renovations to your unit especially those involving removal of interior walls will require approval of the condominium board.
Parking is a factor in condo living. Many older buildings include a parking space. This is not always the case with newer buildings. If Buying from a builder, it’s an additional cost in the tens of thousands of dollars, especially in downtown locations. Parking for a second car becomes even more challenging.
To summarize then, here are some of the main advantages and disadvantages:
- Maintenance is done for you
- Amenities that enhance the lifestyle experience
- Bylaws and rules ensure property standards
- Monthly fees can get expensive as buildings age
- Parking is an added cost, especially expensive in new buildings
- Have to abide by Board decisions, even if you don’t agree
A very thoughtful and thorough downsizing of your belongings will be required to facilitate your move, especially if the new unit has a smaller footprint and less storage than what you have now.
Once you have made the decision to downsize, the transition to your next home is an exciting time with builders responding with buildings incorporating many modern design and convenience features that appeal to empty-nesters.
As always I invite you to call for a free personal consultation. See you here next time. Let’s talk Downsizing!