Which to Buy: A House or a Condo?

Sifting through the wealth of Calgary homes for sale you could be forgiven for finding the decision between a house or condo purchase a stumbling block. The recent boom in condo development means that the traditional dictates of family size, neighbourhood calibre, and personal privacy have become blurred. At one time Condo living was the province of the single professional, seeking easy access to the vibrant city life for both work and pleasure. Now we’re seeing luxurious and spacious condominiums on the market that appeal to and accommodate all lifestyles.

Whether your motivation for buying property in Calgary is to invest or simply to pursue a lifestyle upgrade the fundamentals are the same. Taking into account the geographical location for proximity to work, school, friends and family, beyond these you can consider the following pluses:

Affordability – high property prices mean the condo is still an accessible route to purchasing your own home, with lower maintenance costs due to shared amenities and public space. Savings are not only made in your initial purchase price, but external, structural repairs and renovation costs will also be absorbed, freeing up both your time and resources.

Security – living within a complex can provide greater security, not only for those living alone but also by offering the general assurance of a built in neighbourhood watch. Practically, a condo often comes with such additional security features as buzzer system or a concierge service. Neighbours are always on hand to survey your property whilst you’re on vacation.

However, make sure you’re not dazzled by all the superficial benefits of a condo for sale in Calgary and take a look under the bonnet, ensuring you‘ve checked the list below:

Owners Association - if buying your dream home means being master of your estate then maybe the condo is not for you…you may find more of your leisure time than you envisaged spent in mandatory meetings.

Privacy – having neighbours might make you feel less isolated and vulnerable but it can also impinge on your privacy. Enforced communal living is not for everyone, sharing walls, parking and hot tubs does not always make for a utopia!

Investment – mass property production might impinge on the inherent value of your property. In choosing a home that is part of a development you may have compromised individuality and find it hard to distinguish your home from your neighbours when it comes to selling. Generally speaking, a house is more likely to appreciate in value than a condo.

Hidden restrictions – it’s essential that you establish exact maintenance costs and monthly home owners’ association fees before purchase. Investigate thoroughly the covenants, conditions and restrictions of the condo – these can cover potentially invasive issues like pet-ownership, interior décor and satellite dish installation. Bear in mind that it might be harder to secure a mortgage for a property on a development that houses a high percentage of rentals.

Ultimately a house purchase means assuming complete control. For some this is a daunting prospect and the condo serves as an ideal first step up the ladder, but for the fearless property tycoon, finding and buying the perfect house in Calgary is the only solution.

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