Condo or house: what should I buy in Toronto?
Some Toronto perspective homeowners buy houses, while others settle in condos. If debating between buying a condo or house in Toronto, here are the things to consider when making your real estate purchase.
The pros and cons of living in a condo or house in Toronto:
Advantages of owning a condo in Toronto:
- Condos are more affordable: an average condo sale price in Toronto in 2013 is $342,760
- Condo buildings offer amenities, such as gyms, swimming pools, and concierge cervices
- Condos are safe, which is important if you are a single woman
- There is no need to shovel snow or cut grass if you live in a condo
- There are no unexpected repairs, especially if purchasing a condo in a relatively new building
- The maintenance fee usually covers most utility costs, so you can budget accordingly
Advantages of owning a house in Toronto:
- Houses are easier to resell, due to low supply of houses in Toronto and high demand
- Houses are larger than condos; some houses have basements and income suits, that can be rented out
- Houses increase in values faster than condos
- Houses can accommodate family changes
- Houses have backyards for kids and adults to play
- Homeowners can increase square footage by building additions, which in turn increases house value
- Living in a house provides a feeling of belonging to the neighborhood
Disadvantages of owning a condo in Toronto:
- Currently there is a large supply of condos in Toronto, which may have a negative impact in case you need to resell
- Condos tend to be smaller than houses
- Condos have limited access to outdoors, so no backyard there
- Maintenance fees can be high, and may increase overtime
- If planning on having a family, condos are hard to accommodate kids
- Noise and other disruptions are possible due to living close to neighbors
- Major repairs, such as roof replacements and garage repairs can be expensive and disruptive
Disadvantages of owning a house in Toronto:
- Houses are more expensive: average sale price of a semi-detached house in Toronto in 2013 is $480,325
- Homeowners are responsible for upkeep: cutting grass, cleaning snow, repairs, etc.
- You are responsible for all the bills, recycling and garbage removal
- Housing stock in Toronto tends to be older, therefore be prepared for unexpected repairs and upgrades
If you are still debating about whether to purchase a condo or a house, Toronto real estate agent Davelle Morrison recommends getting into the real estate market early in life. Purchase the property you can afford, and resell and upgrade to a larger home as your financial situation improves and career grows.