Consumer Tips For Real EstateConsumer Tips For Real EstateConsumer Tips For Real EstateHome Buyers 21 February 2024

What You Need to Know About Buying a Condo

Condos have become a popular housing option for many different reasons – a smaller footprint is great for those who might be looking to downsize from a single-family home to something smaller, while their size often translates into more affordable purchase prices for first-time home buyers or new families looking to get into the housing market. If you’re considering buying a condo, it’s important to do your research to fully understand everything that goes into condo home ownership, as there can be differences between owning a condo versus a single-family home.

If you’re thinking about dipping your toes into the housing market and buying a condo, we’ve highlighted some of the main things you need to know about condo home ownership.

Swimming pool in condo building

Take Location Into Account

Condos are typically built in high-traffic areas such as downtowns and other urban centers, so if you’re looking to be in a quiet, family-friendly neighbourhood, then a condo might not be the right choice for you. However, if you’re looking to be able to walk out your front door and be in the hustle and bustle, then a condo might be the perfect place to call home. Location is also important to consider when thinking about things such as transportation and other amenities. If you work in a busy downtown area, opting for a condo a few blocks away might be a great idea, as it’ll save on commute times and transportation costs.

What Amenities Are Included?

One of the most appealing features of many condos are their included amenities. These differ from building to building, but some common amenities often seen in condos include swimming pools and hot tubs, gyms, shared outdoor spaces such as BBQ pits and rooftop patios, and common lounge rooms that everyone in the building can access. If you’re currently paying for a gym membership, opting for a condo with a gym might be a great way to help cut down on some costs. These amenities are typically included as part of the strata fees you pay to live in a condo building, so they can be a huge added bonus when considering a condo as your next home.

Condo living room

Are There Other Costs to Be Aware Of?

While condo prices are often lower than those of single-family homes and townhouse units, it’s important to remember that the listing price doesn’t include things such as strata fees and other costs that factor into purchasing a home. Strata fees are used to help cover the cost of building maintenance, access to amenities, and general upkeep of the property and its grounds (garbage removal, landscaping, snow removal, etc.). These fees can vary depending on the property, its location and the amenities it provides, among other things. It’s important to take this fee into consideration when looking at purchasing a condo, as it will become part of your monthly payment and might impact your budget. You’ll also need to remember to consider utility and insurance payments, which also won’t be included in the purchase price.

Consider The Long-Term Potential

If you’re looking to downsize, then you might be looking at a condo as more of a long-term investment. However, if you’re looking at a condo as a bit of a stepping stone to get yourself into the housing market, then it is probably a good idea to consider the long-term potential of your condo. Condos have excellent rental potential, especially in cities like Kelowna where you have a bustling student population. Rather than selling your condo down the road, you might want to consider if it might be more worthwhile to rent it out instead. Thinking about your long-term goals before making a purchase might help you narrow down your options, or might make one condo more appealing than another.

Regardless of whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or are someone looking to downsize, condos can be a great investment. Taking the time to do your research before starting your home-buying journey can help you feel better prepared for the purchase you’re going to make, and help you get into the condo of your dreams!

Thinking about making the move to a condo? We can help! Contact Max Carbone today to have him connect you with one of our experienced real estate agents.