Condominium Or House: Which one Is Right For You?

Small Piccondominium or house nanaimo

One of the often quoted reason for buying real estate is that “Land is the only thing they’re not making more of.”

As the global population continues to rise and spread into ever more corners of the world, the need to make the most of space grows as well. This means that even in a place such as Nanaimo, there are ever more condos being built to combine the benefits of affordability and convenient amenities while houses with their larger requirement of space start to look less like the standard and more like something extra. At this point, I would say first time buyers looking at a starter home first have to decide whether a condo or a house makes more sense for them. 

So, the question is ‘Should you join the condo club or go for a more traditional home ownership?’ Consider your income and lifestyle then weigh the pros and cons of each before deciding which to buy.

A condo is probably the right choice for you if:

  • You don’t have a lot of money to spend but still want to invest in home ownership.
  • You are comfortable with in being part of a small community living in the same complex.
  • You are comfortable living in close proximity to your neighbours.
  • You are a single individual or a couple that is looking for a small home rather than a large property.
  • You don’t mind having certain aspects of your home ownership regulated by a committee (a strata council made up of some of the owners of the other condos).
  • You want to live in an urban or semi urban part of town so that you can have a more walkable neighbourhood or shorter drives.
  • You have a busy lifestyle and prefer to enjoy amenities like a clubhouse or a shaded grounds area but aren’t able to maintain such amenities yourself either because of the time that it takes or the cost.

However a house is more likely to be a better choice for you if:

  • You have (or plan to have) a large family.
  • You are a private person who does not like living close to your neighbours or having your home choices regulated by an association.
  • You are seeking to purchase a large home and / or you need outdoor grounds areas for things like large pets, hobbies, play area for kids
  • You enjoy maintaining your own yard or garden.
  • You want to live in a rural area or in a location where there are not many condos
  • You have the income or savings to support the larger mortgage

Additionally, you might be willing to get a home with a suite that you could rent out to help you carry the burden of a larger mortgage and make life financially easier for you in the long run. You could even live in the suite downstairs while you rent out the upstairs for more than half of your mortgage costs. The property value goes up over the years and so does what you collect in rent. If dealing with tenants is worth it to you then this may be just the thing for you.

Although there are always exceptions, condo purchases are usually best for single individuals who have neither the money to invest in a house nor the time to maintain the upkeep of the home. Often, condo buyers are first time home buyers. If, in contrast, you have a family, want large pets and would like the freedom and privacy of a home with its own property, then a house is probably the right choice for you.”

Regardless of whether you buy a house or a condo, it’s important to do your homework and consider the future of the neighbourhood and the property you’re buying into not to mention your ability to afford it.  Each is a significant investment.


Ryan Coffey


No comments

You must be logged in to post a comment.