What is a Condo? Some Pros & Cons

A few weeks ago on Reality Realty, Jack Dupuis, Real Estate Broker with Royal Lepage and I discussed the topic of condominiums. We had a very interesting conversation so I thought I would include some highlights here. First off, what is a condo? Many people when they hear the word condo immediately think of an apartment style building. A condo is actually a form of ownership. This means that a condo could be a townhome, apartment style or even a detached home. The ownership includes shared ownership in common elements. The exterior is typically owned by the condo corporation and the residential units are owned by the individuals. Everyone pays condo fees which covers the maintenance of the common elements; often building exterior, landscaping, driveway/parking and sometimes facilities such as party kitchen, exercise room, games room, swimming pool and more.

Are you considering moving to a condo? There are several things to consider when making the decision to move to a condo. Here are some of the pros of condo living:

-Exterior maintenance is taken care of. This can include grass, gardens, window washing and snow removal. This is especially convenient for those who travel often or go South for the winter.

-The majority of those living in condos in our community are retired- so the noise level tends to be minimal.

-Many condos, especially in Northumberland County are ideally located. Being within walking distance to amenities is very attractive. There are many condos in Cobourg located right near the Lake. Imagine stepping outside and being able to walk along the marina and boardwalk each day.

-Since everyone living in a condo is contributing to monthly condo fees, there should rarely be surprise expenses. If something like a roof needs replacing- the expense has hopefully been planned for and has been put away in the condo’s reserve fund.

Here are some possible cons to consider:

-Proximity to neighbours- some people like their privacy and so maybe they wouldn’t like stepping outside to often see neighbours.

-There is a possibility of hearing your neighbours, whether through the walls or ceilings, depending on the quality of the building and soundproofing.

-There are rules and regulations, so you don’t necessarily have the freedom to do whatever you want when it comes to decorating your condo – in particular, the exterior. For instance, choosing the colour of your front door or installing a sunshade on the balcony over your patio table.

We have definitely seen a rise in condo ownership in Northumberland County. I believe the pros outweigh the cons, but condos aren’t for everyone.