As a first time home buyer, trying to find the right home can be quite a challenge. With so much available on the market today, it may seem overwhelming. Usually, when getting into the housing market, first time home buyers have the option of a condo or a townhouse. Both offer a great upside, and either one is a great investment. Here are some of the key differences between a condo and a townhouse, and what each will offer, courtesy of Simon Fraser real estate.
If you are trying to decide between a condo or townhouse, there are many different factors that you may want to consider. The first is location—usually, condo living reflects a certain type of lifestyle, such as downtown living. A condo lifestyle is a great choice for young professionals or students. This is especially true in the SFU real estate market where a condo can get you close to campus and make for very convenient commutes to and from the university.
Townhouses on the other hand may not offer such convenient lifestyle choices such as downtown living, but they usually offer more room, and if you are lucky, they even offer a small yard. If you are thinking about growing your family or do not mind the longer commute, a townhouse may be better suited to you.
Both condos and townhouses are usually part of a strata, and regardless of your choice, you will pay a monthly maintenance fee. This fee will help cover the upkeep of the building and will be used to pay off any type of repairs that will happen such as a new roof or new windows.
One thing to keep in mind is the amenities that are in the condo building. Remember that part of your maintenance fees will be used for the upkeep of those facilities. A pool may be a great selling feature, but that pool may increase your monthly maintenance fees.
As a general rule, townhouse maintenance fees are usually lower than condo maintenance fees because you are not paying for any facilities nor are you paying for the upkeep of so much common living space such as hallways and front entrances.
Regardless of whether you choose a townhouse or a condo, make sure to look into the strata’s contingency fund and keep in mind that your maintenance fees are part of the overall monthly cost of your new home for as long as you own it.
Finally, make sure you understand all of the rules in the place you looking to purchase. In general, condo living has more rules than townhouse living. For instance, you may not be allowed to BBQ on your decks or your building may not allow live Christmas trees. Make sure to look at all of the strata rules, but also make sure you can live by them before making a purchase.
A townhouse or a condo are both great first time purchases for anyone looking to get into the real estate market. If you are looking for a tight knit community feeling with security, a condo may better suit your needs. If you are looking for more privacy and more room, then a townhouse is perfect for you. Contact us for more information on Simon Fraser real estate
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