A detached house with a two-car garage and a backyard has long been the dream of many Canadian property buyers. But Toronto’s thriving condo market means a broader range of ownership options for buyers — after all, a home, as such, is not a goal for all customers. Below are some tips on what to consider when deciding to buy a home or apartment in Toronto and the surrounding area.
The house provides owners with a lot of freedom and independence when it comes to implementing their own ideas for the choice of style and design. You and one of the beautiful Ukrainian women you have chosen to live with can rebuild the internal plan, as well as choose what colour to paint the outside of the house, or decorate your own plot as you wish. Unlike a condo, where someone else has already decided on the decor and function of a building, homeowners have almost complete control over the appearance of the entire home and its individual parts.
You can choose any options for decorating the house, if, of course, they do not go beyond the city regulations. But this freedom has its own price. Since you make decisions, you also bear all the responsibility. If you face problems with the roof or with any other part of the house, you will have to deal with everything yourself.
The house will be a good choice for a buyer who:
- wants more space;
- can do something with one’s own hands and provide maintenance;
- can afford to maintain the house and carry out any off-scheduled repairs;
- needs privacy;
- wants to completely control the design.
Condominium (or Apartment)
A condo is a house too! But it is not a house in its ordinary sense. Think of it as your own apartment. Your ownership extends to everything inside: interior walls, floors, ceilings. Besides, you, together with other owners in the complex, are co-owners of the outdoor structure (foundation, outer walls and roof), as well as any common areas and utility facilities (for example, swimming pools, lounges, tennis courts, playgrounds, etc.). A condominium would be a good choice for a buyer who:
- wants to live closer to the city centre;
- does not want to take responsibility for maintenance and repair;
- wants to have access to related infrastructure, such as a gym;
- wants to get a living space, which can be entered immediately, without making any repair or renovation;
- does not mind living side by side with neighbours.
One of the distinguishing features of owning such an apartment is monthly payments that cover general repairs and maintenance of the common areas of the building, and also create a financial reserve in case of unplanned repairs or improvements in the future. In general, all external maintenance and repairs are carried out by the condominium association; all you have to do is help with payment, either through a monthly fee or by paying a specific fee (a one-time payment for something significant, like a new roof).
The usual day-to-day maintenance of the area around the house (mowing, snow removal and pool maintenance) is also the responsibility of the association. Internal maintenance and repair of your own apartment, such as replacing a broken washing machine, is your responsibility.