What Should I Buy?

What should I buy?

Condo or House?

We are very fortunate in the city of Toronto to have different housing options.  So, if the thought of owning a home seems daunting or just not the right fit for your lifestyle there are other options. The primary being a condominium.  One of the biggest benefits to condo living is it’s turnkey lifestyle and essentially lack of maintenance.  This hassle-free living does come at a price though.  Condo owners pay monthly fees referred to as ‘condominium fees’.

So when deciding between a condo or home, it’s best to consider your lifestyle, how long you plan to live in the space and your budget.

Here are some advantages to each:

Condo Pros:
– Turnkey lifestyle
– Not responsible for any maintenance to the outside structure
– Great entry into the housing market
– Security
– Flexibility to be ‘right in the heart’ of Toronto
– Views of the city
– Amenities all in one place
– Predictable costs
– Underground parking (if applicable)

Home Pros:
– Outdoor space
– More creative reign over renovating
– Larger space for hosting family or friends
– Opportunity to expand family
– Ability to create a ‘work from home’ office
– Connecting to a neighbourhood or local community
– No restrictions on pet ownership

There are many other factors, if you are considering a condo click here to read through answers to some common questions.

FIXER UPPER OR MOVE-IN READY

There are several questions you should ask yourself before deciding on a property that needs many repairs or renovations (commonly called: fixer-upper) or a move-in ready property.

Are you handy? Do you know contractors or other trades people? Do you like projects? It used to be that people that were willing to take on a ‘project’ could get a bit of better deal. However, now with the stiff competition and lots of contractors who are also competing for a declining number of homes in need of renovations, these types of homes are just as popular.

While in theory you are paying less than a house that is already renovated, it does require different financing. You might be purchasing the house for a smaller value but you will need to have access to more liquid cash later to complete the tasks. Not to mention there is often a long wait time to secure a contractor who is right for your property.

Below are the pros and cons between a completed house and a Fixer-Upper:

Completed House

Pros:
* Move-in ready
* Most people are able to get a mortgage for a higher amount than they have access to cash for
* Not having to live through construction/delays etc
* Superficial changes can help the space you love e.g. good furniture or personal decorations

Cons:
* Might not be to your style or there could be elements you might wish you could change
* May be more expensive depending on the area and the kind of property you are looking at

Fixer-Upper

Pros:
* Able to create the space you want
* Could possibly pay less for the upgrades if done DIY depending on your experience
* Can add value to your property by updating key areas including the kitchen or bathroom
* Personal satisfaction when completed

Cons:
* Long wait times for contractors
* If you are doing the work yourself – longer times until completion
* Surprises (situations that might not have been accounted for)
* Costs could outweigh savings
* May be stressful if continuing with normal work days during this time

If you would like to discuss the process in more detail or would like a referral to a particular tradesperson, please contact me.

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