Condos Vs Houses
The difference between a house in Calgary and a condo in Calgary is not just the back yard. There are many differences between condos and houses, and it is important to know all the factors before deciding which one to buy. One of the areas people will get confused is the difference between a townhouse style, and apartment style. They both fall under the “condominium” type of ownership.
This question is one of the most important, and one that most people don’t spend enough time thinking about. It basically comes down to your lifestyle, as well as your wants and needs. If you have a family and are looking for a big back yard for play and entertainment, then a condo isn’t for you. But if you have a somewhat busy lifestyle, and are looking for something simple where the maintenance is taken care of for you, then a condo is the right choice.
Generally the Calgary real estate market has been driven by houses, but we have seen a change over the years as the interest in condos has increased. Because of that we are now seeing many condo development being built, all with their own styles, giving the market some variety. Apartment style condos are for people who only really need a small space and don’t mind living in a building with many other people. Most of them have secure underground parking, or outdoor parking spots for each owner. Townhouses are more suited for people who would like a bit more space, with a maybe a small yard and a bit more privacy. There are many townhouses in Calgary that include single car garages, but also many without. The next one up is the bungalow style condo, which can be as large as a house but with the exterior maintenance taken care of.
- Private yard for family and entertaining.
- Maintenance outside is always required by the owner.
- You are not required to get anyone’s permission to make changes to the house.
- No condo or strata fees.
- You are responsible for all insurance costs.
- You have total control over what you can legally do with your home.
- You have the freedom to make any changes (of course withing the law and your condo agreement), but if you’re looking to make changes outside you will need permission from the board.
- The monthky condo feeds that generally include water, and sometimes in the case of an apartment style condo the heat will be included.
- Exterior maintenance such as snow removal and landscaping is done by the condo association.
- Also part of your condo fees is the insurance that will cover the exterior and the structure of the building itself. But you will need your insurance for the interior and your personal assets.
Most condos in Calgary have restrictions put in place that have been voted on by the board.
- Pet restrictions,
- Age restrictions,
- Rental permission, etc.
- Do they have enough money in the reserve fund to cover maintenance and other issues?
- How do they pay for major improvements? (From reserves collected from monthly fees or from special individual/group assessments for small or large sums of money to put towards these improvements)
- Are there any plans for future improvements?
More and more people are considering condos in Calgary, and as a result, there has been a huge rise in the development of condos in the Calgary real estate market. Feel free to contact me at any time to learn more about the condo and house market, and I would be more than happy to provide additional information on the benefits of both.