Pros and Cons of Buying a Condo

If you're in the market for a new home, you may have considered buying a condominium. What you may not have realized is that the term "condominium" doesn't actually refer to the structural form of the building, but the method of owning real estate.

A condo can be an apartment, duplex, detached home, semi-detached home, stack townhouse or row house. In some cases they're mobile home parks, building lots or subdivisions. Whatever the style of the building, the buyer only owns the specific unit. The land the unit sits on and the rest of the property and/or building are common property. This would include lawns and gardens, storage areas, electrical systems, portions of floors, walls and ceilings, plumbing, walkways, lobbies and lawns and gardens. Sometimes certain pieces of common property are designated for use exclusively by a unit owner like parking spaces, front and back yards or roof gardens and balconies.


· There are a variety of price options available in condominium living that can fit a variety of styles and personal tastes. In places where non-condo homes are very expensive, condos can provide a viable home option for those with moderate incomes.

· Potential growth in real estate equity that wouldn't be experienced by renting a unit. Potential investment profit.

· Protection from rent increases.

· Pride of home ownership and the freedom to decorate each unit to personal tastes.

· Additional security due to monitoring at controlled entrances.

· Freedom from home ownership maintenance and upkeep since the cost for this is covered in the condo fees and the work is done by the manager or a professional agency.

· Provides access to amenities that may not be available with a rental or non-condo home purchase. Amenities can include hot tubs, sun decks, tennis courts, swimming pools, exercise rooms, saunas and community centers.

· Potential for enhanced social activities since residents are more permanent and have a better chance of getting to know each other.

· Can be a good option for those seeking a transitional home such as individuals giving up a larger home or transitioning up from a smaller one.

· The option to have a say in the development of the condo community including determining rules and bylaws and budgets.


· Condo community restrictions, like pets and the ability to rent out your property, can cause conflicts when people feel their freedoms are being trampled upon.

· Generally living closer to other people which can cause personality conflicts.

· Expensive condo fees or condo fees that go to pay for amenities you don't use like a sauna or recreation center.

· Owner apathy that forces the same few interested people to serve on council. If this is the case, these same people may start to feel they have special rights especially if they've been on the council for a long time.

· Inefficient property management since condo communities are run by volunteers who may not have the appropriate personality, skills or abilities.

· Slow resale. Condos tend to sell slower than single-family homes except in bigger metropolitan settings.