September 29, 2021 • Buying
House or Condo? Which one is right for you?
By Kate Barker
When considering buying into the mountain dream, it’s best to know exactly what you’re looking for. Houses can be great if they have back yards and lots of room, but condos can be perfect for people who like a lot of amenities and a carefree lifestyle. Both appreciate in value at roughly the same rate, so which one is right for you? Here are some things to consider when choosing between a house or a condo in the mountains.
Buying a home of any kind means you’ll have to pay for general upkeep. With a house, these costs, including finding and hiring a professional, are squarely on your shoulders. With a condo, however, regular condo fees mean major repairs to the common areas or building will be handled by the property manager. You don’t have to worry about who is fixing things or when, as these details will be managed by the building management. As such, issues in a condo are guaranteed to be fixed, whereas house owners will have to take responsibility for maintaining their property.
A house might come with a deck and a yard, which is great if you love spending time close to home, if you have a passion for gardening, if you have kids and pets, or if you just like to sit back and admire the mountain views. On the flip side, condos can come with shared amenities, such as gyms, saunas or pools, making them a great option for some people who like these features close to home. These shared amenities can provide choices that simply aren’t feasible in a house of the same price point.
A house can give more options for personal style, with renovations, paint colours and interior design usually in the complete control of the owner. Want to expand the garage? Go for it! Tear down that wall for an open concept kitchen and dining area? You’ve got this! Condos have boards or associations that may not allow owners to make drastic, bold changes, and there is no room in a condo building to add on extensions to your unit: what you see is what you get. So if you have a sense of flair, a house might be a better option whereas a condo would suit someone who is more comfortable in mild surroundings.
Ultimately, the decision to buy a house or a condo comes down to lifestyle. If you love cutting the lawn, shovelling snow and maintaining outdoor spaces, a house is for you. Many people with children or pets prefer a house with a yard where the little ones can play. If you like the maintenance-free lifestyle with options for amenities and no major repairs, a condo might be worth looking into. Many people looking for a second home in the mountains prefer a condo because of the lack of maintenance.