pros-cons-new-homes-townhouses.pngWhen you’re looking to purchase a new home, your lifestyle plays a huge role in choosing the home style that will work best for you – especially if you’re looking at building a new house or condo. Before you start your home search, be sure to take some time to consider what type of home will suit you and your family. Here is some information to help get you started.

Yard Work and Maintenance

When you hear the word ‘condo’, it may bring to mind an apartment-style dwelling, but in reality, there are many kinds of condominiums including townhouses and duplexes. The main features of condo living are the freedom from maintaining the grounds and the home’s exterior, along with other amenities – such as a pool, fitness area and club room. These things are all covered in the monthly condo fee and are free for each resident to enjoy.

pros-cons-new-homes-shoveling.pngHowever, if you enjoy gardening and don’t mind shovelling snow, a single family home might be the best choice. With a garage for storing your gardening tools and supplies, there’s enough space to be a weekend gardener.

Although single family homes don’t require monthly homeowners’ association fees, there are other expenses involved in the upkeep of a home. Painting upkeep, cleaning eavestroughs, and mowing your lawn are some of the tasks that you will be responsible for. Most homeowners take on these task themselves, however if you are unskilled in home maintenance you can always look at hiring a professional to help.

So how much is your time worth? While the monthly cost of condo fees may seem like a drawback, if you value your time and do not enjoy exterior maintenance and upkeep, a condo or townhouse may be perfect for you. Not only do you not have to spend time on exterior maintenance, but you’re also free from the need to buy tools and gear, and then store them away. Single family homes have more room for storage, but that’s partially because of the need to own so many upkeep tools.

Versatile Locations

Travelling across the city to get to work is a pain. Not only are you spending money on gas, but you’re adding time to an already long day when you have to commute. Many young professionals have chosen to live closer to where they work. Living in the city and walking to many places of interest helps with staying in shape, and public transportation is cheaper than driving.

One plus of owning a single family home is the privacy that a large lot provides – however these larger lots often mean you’re farther removed from the city’s vibrant urban centres and amenities. The same is not typically true for condo’s as they’re often built in established communities.  you’re closer to many pre-established amenities such as parks, shopping centers and public transportation.

Condo Boards and Associations

Condos feature a form of self-government called a condominium association (or condo board). This helps maintain the value of your property by making sure that the complex stays in good condition. A condo association is also a handy way to get everyone together to discuss zoning changes or other issues that affect your property values directly.

The down side of living with a condo board is that you will be required to pay a monthly fee that you wouldn’t have to pay in a single family home. You will also have to follow rules and regulations set forth by the board in order to maintain the integrity of the condo complex.

However, if you break down a typical monthly condominium fee and think of everything it is covering, you’ll see you’d be paying just as much to maintain a traditional home (and it would be your responsibility). Your condo fees often pay for lawn and gardening services, exterior upkeep, and snow and garbage removal. And of course, you don’t have to pay for gym fees if your complex has a fitness room. Condo associations are non-profit entities designed to serve homeowners, and they make life much simpler, allowing you to use your time for more interesting things than home upkeep.

If you’re trying to decide between a new, single family home or a condo, be sure to take your lifestyle into consideration. Maintenance, location and expenses are all things to think about when making your decision. A home that suits your lifestyle is a home that will guarantee your happiness.

Photo credit: townhouses, shovelling snow

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