Why Buying A Windsor Condo May Be Your Right Move

Posted in Buyer Blog | 08/05/2013

Windsor Condo

Windsor Condo

Many home buyers today are taking a second look at Windsor condominiums.  Why?  If you are in the market for a new home, condos could very well be the best option.

Often less costly than homes

Offer many amenities that otherwise many buyers could not afford

Little to no maintenance

Less stressful lifestyle for many

Of course, condo living isn’t for everyone, but more and more buyers are giving them a second look not only because of their attractive pricing, but because for some, it’s the most practical.  Most condos are close to entertainment, shopping and businesses.  For those that like to travel and take off on spur of the moment vactions, a condo is a great place to live.  You don’t have to worry about mowing the lawn, pulling weeds, or doing outside chores.  On weekends, or after work, you can go for a swim or maybe work out if your condo has these amenities.  It’s also a great option for those first time buyers who want to own a home, but don’t want all of the responsibilities that go along with it.  The same can be said for those downsizing or retiring.  Yet, families are not ignoring condos either. Perhaps because of the housing crisis in the past several years, families are taking a second look at condos and realizing that it is the best financial decision for their situation.

But with everything, there are certain disadvantages of condo living as well.  It’s important that buyers understand that owning a condo can be an overwhelming positive experience, but there may be some drawbacks that should be carefully considered:

Less privacy

Neighbours may be noisy

Homeowner Association Fees/Association

Living in a condo means you do give up some privacy.  Because you are sharing walls with your neighbours, there is that possibility that conversations can be overheard, loud music  and sounds of the television can be within ear shot and people can see what’s going on in your home, particularly if you live on the bottom floor and your windows and doors to the outside are open.  Others have complained that they have unfriendly neighbours who don’t follow the association rules.

Finally, the HOA (Homeowners Association), can occasionally be a politicized group and hold you responsible if they declare you are breaking any rules.  They may also be able to impose fees for sudden emergencies, like replacing an older roof or making big upgrades. And keep in mind, that condos are often more difficult to sell than single family homes.  If you may ever be in a situation where you need to sell your condo quickly, then you need to be aware of this.  Despite pricing it well, condos still attract a certain style of buyer.

When Buying A Condo:

images-2Take your time and don’t rush into buying a condo if you are not completely sure this is where you want to live.  Be educated and thoroughly view the condo and the building.

Does the size fit your lifestyle?

Do you like the amenities?

What are the utility costs?

Are most units occupied by owners or renters? (Ninety percent should be owner occupied)

Is the building properly maintained?

Is it in the right neighbourhood.  Yes, location matters!

Does it seem like a friendly building?  Talk to neighbours!

Are there many condos for sale in the building!  If so, beware!

And take a very special and close interest into the HOA:

Can you afford the maintenance fee?

The annual increase in the maintenance fee has not exceeded 3 percent or the general rate of inflation.

HOA has an active and healthy reserve fund for emergencies.

The condo’s roof and other major mechanical systems are on the younger side, as opposed to being many years old.  

Get a copy of insurance to see what it covers.

Look over minutes of last HOA meetings to see if any fees will be raised, or they will be making expensive improvements in the coming months that will affect your pocketbook.

Again, condo living has gained in popularity not only because it creates a simpler lifestyle, but because it is often a less expensive way to become a home owner.  Some of the newest condos in the area have the latest appliances and amenities that are very appealing to buyers.

Contact your Windsor real estate agent to discuss if living in a condo is a good investment, both financially and personally, for your family and lifestyle.  It may be exactly what you are looking for in today’s housing market.



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