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Is a Condo Your Next Address?

January 21, 2015

If the highest altitude you’ve lived in is the second floor of your two-storey home how do you know if vertical living is right for you?

The fact is, you don’t so put on your thinking cap and start asking questions.

Perhaps you’re a single father who’s married to a job that demands quick turnaround and flexibility. Or maybe you’re a retired activist who enjoys the prospect of living downtown near the causes, projects and people you support. You might be a newly married couple, who is hoping to break into the housing market but wants to maintain a residence downtown near your jobs and friends.

What each of these examples has in common is that they would make perfect condo dwellers. But just because their profile seems to fit well with condo living doesn’t mean each has the personality for it.
So how do you go about determining if a condo is right for you? You start by finding out if you are right for a condo.

Next to their delightfully affordable cost, condos are ideally situated close to restaurants, bars, museums, public transportation and, if you’re really lucky, your job.

But if privacy and independence are big issues you might want to think long and hard about buying a condo. Neighbours are close by and some have turned complaining about their neighbours’ itty-bitty infractions into a sport. There’s a level of small-mindedness among some condo residents that you either have to swallow or learn to tolerate.

Condo living can be difficult for people who don’t like rules and who are accustomed to doing what they want when they want to. Residents, for example, can’t simply park where they feel like parking or plant shrubs where they think they’ll look attractive. You need to have respect for your neighbours because you’re in closer proximity to them.

Be sure to check the condo’s financial situation. Pay attention to contingency funds for emergencies and make sure the complex or building is insured for replacement value. Talk to people who live in the condo and ask them probing questions about what it’s like to live there.

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