I recently listed a lovely condominium here in town. It’s a 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom unit located on the third floor of a beautifully maintained building here in Orangeville. Honestly, the building is immaculate. While preparing the listing to be ready for sale it got me to thinking about the pros and cons of condo living.
Today, many of us accumulate far more possessions than we need to survive. Our need to hoard and gather has spurred tv programs such as Hoarders and on the opposite side of the spectrum, minimalism and TV sensation Marie Kondo and The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Most of us are somewhere in the middle. We have a hard time letting go of some of our possessions and definitely have more than we need; maybe a junk drawer here or there but we aren’t buried in mountains of our possessions.
My husband and I, like many of our friends, are at a point in our lives where our kids are grown, finished school, seeking full-time employment, travelling the world and for the most part, moved out. We are now two people living in a large family home. If you’re like us, you’re wondering if you still need all this space. Downsizing to a smaller home or even to a condo is something you’ve considered.
A condo is a community within itself with hundreds, sometimes thousands of people living in the same building. Some condos are like little cities with amenities such as grocery stores, department stores, access to transportation and such without even having to set foot outside. Our little town of Orangeville doesn’t offer condos with a huge list of amenities like the larger metropolitan areas; but, it does offer convenience and peace of mind for those who are looking to simplify their lives and make different use of their time.
Imagine if you will, pulling into your underground parking garage, stepping into the elevator and being taken up to the floor where you live. Your car is safe and away from the elements, there are no stairs to climb, no grass to cut, no gardens to maintain. The time saved from doing those tasks can be used doing whatever else it is that you love to do. A hobby, spending time with friends and family, volunteering, whatever it is you would rather be doing with your time.
Your only responsibility to the building is to pay your monthly condo fees, maintain the interior of your unit, however you see fit. Think of the time saved on cleaning when you go from a 3 or 4 bedroom home to a 2 bedroom condo.
So what are condo fees? They are fees that you pay to the Condo Corporation that go towards maintaining the building and the common elements of the building. Maintenance of the parking garage, elevators, windows & doors are just to name a few. Common elements being the shared spaces; party rooms, game rooms, swimming pools, the property surrounding the building etc.
Much like property taxes, condo fees increase over time. Budgeting for these fees is part of the qualifying process when you purchase. Your mortgage broker or bank will take these into account along with property taxes and utilities when they are figuring out how much you can afford.
When you are considering purchasing a condo, we ask the seller to provide you with a status certificate. A status certificate is a financial snap shot of the condo corporation. Your lawyer will review the document to ensure the corporation is in good financial standing, have a strong financial reserve and see what financial obligations one will have in regards to maintenance and repairs to the building and its common elements.
Obviously, downsizing to a condo is for some and not for others. Lucky for us, we have choices. The choice of being able to choose whether we’d prefer to come home to a small space or an expansive property is a luxury and one that we are fortunate to have. We are here at The Mullin Group are here to assist you in whatever way we can and are able to put you in touch with experts along the way to help you achieve whatever tiny space or sprawling estate it is that you desire.