I have written a lot about our first home together, and also about living in a condo versus living in a house. After living in a condo for more than a year, I thought it would be fun to go over the major advantages and disadvantages, and recap just how it’s gone for us so far:
- Space is limited. We don’t have to spend as much filling up rooms with extra furniture, or heating up space that we don’t use. It is very cozy and compact.
- Easy connectivity to everywhere. We are next to a subway line and highways. There are disadvantages to this, but one major advantage is that it’s very easy to go downtown or other places. No two-hour nightmare commutes stuck on an overcrowded highway.
- Walking distance to many amenities. My girlfriend walks to work, and there are cafés, restaurants, and other stuff nearby.
- The location is rentable. I don’t know if the rent would be cash-flow positive, and we didn’t buy it just for that reason, but it looks like that it probably would be since rents in the neighbouring apartment buildings are in a similar range. There is a university nearby, several office buildings, and we are next to the subway, so there is a lot of demand.
- We have a nice view, being up at the top of the building!
- No easy way to enjoy nature. We are surrounded by concrete, highways, and noise, though other condos can be in quieter areas. There is a bike path between houses not too far away, and there are parks around, and our condo even has a small elevated garden in the back… but none of this is a real substitute for being in a quiet suburb, with lots of trees and greenery around.
- Can’t really have pets. It’s been a while since our childhood friends passed away, and we would like to have another cat and dog someday… but this doesn’t really work out well when you live in a high-rise, especially with a dog. We can technically have pets if we want to, but we have decided to wait until we have a bit more space and a backyard.
- Space is limited. While this means less money spent on stuff, sometimes it’s nice to have the extra space.
- Condo fees are a PITA, and combined with utilities I don’t think that much cheaper than living in a house.
Strangely enough, we have not had any issues with the neighbours, nor many with the quality of construction, and I know that this is stuff that can often plague condo owners. We have been very lucky there!
The condo life seems well-suited to a working professional, or a couple of working professionals (DINK: Dual Income No Kids). I think it would be harder to do with kids, though it should be fine if you have just one child, or if your child or children are still very young.
Dear reader, what are your reasons for living in a condo, or in a house, for that matter?