Sep. 2, 2009

Condominium Or House: The Tough Decision

Deciding between the choices of a House or a Apartment Specifically for first time purchasers, this can be a hard question because each choice has its advantages and disadvantages. To help you decide what’s best for you, we’ve assembled profiles of the ‘typical’ happy condo and happy home owner. Both options will help give you an vision of what works for you even if they don't match your circumstances exactly. This first report looks at a apartment buyer.

Hari needs a apartment.

Hari left home and sub let an apartment. He is a professional who is always on the go. Many of his friends still lease, but some have gotten into lasting relationships which led to bigger apartments and even homeownership for them. Suddenly, Hari’s single person pad feels a little closed in and sterile (as his mother always points out). He is now looking to the future. A more spacious place, one that he can call home. A place he can entertain, decorate and buy some furniture for. Hari works drawn out hours at the office, so it’s important for him to minimize the commute and the time spent running jobs, shopping, picking up healthy take-out, grabbing his dry cleaning, and going out for fun. Hari's hobbies do not require a lot of room, so room is not something that he needs. He also doesn't like the idea of the upkeep and money needed to maintain masses of room. In the space department, Hari only really wants closet space and a nice large wall for his flat-screen TV. Simple, sleek with new accessories are the main aims. Caring for an outdoor area is not something he desires to do. He needs a apartment that has all inclusive services so if something goes askew its fixed and at no extra charge. Hari gets on well with other people but he’s not all about making lifelong bonds with his neighbours; he’s fine keeping to himself. A bit of noise isn't an issue. But he draws the line at personal protection – that’s why he really likes knowing that the apartment building he’s considering is patrolled and monitored 24 hours a day. When it comes to taking care of himself, Hari cares about fitness, so it’s great that the building has state of the art training facilities and a nice pool – there’s a savings on his gym membership right there, because the monthly apartment fees cover all the resources! Looking to the future, a parking space would increase investment profit to the property. Hari doesn’t plan to be in his apartment evermore, after all. Who knows what the future holds? For someone in this situation now, the benefits of apartment life make sense.

If you determined that a apartment could be a better fit, never let the monthly apartment fees, combined with property taxes, mortgage and insurance, outstrip 30% of your monthly income. Always look at the fiscal health of the Homeowners Association (HOA) to see if the monthly apartment fees actually cover pricey repairs to the building, or whether residents have to pay an additional premium every so often (this depends on the health of the reserve fund, which your real estate lawyer can examine for you, as well as the apartment by-laws; sometimes, for grave or unexpected repairs, plans are made for special assessments to cover these costs). What is made available in your fees? If there are extra amenities included do you really want them? Make sure your proposed building is pet-friendly if that is an issue for you, and find out the probable utility costs for anything not covered in the apartment fees (i.e. heat, hydro). If your condo has many of windows there could be significant heat loss so your expenses could rocket if heating is not covered.

In the following article we will look at a usual house owner profile.

Photo source: mannequindisplay

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