I've been invited to speak to a Heritage Group, comprised of retiree's who are interested in learning more about condominiums. In preparation for this presentation, I've examined some of the main reasons why condominiums in Winnipeg are popular, and some of the advantages that come with the condo life-style. So here we go:
I've just listed and sold a 700 sq ft bi-level home which received 11 offers and sold for well over $200,000. No garage, no appliances included, nothing fancy...a good solid house with a few upgrades. By comparison, there are 1100 ft condos, with central air and central furnace, insuite laundry and all appliances that will sell for approx. $165,000. For First Time Buyers, who are sick of the bidding wars, this is an excellent alternative.
Do you like to travel? Or perhaps you're both working full time and looking after the house and yard is a chore you simply don't have time for? Condos offer a simple 'lock-up-and-go' lifestyle. In many cases, your neighbours won't even know you're gone,....unless you tell them.
3) No Yardwork
Getting tired of shoveling all winter, and mowing all summer? Is house and yard maintenance weighing you down, or simply getting away from you? With Condos, you don't have to lift a finger. Walks are shoveled, grass is cut, garbage is picked up and halls and common grounds are cleaned and maintained. Just enjoy...
Condos (especially Highrise Units) offer secure entrances, with security cameras and often even patrolling security companies. As a former police officer I can tell you that break-ins to high-rise condos are rare. While they DO occur, when compared to break-ins to houses, they are statistically insignificant. Piece of mind living in a secure condo.
Many condo owners find that in a condo, their neighbours are enjoying a similar lifestyle, and so they have more in common with these folks. Many condos also offer "common-rooms" where people can get together and talk, or fitness rooms, pools etc etc. This is especially true for the 55+ buildings where all your neighbours are in a similar age group as yourself.
6) Lower Operating Costs
In most condos, especially in the highrise and townhouse variety, the building insurance is already included in the condo fee. As is the water-bill. And sometimes the heat and hydro as well. Building maintenance is included, so you dont have to worry about replacing a furnace, or the shingles or the windows. And if heat is NOT included, heating a 1000 sq ft apartment style suite is far less expensive than the average 1000 ft bungalow, often even as low as half the cost. (Thats because the units above, below and beside you help insulate you from the elements)
7) Benefits of Home Ownership
With some limitations, condo owners enjoy many of the same benefits as house owners. They can Live in the condo, Rent it out, Improve it, Give it away, Borrow Money against it and basically treat it the same as a house. The limitations (by-laws) are a two-way street: What some people see as limitations, others see as insurance against having a neighbour do something which would negatively affect YOUR property value. (Ex: Try selling your house after your neighbour has turned his driveway into a junk yard or used-car lot)
As a current owner of a condo, and past president of condo boards, I am able to talk about this subject with some level of knowledge and authority. So if you're thinking of a condo, in any style or price-range, please do not hesitate to call or e-mail me anytime.