While having lunch with a friend recently we debated if it was preferential to own a lifestyle (condo) property or the traditional detached home. Depending on where you are in life, both have their merits. The advantage of not having to look after yard and exterior maintenance is a big consideration for singles and couples who wish to spend more time travelling or enjoying retirement but there are the monthly condo fees and perhaps special assessments to factor in. Taking a hard look at the status report and knowing what is included in the fees will help with this decision. For example, some associations will include the use of a rec centre or pools/tennis while another may include maintenance/replacement of windows and doors.
The detached home scenario has to be considered with ongoing maintenance as well as exterior upkeep being solely your responsiblility. If you are active and enjoy yard work and puttering, this may be a great way to not only maintain your investment, but to also keep your living expenses low allowing you to pay down your mortgage quicker while building equity.
The debate continues - I would be interested in hearing your view on this.
tags: home ownership, condo, lifestyle, retirement