There are two basic forms of home ownership in Canada; freehold and condominium. There are advantages and disadvantages to both, depending on what your lifestyle needs are and your budget dictates.
Freehold ownership means that one person (or more, if joint-ownership) has ownership over the land and the house on the land. It is a ‘free’ unit, meaning that there is no space that is co-owned or managed by owners of other units. Freehold ownership allows owners to do what they want with their property (within reason). All owners must abide by property laws, building codes and potentially building schemes. Most detached, semi-detached, duplexes and townhouses are usually freehold ownership.
Freehold ownership allows individuals to have much more freedom and privacy than condominium owners. In addition, freehold ownership usually provides its owners with larger spaces and backyards etc…
Condominium ownership is often chosen over freehold based on lifestyle or affordability. Condominium ownership means that you own the particular unit you live in and have a shared ownership in the common space of the building. The common spaces can include the grounds of the building, facilities, corridors, parking spaces etc… Each unit owner together controls the common space through an owners association. Condominium ownership is usually ownership of a unit in a building but can also be a townhouse.
Condominium ownership is often attractive to first-time homebuyers as it is usually more affordable than freehold (depending on location and other factors of course). In addition, condominium ownership is attractive to those individuals who wish to perform little maintenance on their homes (i.e., there is little landscape work etc… that would need to be done in a condo). Condo ownership is also appealing to those who travel a lot or only live in a town part time. Condominium ownership usually does entail a monthly condo fee though, which you will want to consider in your monthly budget.
Whatever your personal preferences, there are numerous benefits to both freehold and condominium ownership.
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