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Condominium vs. Freehold

Posted by susan-adm on October 18, 2021
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Choosing the right style of home can be a tough decision. There are a number of purchasing options, each with its benefits and drawbacks. It is easy to be overwhelmed when searching through Ottawa homes for sale, however, the Susan Chell Team can take away any stress. You are free to enjoy the process and choose what suits your needs the best.

In this article, we will discuss the pros and cons of condominium vs. freehold ownership. Choosing the type of property that you will consider is one of the first decisions you will make in the buying process.


Pros of Condominiums


Less Property Upkeep

With condominiums, the condo corporation is responsible for maintaining the exterior property and common elements of the building. Rest assured that snow removal, landscaping, and exterior repairs are usually taken care of, giving you the freedom to travel and enjoy life.


Lower Price

Since the purchase does not include land, condominiums can cost less than freehold properties. It is important to factor in your ongoing monthly condo fees into your purchase price.


Shared Common Areas

Many condominiums come with shared amenities that you will have access to. These may include pools, recreation rooms, a gym, a rooftop terrace, inner courtyard, barbeque area, or perhaps even a guest suite.



Cons of Condominiums


Condo Fees and Special Assessments

Monthly condo fees that cover building maintenance and management add up over time, and can make the lower purchase price less appealing. Even though repairs are covered through the condominium corporation, homeowners occasionally have to pay large lump sums called special assessments which replenish the reserve fund for unexpected expenses.


Less Freedom

With condominiums, decisions about the home exterior and common spaces are made by the condominium corporation. Although you own the interior of the home, major renovations may need the board approval, such as adding hardwood flooring or relocating plumbing/electrical. Overall, you have less freedom to make changes than you do with freehold properties.


Pros of Freehold


Outright Ownership

Having outright ownership of your home means you have the freedom to make any landscaping or renovation choices you like both inside and out. You can maintain the property according to your preferences and budget, and do not need to seek approval from the condominium corporation. It is a significant benefit to be able to build a deck or workshop, paint the exterior, plant a garden, etc. without having to seek permission to proceed.


No Condo Fees

With freehold properties there are no monthly condo fees, which would allow you to afford a higher purchase price.


Resale Value

Freehold properties often appreciate more compared to condominiums, due to the ownership of the land they sit on and its increased value.



Cons of Freehold


Property Upkeep

All of the property maintenance is your responsibility with freehold homes. This can represent a significant amount of work, and is important to consider, particularly if you are looking for a home that requires minimum maintenance. When looking at freehold properties, consider if you have the time or energy to shovel show or maintain your property.



Freehold homes are higher in demand and the Ottawa house prices reflect that. Freehold properties typically cost more than condominiums.



Choosing the Right Ottawa Home


While the lower price and low-maintenance lifestyle of condominiums may appeal to you, you may also want to consider the freedom of a freehold home. It is important to weigh the pros and cons of both freehold and condominiums before you decide on the preferred ownership structure of your new home.



If you need support in finding the right condominium or freehold Ottawa home, the Susan Chell Real Estate Team is here to help. Contact us today for your free home market evaluation.



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