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by anonymous

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Condos mean different things to different people; simply stated, condos are as diverse as their owners. From affordable townhomes in the suburbs, luxury apartments in the downtown core, to funky lofts with huge windows and soaring ceilings and palaces nestled in the urban landscape, the word condominium encompasses them all!

Ultimately, condo living is a lifestyle choice. At any price point, condos provide a combination of location, amenities and opportunities that cannot be duplicated in a residential home. A condo affords the benefits of ownership with many of the hassles and obligations typically associated with a home either significantly reduced or all-together eliminated leaving more time for living.

What is a Condominium?

Condominium refers to a form of ownership. A condo can be any kind of housing:

  • high-rise or low-rise apartment
  • townhouse or stacked townhouse
  • detached or semi-detached house.

Condominium developments are self-governing communities with rules and bylaws to guide their operation and business affairs. 

With a condo, you own your individual unit and share in the ownership and expenses of maintaining the common elements. Common elements can include things like hallways, elevators, fitness facilities and grounds.

  • An individual condo owner holds title to the condominium unit only, not the land beneath the unit, so condos can be stacked on top of each other.
  • All condo owners share title to common areas. Common areas include land, the exterior of buildings, hallways, roofs, swimming pools -- any area used by multiple owners.
  • Condominium owners pay property taxes on their individual units.
  • A property owners' association usually manages the complex and collects fees from all condo owners in order to maintain common areas.

The primary benefits of buying a condo (or co-op) include: (1) condos are usually less expensive than equivalent-size houses; (2) lack of exterior maintenance responsibility and worry; (3) the security of just turning the key in the door (called "lock and leave") while being gone for an extended time period without worry; (4) virtually the same homeowner tax deduction benefits as for houses; (5) pride of ownership; and (6) resale profit potential as a long-term investment.

But the potential drawbacks include: (1) having the homeowner's association (HOA) board of directors determining how your monthly assessment fees will be spent; (2) encountering unexpected increased monthly fees and/or special assessments for major expenses, such as a new roof or other expensive repairs if the reserves are not adequate; (3) rules and policies you don't like (such as no-pet rules, rental limitations, and parking restrictions); (4) poor-quality management and/or maintenance that hurts condo enjoyment and resale values; (5) noise from adjoining units (the #1 complaint of condo residents); (6) lack of freedom, such as the ability to turn up your TV as loud as you want or to have noisy parties; and (7) adjacent neighbors you don't like, or who don't like you.

Various Styles

  • Apartment style units - these units typically have someone above or below you and a common entrance. However, many of the newer apartment styles condos have a private entrance.
  • Townhouses - these units have a private entrance with 2 -3 levels ie living room, kitchen and bath on main floor and bedrooms and additional baths on the other levels.
  • Carriage Units - have a private entrance at the ground level with stairs to the unit. They usually sit above a garage.
  • Ranches - have everything on one floor with access at the ground level and now one above or below you.

Mississauga condos are amazingly popular right now. Within old or new buildings, more and more these residents are purchasing condo units. Condos are a vital part of Mississauga real estate. Indeed, March sales on the Toronto Real Estate Board continued the trend of previous months. Sales were 8% higher than March of 2011, and average prices were up by almost 10% from a year ago. Within the 905 Region, condo sales were ahead by 3%, compared to last year.
Of course, one of the main reasons why home owners are choosing condos is because they are relatively hassle-free. There’s no lawn to cut or garden to upkeep. There’s no snow to remove or leaves to rake. There’s no driveway to repair or sidewalk to fix. That’s because when you buy a condo, you own only what is inside the walls of your unit. Outside of those walls, the residents of the complex share ownership in a cooperative bound by a contract.



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