So you know you are ready to move forward to start looking at properties, but where to start? What kind of home makes the most sense for you, after all there are single family detached homes, condos and townhouses all to consider! Here are some tips on things to consider with each type of property ownership.
Single family homes are the dream, or end goal for the majority of home owners today. It is what most people picture when they think of owning a home, a yard for the kids, double garage at the end of the cul-de-sac in a family friendly neighbourhood. Or maybe something on a nice piece of property for privacy. The single family home will usually be the most expensive option both to purchase and maintain, however perhaps has more potential upsides than a strata type property - depending on what is important to you!
-Generally the easiest type of property to add value to. Sweat equity can go a long way to increase the value of the home. Also you may have the ability to add a suite for extra income. Land value will appreciate on it's own as the city grows.
-Usually more expensive to get into. You are responsible for all maintenance from roofing to windows to furnaces and hot water tanks, as well as all utilities and city bills such as water/sewer, garbage pickup etc.
What is a strata property? Think condo, townhouse, or can be a detached home in something such as a gated community. In a typical strata, you own your dwelling, and everyone in the strata shares ownership of the common property. In a condo, you own what is within your walls, and would share ownership of hallways, entrances, pools/fitness facilities etc.
What is a strata fee? This is the monthly fee you pay to be a part of the strata - part of this fee will cover maintenance of the common property, keeping entrances heated and lit, pool maintenance and so on. Sometimes the strata fee can seem high, who wants to shell out another $300 a month on top of your mortgage!? Well it's important to keep in mind that this fee can include many bills that you are responsible for on your own in a single family home, it can include water/sewer , garbage/recycling, some buildings will include hot water or heating and cooling as well. It's important to research each strata to see what is included, as well as how much money the strata has in contingency to cover any potential repair costs to the building and common property. When we make an offer to purchase on a strata property, one of the conditions of the sale will be a full review of all the strata documentation to ensure you are comfortable with what you are buying into!
-Usually lower purchase prices, however tend not to appreciate as much as a single family home. -Easiest to own/least responsibilities -Can turn into a great rental property when you move up to a single family home