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Feb 28,2019

Your Trusted Toronto Real Estate Brokerage Compares Housing Options


As an aspiring homeowner looking for housing options in and around Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area, you may be familiar with the past trends in this real estate market. The stories about seven-figure asking prices, intense bidding wars and some units fetching as much as 50% over list price are intimidating, but true, in this competitive housing market. On the one hand, young buyers, new immigrants and foreign investors continue to fuel the demand and prices of housing. Whereas, on the other hand, aging-in-place and the general stickiness of existing homeowners has led to limited supply of desirable, detached units.


Your best bet for affordable and available housing options continues to be new construction, i.e. condominiums. This includes not just the high-rise apartments in glossy buildings, but also urban townhomes that promote ‘right size’ living in low-rise units. Imagine staying in a one or two storey unit in a building that has only three or four floors. You enter your home through your own front door, without taking the elevators or walking through long hallways. Not only are these units priced more attractively than high-rise apartments, but their maintenance and upkeep costs may also be more affordable. Read on to know more about the pros and cons of both.


Comparing Urban Townhomes and Condominium Apartments

Before diving into the comparison of housing options, it is important to know (especially for first time home buyers) that townhomes could be condominium (condo townhomes) or freehold townhomes. There are several differences between the two, which warrants a separate, detailed discussion. However, for now, we are comparing condo apartments with urban condo townhomes.


  • Location: While condo apartments may be located in core downtown areas, condo townhomes are also available in close proximity to all high-density locations within the GTA. Out of the various types of accommodations available, apartments and townhomes are likely to be available at a significantly lower cost of ownership than all the other options.


  • Space and Layout: Most condo apartments (barring penthouses) will be a single-storey layout, where you typically share the walls with your neighbours and have a common space for parking your vehicles, or getting together for a barbecue. Some condos may also have restrictions or regulations on the usage of certain appliances, smoking, or owning pets.


In a condo townhome, you may have at least 2 storeys, often a small private garden and possibly a garage. The overall square footage of a 2-bedroom townhome will most likely be higher than a 2-bedroom apartment. Moreover, you may not have too many rules and regulations, except restrictions on any external modifications and general precautions on usage of the common areas.


  • Amenities: If you lead busy, hectic lifestyles and prefer hassle-free living, condo apartments are the way to go. Not only can you stay in the thick of all the action, but can also enjoy numerous state-of-the-art amenities. Most condo apartment complexes feature sophisticated security systems, clubhouses, swimming pools, gymnasiums, jogging trails, rec rooms and BBQ areas. Some high-end condos also offer tennis courts, spas, full-service concierge desks and other luxurious facilities.


In comparison, townhomes may offer modest amenities, such as clubhouses, swimming pools and security, but may lack many of the other features available in high-rise apartments. For example, in townhome living, you may still have to drag your garbage bin out to the curb on the day of pickup, whereas in a high-rise you can dispose of it through the garbage chute.


  • Maintenance Costs: Whether you live in a condo apartment or a condo townhome, you will be paying monthly maintenance charges to building management. These costs are directly proportional to the number of amenities offered in the complex, as well as the expenses that will be covered by the condominium. For example, activities, such as mowing lawns, raking leaves, removing snow, landscaping in common areas, and repairs and maintenance of the roof, doors and windows of your unit are carried out directly by the condo administration. You are usually responsible only for the interiors of your home.


Make the Right Choice in Affordable Housing

When it comes to owning a piece of Toronto real estate, you will have to weigh all the pro and cons of the options available within your preferred location and budget. For an efficient search of affordable housing and new construction, rely on the extensive knowledge and experience of a real estate brokerage, such as Home & Condo Market Brokerage. Our enthusiastic and dedicated agents will be happy to educate and guide you on the various options, and help you make the right choice for buying a home in and around Toronto or the GTA.


Enjoy exceptional service and find the perfect property for you, your family or your business. Schedule a consult with one of our agents to explore all your options. Call us at 416-551-5020 or contact us using our online form.