Why Condo Living Isn’t For Me

Why Condo Living Isn't For Me

An end of an era is here and it’s time for a new chapter to begin. I always thought that finding an apartment for rent was a poor choice. I felt that buying a home made much more sense than renting. My opinion has now changed.

I’m now renting out my condo so that I can have more money and flexibility to travel the world and explore other options. No I’m not becoming a lifestyle design blogger. I’m starting to travel more and experience what this world has to offer. I really want to get this out of my system while I’m still in my early-20s.

The crappy part about renting out my condo is that my base will be my parent’s place. The good news is that I had been pretty much bi-locational (is that ever a word?) the whole time because everything I do is close to my parent’s place (gym, friends, work).

I really enjoyed my experience with living in a condo for over a year. I’m just not convinced that it’s for me. Finding an apartment for rent makes much more sense now.

Why do I feel that condo living isn’t for me?

Too many rules.

There’s just way too many rules considering that you own your unit. You pay so much money for this unit when you buy and then you pay your maintenance fees, only to be bombarded with a bunch of rules. I know that this isn’t the Wild West and we all need to be considerate, but I’m just not a fan of too many restrictions.

Too many fees.

The fees just add up. Every year the fees are bound to increase, not decrease. On top of your mortgage and and property taxes you have to deal with maintenance fees. The maintenance fees can be very pricey depending on what your building has to offer. Fortunately my building had fairly standard amenities. The more you have in your building the more you’re going to be paying per month.

I actually know someone that pays $600 a month for maintenance fees because the building offers everything from its own library to a state of the art gym with a swimming pool. I’m pretty sure that you can find a gym membership at a much lower cost. I’m not willing to spend that much money on a monthly mortgage.

Not enough space.

Everyone is so close to each other. I grew up in a home with a backyard and lots of space to do whatever we wanted. It feels weird to be so close to your neighbors. The space issue is something that I’m going to have to deal with because real estate is very expensive in Toronto. So unless I want to move out to a farm somewhere out north I’m going to have to learn how to live with limited space.

When I last wrote about the idea of finding apartments for rent, Donna left this interesting comment:

“I don’t want to live in any place where other people get to boss me around that much, be it condo or neighborhood with covenants.

I’d also like to have some land with my living quarters, so I can grow a garden, put out lawn furniture or even have a car up on blocks if I choose.

Think that condo fees are bad? Maybe you should get out before there’s an assessment. An acquaintance of my sister’s was beside herself after residents in her building were assessed about $15,000 (yes, that is the correct number of zeros) due to major work needing to be done to roof and, I believe, foundation.

Um, no thanks. I’ll keep renting until I can buy my own place.”

At the end of the day I really don’t know what the future holds for me. I’m really excited at times and then super nervous at other moments. I’ll keep you guys posted.

What about you guys? Where do you currently live? Do you want to live in a condo one day? What are your experiences with condo living? Do you think it makes sense to find an apartment for rent?

4 thoughts on “Why Condo Living Isn’t For Me”

  1. I agree with Donna. My wife and I will start shopping for a home early next year, but we will NOT be getting a condo, even though there will be more in our price range. Unfortunately, HOA’s are impossible to not have in my neck of the woods, even the non-main roads are owned by HOA’s in Fort Collins.

    But for me, the major reason for owning is what I call sovereignty. Which is the exact thing that Donna was talking about.

  2. For me the “renting” issue has always dissuaded me from condo ownership. For many condos you cannot rent them out, which limits income options. In other locations they are full rentals — ie. tenants who do not care about the condo since they are only renting.

  3. Haven’t lived in a condo but I currently live in an apartment. I don’t need a lot of space to be honest and I’m not the type to hang around outside on the yard. I’ve been looking at places and one that I found was 377 sq feet; sounds small to most folks but it will fit my bed and desk/chair and that’s pretty much all I need. I don’t need a couch or any of that fancy stuff.

    I would prefer to live in a condo over a house because I don’t need a lot of space and I don’t want to maintain my house. I would rather pay to have someone else take care of it for me. That’s why I like apartments because everything is managed.

  4. I am living in a condo also and I feel your sentiment but I am not like you who loves travelling and exploring, yes true that condo has only limited space but I love the way it is because the space isn’t too big to clean and you won’t need much furniture. If you have kids, a condo may not even be enough because the rooms are a little smaller.

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