Downsizing from house to condo

Happy couple lookout the window of their condo unit.

Downsizing from a house to a condo is becoming a more common lifestyle choice in Canada. Some of the draws to condo living include things like affordability, access to shared amenities (such as pools, gyms and community rooms), and less maintenance around the house. With these conveniences, condos are a popular choice amongst young professionals, retirees and families.

Why downsize from a house to a condo

Less maintenance

Moving into a condo means convenience. You may no longer need to mow your lawn, weed your garden, worry about replacing your roof or even put the garbage to the curb. Condo maintenance often gets these jobs done, so you can spend more time doing the things you love.

That said, you still have to take care of some aspects of your unit, so it’s good to have a condo owner maintenance checklist to ensure you don’t overlook anything.

Lower housing expenses

Some may find living in a condo more affordable than living in a single-family house. Condo fees typically help cover the maintenance of the overall building and common areas. Fees will depend on the size of your unit and the amenities that you have access to. For example, if you move into a property that has fitness facilities and a pool, you’ll likely be paying more than you would in a condo without these perks. Condos are also typically smaller than single-family homes, you may also be able to save a little more on utilities too.

Higher security

Condos may come with built-in security in the form of a twenty-four-hour concierge, CCTV cameras, and key-scanning entrances, among other security measures. This can give you better peace of mind, knowing that you, your loved ones, and your belongings are safer.

Access to amenities

Another benefit of condo living is the amenities. While this varies from building to building, condos generally have a variety of on-site amenities such as fitness centres, pools, game areas, outdoor spaces, etc. for you to enjoy. Access and maintenance of these facilities are typically included in your monthly condo fees.

Getting condo insurance

When downsizing from a house to a condo, you may need to switch to an insurance coverage that’s created specifically for condo owners. Condo insurance generally covers your unit, personal property and liability.

Condo insurance, on average, costs less than house insurance. The value of your content also plays a role in determining the amount you pay. Additionally, every condo is unique. There are low-rise condos, high-rise buildings, townhomes, etc. The type you live in will also affect how much you pay for insurance.

There’s an important distinction between your personal condo insurance and the condo corporation’s policy that insures the building and common areas. The details of the condo corporation insurance policy should be made available to you, so you can understand the limitations of the coverage and your responsibilities as a unit owner.

Your personal condo insurance policy should complement your condo corporation’s insurance to meet your needs and ensure you’re adequately covered.

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