Apr 27, 2012
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Since there was a lot of success in my last OT (Off-topic) discussion, thought I'd ask about this as well. I def want home ownership to be part of my future but there is a lot of debate over what a better investment/decision is- a house or a condo. One of the problems (at least in much of Canada) is that if you want to live in a large city you will pay near 300k for a really small condo (a bachelor, maybe for a bit more a 1bedroom if you are lucky..but still really small), while you can buy a fairly large home (assuming it isn't brand new) for that same price. Some people would never consider a condo just because of condo fees. But I have to say from talking to some really smart people who have gone the home ownership route, they say if they could do it again they would go the condo route.

what are your opinions?
 
Mar 24, 2014
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Since there was a lot of success in my last OT (Off-topic) discussion, thought I'd ask about this as well. I def want home ownership to be part of my future but there is a lot of debate over what a better investment/decision is- a house or a condo. One of the problems (at least in much of Canada) is that if you want to live in a large city you will pay near 300k for a really small condo (a bachelor, maybe for a bit more a 1bedroom if you are lucky..but still really small), while you can buy a fairly large home (assuming it isn't brand new) for that same price. Some people would never consider a condo just because of condo fees. But I have to say from talking to some really smart people who have gone the home ownership route, they say if they could do it again they would go the condo route.

what are your opinions?
I have been seeing some buzz about the housing bubble showing signs of deflating in Canada. I know in Ca where we own our condo that we bought in 2001 for 200k, it was worth 500k before crash of 2008 and went all the way down to about 280k. It is now worth about 350k. I guess what I am saying is that one should be careful in very volatile markets. If I had paid 500k for that condo in 2007, I would be in big trouble. Contrast that with the home I just bought in small town for 150k that in 2001 was probably worth 100k and we will probably sell for 200k in a few years because of some improvements we made. In the US, there are some stable and some volatile markets. Don't know about Canada.
 
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Apr 27, 2012
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I have been seeing some buzz about the housing bubble showing signs of deflating in Canada. I know in Ca where we own our condo that we bought in 2001 for 200k, it was worth 500k before crash of 2008 and went all the way down to about 280k. It is now worth about 350k. I guess what I am saying is that one should be careful in very volatile markets. If I had paid 500k for that condo in 2007, I would be in big trouble. Contrast that with the home I just bought in small town for 150k that in 2001 was probably worth 100k and we will probably sell for 200k in a few years because of some improvements we made. In the US, there are some stable and some volatile markets. Don't know about Canada.
We never had that housing market crash that you guys had because the banks are pretty tightly regulated..the idea of people getting mortgages that can't afford it is almost unheard of. We do have some instability (but not bad) with some over-building in some areas, but strangely enough not in the big cities but the mid sized /smaller cities.

Overvaluation on the other hand I think is a big problem North America wide.
 

Member00

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Feb 3, 2012
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I have some close friends who are from Canada and lived in various large cities there, and it seems to me that regardless, most people will outgrow a condo with a family. Even if you are single, don't plan on having children for a few years, you will probably get tired of paying so much money for such a small place. As smalltown mentioned, it seems to me that there is more upside to investing in a house, rather than a condo in terms of improvements you can make. ROI for a condo seems to be more based on the market, rather than on improvements you make, which seems riskier IMO.

All that to say when we were looking we thought about condos, but after living in apartments for so long it just didn't seem worth it to pay that much $$ to live in basically the same amount of space. If you're interested in having your own place with room to spread out, I'd go with a house. If you're just interested in not wasting so much $$ in rent, find a really cheap tiny apartment and live in it as long as you can stand it and save like crazy so you can afford a bigger place that isn't so far outside of the city.
 

erg923

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Buy (condo or house) under your means in an area that, at the least has a stable history. Build equity. Sell. Buy yourself the home you really want. It took us 4 years. It was a good little home. But the house we just bought really has it going on. ;)
 

PsyDr

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Financially, a house is a better choice. Lower mortgage rates, higher demand, easier sell, possibly easier to grow a family into.

Lifestyle-wise: a condo could be a better choice, depending on services and location. Less missing work to wait for repairman and the like.

Disclaimer: I had a 6 bedroom house, and it was too much house and upkeep for me as a relatively single, childless guy. Sold that and now live in a large condo downtown. Equity has grown faster here due to location.
 

WisNeuro

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I'd go house over condo. Although I am fairly handy and can do many home repairs myself. Also, if you want to keep the place around as a rental property, it can be pretty good for tax purposes.