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Buying a condominium in Guelph as a first-time homebuyer

Buying your first home can be exciting! Knowing your needs and what you can afford are usually the first step when starting the search. So is buying a condominium home the best for you?  So far in 2014, 519 condominium homes have sold in Guelph. It is obviously a popular choice for many buyers.

470 of those were listed for under $350,000; the typical first time homebuyer price range.

Here are a few things that you should consider with condominiums:

ADVANTAGES

  • Property maintenance; if there is grass to cut or snow to shovel, they will do it.
  • Common Elements; not only includes shared hallways, staircases and lobbies but
  • May also include pools, gyms, party rooms, parks etc.
  • Building Insurance; you only need to insure your unit thus making it cheaper.
  • Utilities; sometimes the fees include water, heat, electricity, cable, etc.
  • Roof & window repairs are taken care of.
  • More of a sense of security and community with neighbours close by.

DISADVANTAGES

  • Condo fees could be quite high.
  • You may not agree with all the rules and regulations, some of which may be quite strict such as; limits on pets or noise restrictions.
  • Common elements may be crowded and not always well maintained.
  • You don’t get to decide when repairs/maintenance gets done.
  • The Board of Directors can make decisions on your behalf.
  • There may be restrictions on outside décor.

If you don’t mind living in close quarters with your neighbours, then you will see many benefits to buying a condominium. The price for a townhouse or apartment condo in Guelph is usually cheaper than a freehold home with the same square footage. You get more living space for a lower price! Sounds good right? Well don’t forget to consider the monthly fees, which can certainly add up, but may include services that appeal to you and therefore offsets the cost of this fee. You should also consider that if you aren’t a handy(wo)man, there is usually less work involved in maintenance than with a freehold home.

In Guelph, there are a wide variety of options for resale as well as newly built condominiums at each end of town, making it easier for you to find the right home for your needs.

Current hotspot areas in Guelph in the first time homebuyer price range include:

  • The East end around Grange Hill
  • The North end near Guelph Lake
  • The South End by Pine Ridge & Westminster areas
  • The West End near the new Costco & West End Rec Centre

Always make sure to seek out the help of a local professional Real Estate Agent. They are free to work with when purchasing a home and they will help ensure you understand exactly what you are getting into to help you make informed decisions.

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