What To Know About Buying a Condo vs Renting an Apartment in Mississauga
Thursday May 06th, 2021
Perhaps you are a senior looking to downsize or you are a young professional wanting to start out on your own. Either way, you might be considering a move into a condominium or an apartment.
And while they may seem similar, there are key differences when it comes to buying a condo versus securing a rental apartment. To help you decide which option is best for you, here’s what you need to know before you start your search.
When owning a condo, you are responsible for maintaining your unit. If there is an issue with your HVAC system or your kitchen sink gets clogged, it’s up to you to fix and pay for any repairs. In addition to these little surprises, you’ll also be required to pay condo maintenance fees, which are over and above your mortgage payment. These fees cover building maintenance, amenities and other expenses, like parking, insurance and a contingency fund.
With a rental apartment, your landlord or the building’s management company are responsible for any repairs or maintenance. If an appliance breaks down or there is a plumbing or electrical issue, the building owner will handle the problem on your behalf.
From a cost perspective, owning a condo comes with more expenses than renting an apartment, but the added benefit is that you build equity over time. Aside from your monthly mortgage payments, condo fees and utilities, you’ll also be responsible for coming up with a down payment and paying expenses, such as land transfer taxes, legal fees, realtor commissions, insurance and more.
Renting an apartment, on the other hand, is more straightforward. When signing a lease, you’ll be required to provide the landlord with first and last month’s rent, as well as a security deposit. Some property management companies may also charge an application fee or a pet fee. Depending on the rental contract, utilities may be included in the monthly rent or they may be an extra cost that you must pay on your own.
An advantage of condo living is the access to shared amenities, such as swimming pools, gyms, saunas, lounges, libraries and more. Of course, the more amenities that a condo building has, the more you’ll pay in maintenance fees. These costs are shared with the other owners in the building.
Apartment complexes tend to offer basic amenities to keep costs down. Common facilities may include a locker storage area, on-site laundry and perhaps a swimming pool or an outdoor terrace.
When owning a condo, you’ll be required to follow the rules and regulations of the condo corporation, which are initially enacted by the developer and later overseen by the board. Rules generally cover issues of responsibility for the maintenance of and behaviour in common elements, as well as other considerations, such as noise, garbage disposal, fire safety, pets, parking and more. When owning a condo, you also have more freedoms, like being able to make improvements to your suite.
While renting an apartment, the landlord or property management company establishes and enforces rules for the building. Every tenant is required to follow these regulations and you may be limited in what you can change in your unit, such as painting the walls or making cosmetic changes.
Sound Advice to Guide You Home
Unsure if buying a condo or renting an apartment is right for you? As an experienced realtor serving Mississauga and surrounding areas, I can help you weigh your options to make a sound decision, whether you are a first-time buyer or looking to downsize.
To learn more about my buying and selling services, contact me, Deborah Clerk, Real Estate Sales Representative and ASA at Keller Williams Real Estate Associates, Brokerage in Mississauga, Ontario.