Townhomes vs house?

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Townhomes vs house?

Postby Nefer » Sat Apr 07, 2012 1:04 pm

Am thinking of jumping into the housing market :shock: One of the things that confuses me is why on earth are condos so popular!? I'm renting right now and can't think why I'd actually want to own one - and yet the majority of new developments where I live is in the condo/townhouse range.

What are the advantages of owning a townhome vs a house?

I'm in Vancouver and MAN real estate costs here are astronomical! The only reason I can see myself buying a condo is the price - and I wouldn't be satisfied either, if I ended up with noisy upstairs neighbours.

Advice anyone?
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Re: Townhomes vs house?

Postby tedd » Sat Apr 07, 2012 8:47 pm

Take your own advice Nefer - you have no permanent control over selection of your neighbours so keep them at a distance - as the Swiss say "Make great friends of your neighbours but don't pull down your fences"
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Re: Townhomes vs house?

Postby bayside » Sun Apr 08, 2012 12:02 am

Nefer,
I can't resist a reply to your dilemma. Tedd is right, follow your instincts. Here in the States the developers went crazy in the last decade. I have many friends, and two of my daughters, who were caught up in this fad. Some disadvantages are: Required membership in the Homeowners' Association (which might be manned my people who do now share your views of living) and the fact that many people will be caught up in seeing the condos as an "investment", buy them, and then rent them out. Undesirable neighors, very possible. I've heard a lot of horror stories. Thirdly, if the Condo Association goes broke, each member is liable for the ongoing costs. I, personally, wouldn't tough a condo. There are exceptions, sure. If you want to buy something, buy a small house. Anyway, good luck.

Condos can be ranked right up there with "Timeshares". People who bought them 20 years ago and paid $10,000, now find themselves with a completely unsaleable commodity -- yet find themselves sill legally bound to continue their annual payments (which keep increasing).
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Re: Townhomes vs house?

Postby johnrogers » Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:58 am

Hi Nefer - First of all I must say I really feel sorry for you having to enter the real estate market in Vancouver,home prices are way over the top,some of the most expensive prices on the planet earth.I am in shock and awe when I see what some of these places are valued at.Living in a condo or apartment does has some disadvantages,mainly you may hear your next door neighbour clattering around,or as an example listening to the lady who lives above you walking around in her i am a spammer with her high heels on.You do have a valid point in your post,so be aware that you are correct that you will hear your neighbors on occasion.

Another major drawback about condo living are the rules you must abide by.Most condo owners have a group of people whom decide the rules and regulations about living there,and dictate the rules - for example one of the rules may be no doing laundry after 10 pm.or you are not allowed to put flower pots on your deck.

Good luck to you Nefer,it is a pity you live in the most expensive city in the world.Check out you MLS listings online and see what prices are in other cities,it will make you cry.Example - you could buy a brand new home on a sprawling acreage with beautiful appointments in other parts of the country for $200,000 dollars or less.As well remember these $400,000 apartments for sale sold for $50,000 dollars not that many years ago.I know this for sure Nefer I have bought and sold a few homes in my lifetime.

Again Nefer - Vancouver is way over the top price wise and you must decide if home ownership is really worth it due to the super inflated values of thes 600 square foot properties.
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Re: Townhomes vs house?

Postby Nefer » Sun Apr 08, 2012 12:22 pm

Thanks for your input ted, bayside & John :)

I've been looking at prices - and a townhouse in the area I'm living in is going for around $370, 000. It's old, built in 1996 & is a 2 bedroom 2 bath. I imagine strata rules & memberships will still apply.

And a tear house in another area is going for $1.2 million! A tear down! F@ck.

This is city is lovely but god-damn, tough to live in!

I think the best will be to look for a small house, as bayside said. Thanks again all, you've given me some perspective :)
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Re: Townhomes vs house?

Postby Matbow » Sun Apr 08, 2012 6:31 pm

Nefer wrote:Am thinking of jumping into the housing market :shock: One of the things that confuses me is why on earth are condos so popular!? I'm renting right now and can't think why I'd actually want to own one - and yet the majority of new developments where I live is in the condo/townhouse range.

What are the advantages of owning a townhome vs a house?

I'm in Vancouver and MAN real estate costs here are astronomical! The only reason I can see myself buying a condo is the price - and I wouldn't be satisfied either, if I ended up with noisy upstairs neighbours.

Advice anyone?


There are only 2 main advantages of condo's over houses that I can think of:

1) Location. You can usually buy a condo in a downtown area, but not a house. If you need to be close to downtown, then a condo may be the only option...
2) Maintenance. In a condo you don't have to do the gardening, clear the snow, paint the exterior, make exterior repairs etc... You obviously pay for all of this in your HOA fee, but you don't have to do it yourself!
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Re: Townhomes vs house?

Postby johnrogers » Sun Apr 08, 2012 10:06 pm

Hey Nefer = Yes for sure the cost of a home in Vancouver is stupid in fact it is an insult to anyone. :lol: However Nefer I agree with you to chose a townhouse over a condo ( apartment ) 100 million percent.It is a great compromise to actually owning a detached house.

Matbow has some very accurate points to ponder about location and proximity to work regarding purchase to an apartment.The price you quote of $320,000 dollars for a townhome sounds within reason for the Vancouver market and I would love to see you in a townhome rather than a condo - be careful about your commute time to work ,so I hope this townhome is within reason to your commute.Be careful if you are thinking renovation of to much in this 1996 home - the problem today Nefer is everything costs $10,000.00 to update i am a spammer etc.

May I say this to you Nefer - your home is one of the most important fundemental things that happen in your life,and is is important to own a home - King of your own Castle as the saying goes.Whatever you do make sure you are happy and feeling comfortable with your final decision - make sure your purchase feels right inside - trust your Nefer instincts only - advice and input is good but do what you are doing for yourself and your inner peace.

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: OR MOVE TO PEMBROKE ONTARIO AND BUY YOURSELF A MANSION FOR LESS CASH :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: Townhomes vs house?

Postby E-Hoog » Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:42 am

So er, what is a condo exactly? Sorry :). Is it an apartment? And a townhouse? Is that a house in a town? What is the difference with a normal house? Anyway, I'm always in favour of a house :), but that's really personal and I have absolutely no idea about value for money etc in Canada obviously. But if I didn't have a garden I'd probably die.

I agree with John that you should just do whatever you feel is right. Don't buy a condo because it is cheaper only to be miserable. Well ok, that's a bit dramatic, but you get the gist :D.
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Re: Townhomes vs house?

Postby Matbow » Mon Apr 09, 2012 6:23 pm

E-Hoog wrote:So er, what is a condo exactly? Sorry :). Is it an apartment? And a townhouse? Is that a house in a town? What is the difference with a normal house? Anyway, I'm always in favour of a house :), but that's really personal and I have absolutely no idea about value for money etc in Canada obviously. But if I didn't have a garden I'd probably die.

I agree with John that you should just do whatever you feel is right. Don't buy a condo because it is cheaper only to be miserable. Well ok, that's a bit dramatic, but you get the gist :D.


A Condo's an apartment complex where the individual units are owned and there are common shared areas (hallways etc..). Townhomes are terraced houses/row houses that in the USA and Canada are often newly built and may be part of a complex. Kinda like this:

Image
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Re: Townhomes vs house?

Postby E-Hoog » Tue Apr 10, 2012 1:49 am

Ah, ok, thanks :). In that case I live in a townhouse. That doesn't change my advise: go garden! :D
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Re: Townhomes vs house?

Postby Nefer » Tue Apr 10, 2012 9:38 pm

johnrogers wrote: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: OR MOVE TO PEMBROKE ONTARIO AND BUY YOURSELF A MANSION FOR LESS CASH :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
Har Har


So not funny!! If I wanted to be in Ontario, I'd be in Ontario! I love the beauty of Vancouver, just not the cost :?

E-Hoog wrote:But if I didn't have a garden I'd probably die.

I agree with John that you should just do whatever you feel is right. Don't buy a condo because it is cheaper only to be miserable. Well ok, that's a bit dramatic, but you get the gist


Gooooo gardens! And you're right, I have to balance by gut with what I can afford with where I want to live. I'll let you know how it goes!
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