This isn’t a world where you can buy a house with white fences all around and vast plantation and still be in the heart of the city. There are new and different types of housing options that are coming up to help the residents enhance their standard of living.
In this age, most of the residents have two main options when it comes to housing solutions. One of them is a condo or condominium, and co-ops are another option. Not every person who is looking for a new home knows the difference between condos and co-ops. Here is everything that you need to know about the two leading housing solutions before you start your search.
What is a Condo?
One of the most preferred options for housing in Toronto is condominiums. These are basically within a significant society, or a building and the owner will own their unit instead of the entire land.
Owners can access the common property, but they do not have any right over the ownership of the common areas. There are different spaces such as parking space, storage unit, etc. that you can purchase.
Owners of condos will have to pay a monthly maintenance fee that will be used for maintaining the common areas and amenities and facilities that are provided. The costs will also include the charges for security. In some cases, one might think that the cost for maintenance is high since not everyone will be using the common area or other facilities.
However, since the community of a condo has a lot of people, the maintenance fee is rightly divided so that residents get all the amenities at very affordable prices.
Living in a condo comes with several limitations as well. Residents might not be able to own a pet or rent out their unit to another party. In most of the condo societies, residents cannot make any changes to their units. Residents will have to abide by the by-laws of the condo corporation as well as the financial status.
Difference in costs
The rates of a condo on the basis of per square feet are usually higher when compared to co-ops. Across Canada, the cost of a condo rose 3.8 per cent year-over-year to $452,451 (1). However, condos are easier to finance, as there is no underlying mortgage for a condo. Also, the condo fees are usually lower. Whereas, the property tax for condos is often higher when compared to co-ops.
Condos usually provide the residents with a society where there are a lot of people, which can be an advantage as well as a disadvantage. One can have some company almost at every point during the day.
Condos are usually a better investment as they are easier to sell and buyers don’t have the same restrictions as they would with buying a co-op.
However, with several people around, one might have to compromise on some aspects. But, seeing the current trend in Toronto, condos are in high demand, and a lot of people prefer condos over any other housing option.
What are Co-ops?
There are some significant differences when it comes to owning a co-operative when compared to condo ownership. When you want to purchase a co-op, you will have to buy shares in the cooperation that has the rights of the building. Like condominiums, co-ops also have a board of directors which is responsible for making most of the changes.
The maintenance fees required for a co-op is comparatively lesser. However, even in co-ops, the maintenance fees are supposed to be paid. But, in this case, the co-op shareholders pay the monthly maintenance fee to cover up the expenses of the building.
Unlike condominiums, one can make changes in their unit. As in a co-op, you will own shares in the corporation, and therefore, you are entitled to build and make changes as per the terms of the lease with the corporation. There are relatively fewer restrictions staying in a co-op as one owns a percentage of shares in the entire property.
Difference in costs
Co-ops are way cheaper than condominiums. One can get a co-op by complying with the norms of the board of directors of the corporation and if the board allows you to purchase a unit. Most of the co-ops can be bought for a price that is almost half of what one would be paying for the same space in a condo.
Moreover, co-ops provide buyers with more control and authority, as they will have individual shareholders. However, it is still challenging to obtain a mortgage for a co-op as a lot of lenders ask for a higher down payment.
Here’s a more in-depth discussion on the difference between condo and co-op.
Final Thoughts: Which One Should You Consider
There are different advantages and disadvantages to owning a condo or a co-operative. However, if you fix on buying a co-op, you will have to comply with the significant decisions made by the board of directors. It depends on the resident on what their requirements are. If one wants to be close to the major attractions and have several amenities available, condos are the best option.
When in doubt, it’s always best to work closely with a registered real estate salesperson so that you will be guided accordingly. 
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1 – “Hamilton Condo Costs up 9.4% This Year: Housing Survey | CBC News.” CBCnews, CBC/Radio Canada, 10 July 2019, https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/condo-costs-second-quarter-hamilton-1.5206385.
2 – Richer, Joe. “The Difference between a Condo and a Co-Op: Ask Joe.” Thestar.com, 21 Apr. 2018, https://www.thestar.com/life/homes/advice/2018/04/21/the-difference-between-a-condo-and-a-co-op-ask-joe.html.