If you are looking for an apartment in Winnipeg, chances are you’ve had someone recommend that you get a Condo, along with a vague line about investing. Many people think that Condos are just “apartments but instead you own it”, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. The real difference is in the more administrative details behind the Condo.
The basic functioning of apartments is pretty straightforward. The renting agency or an individual owns the building full suits, with each suit rented out by a tenant. There is a landlord or caretaker on side, and they and their rental agency are responsible for the maintenance and repairs. You are generally responsible for some of the utilities, and furnishings and personal possessions. If the sink breaks though, you are not on the hook.
Condos on the other hand are a little less obvious. First you do own them, complete with mortgage payments and everything. This often is not all that much more than rent would be. It also allows you to build equity. Condos and houses, unlike most other things, build up value with the housing market if they’re properly maintained. Unless you’re in the midst of a pretty serious recession, your condo will always be worth a reasonable amount of money, which can be some savings for the future.
There are a few other costs associated, but they can come with some substantial benefits. You pay a condo fee, and this can cover a huge variety of things. Depending on how much is covered, your condo fee will scale. This can include things like utilities like trash hydro and water, and sometimes it can include things like internet costs. It can also include some things like a gym, a sauna, a pool, a concierge, extra security, and some communal areas. Some of those can be found in Winnipeg luxury apartments, but many of them are more unique to condos. These kinds of communal areas are not part of what you need to pay for directly.
Condos have a management of sorts as well. This can be a Condo Board, which hire a Property Management company to maintain the property, or the can deal directly with contractors. The condo board is made up of owners from the building, and are usually voted in. Any owner can be a member of the board, though sometimes there is a minimum residency period. This means you can have a direct say in the rules and regulations of your building, also known as the “Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions.
Pets are another area of difference. Because you are responsible for all fees within your suit including maintenance and repairs, there is usually more flexibility in pet ownership. While you still usually cannot have a huge English Mastiff, often there is permission for a dog that is on the smaller side. For dog lovers this can be what sways you; the options for apartments that allow dogs can be a little limited.