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Old 10-18-2011, 09:56 PM   #1
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Pros and Cons : House vs. Apartment vs. Townhouse

I figure a bunch of us will be moving into this territory in the next couple years or so, and I think it might be beneficial to start up this thread and compare the pros and cons of being a property owner.

I'll list off some random info I found.. Kind of prefer to see things in this format if possible:

Quote:
3000 sq ft house - South Etobicoke (Toronto), MPAC assessment $404,000, other similar properties in the area selling for $650,000-$750,000

Gas - $185 month
Property Taxes - $300/month
Electricity - $75/month
Water/Garbage - $42/month
House Insurance - $84/month

Total Monthly Costs - $686

Quote:
900 SQFT Apartment Burquitlam (near Lougheed Mall)
Approx value $400,000

Cable: $100 / month
Hydro: $35 / month
Prop Tax: $ 140 / month
Utilities: $ 50 / month
Strata: $200 / month

Total Monthly Costs - $535
The example of the house above doesn't really make sense in Vancouver (), since properties around here really hover around 700k...

In addition I know I'm missing out on lots of crucial information here, like costs to repair a house (divided up yearly).. things like heater, a/c, roofing, gutter, etc.

After compiling all the information, I'm hoping this thread will give me (& others) a better idea of what the most economically feasible types of home ownership will be in the near future
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Old 10-19-2011, 03:26 PM   #2
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well it kind of depends what your personal preference is, for owning a house, you have the possibility of renting out the basement suites if available and be able to offset the mortgage and other expenses or have the whole house to yourself (total privacy) but you have to do the maintaining (ie. mowing the lawn, gardening etc)

if in the case of aparment or townhouse, you are living in comfort and but in a way living in a shared space (units upstairs, beside you, may not be all private) and you have to pay strata fees each month

it doesn't really matter what city you live in but here's some food for thought
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Old 10-19-2011, 03:44 PM   #3
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With owning a house, I find I'm spending a lot of my days off doing house chores (e.g. mowing lawn, fixing miscellaneous things, etc).
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Old 10-19-2011, 03:52 PM   #4
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Unless you're in the position to buy a new house as a first property, I would buy an apartment or a condo leaving the exterior maintenance up to the strata. Even that will be a huge step in additional responsibilities from renting, I expect. Not only that, but in an older home you should expect to put approximately 2.5% of the homes total value annually into repairs. On a 700k home that's $17500 just fixing and maintaining things annually.
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Old 10-19-2011, 04:07 PM   #5
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With a house its up to you how much you want to spend for maintenance. Similar to cars some people do proactive maintenance on time while others are more reactive.

LOL @ 2.5% rule. I spent under 1000 on my house last year.
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Old 10-19-2011, 04:10 PM   #6
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2.5%? Where'd you get that number? Sounds like one heck of a lemon..

I've spent a few thousand dollars this year so far and it was on unexpected items like a failed gas valve in the furnace..
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Old 10-19-2011, 04:16 PM   #7
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^There are some one-time expenses like when I got my roof replaced a couple years ago. Also, my garage door needs to be replaced, fence needs to be repaired, house needs to be painted. My house is almost 30 years old though

Oh...and I find houses tend to have a lot more spiders than an apartment, lol
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Old 10-19-2011, 04:19 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Wetordry View Post
With a house its up to you how much you want to spend for maintenance. Similar to cars some people do proactive maintenance on time while others are more reactive.

LOL @ 2.5% rule. I spent under 1000 on my house last year.
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this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonka View Post
2.5%? Where'd you get that number? Sounds like one heck of a lemon..

I've spent a few thousand dollars this year so far and it was on unexpected items like a failed gas valve in the furnace..

I found the rule online when I was researching the costs of owning a home, since I'm considering buying in the spring. I would consider it accurate for an older home, which is likely what a first time buyer in Vancouver would have, and I have a construction back ground so I'm not out to lunch on the cost of major maintenance.
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Old 10-19-2011, 06:34 PM   #9
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Jermyzy is right. ur strata fees is lower in townhouse compared to condo, cause when ur hot water heater fucks up, u pay , condo u dont.,, and same with house. no strata rules in a house, remodel anytime u please. etc


all in all it depends on ur lifestyle. but if u are looking for value, nothing beats house. (higher return on investment)

if i had the $ i would have bought a house over condo :S
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Old 10-19-2011, 08:28 PM   #10
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I'm guessing in terms of ROI, a townhouse is still > than a condo?

I want to be able to maintain a lifestyle where I can still travel 2-3 times a year and not live off of bread and water, losing half my paycheque trying to pay off my mortgage over 30 years+tonnes of unexpected expenses
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Old 10-19-2011, 11:37 PM   #11
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The real question is should you even buy a property. When I bought my first condo downtown victoria. I didn't even live in it. I found that at that time it was cheaper for me to rent a place then to live in the condo I own. Also like everyone else was saying about random costs. My other condo that I live in now (I own two condo's) only after 5 months of living in it I had to replace the washer and dryer (which where only 4 years old!). So owning is very expensive keep that in mind.
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Old 10-23-2011, 03:49 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jermyzy View Post
^There are some one-time expenses like when I got my roof replaced a couple years ago. Also, my garage door needs to be replaced, fence needs to be repaired, house needs to be painted. My house is almost 30 years old though

Oh...and I find houses tend to have a lot more spiders than an apartment, lol
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Old 10-23-2011, 04:15 PM   #13
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When you buy a house, you can rent out the basement or some rooms. This will lessen your burden and it should pay for the upkeep of the house
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Old 10-29-2011, 12:39 AM   #14
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condo pro: you can have an awesome view if you're high up like 25 stories or higher somewhere. to me it's very important.

house: you can possibly design your own everything.
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Old 10-29-2011, 08:47 AM   #15
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Townhouse/Duplex con: Your neighbors can go into their attic and cut open the firewall into your attic and live there. True story.
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Old 10-30-2011, 02:26 PM   #16
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Townhouse/Duplex con: Your neighbors can go into their attic and cut open the firewall into your attic and live there. True story.
That is funny you mentioned this because I heard it from several different people before. That would be pretty scary and who knows maybe they can even come down and steal your stuff while you are out..LOL!!

It all depends on your budget!! Buy a house if you can afford it. If not, settle for a nice condo where you don't have to worry about mowing the lawn or replacing this and that. Most new condo's these days have great facilities such as swimming pools/sauna/steam room/work out room/and recreations room.
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Old 11-04-2011, 06:09 PM   #17
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Based 100% on financials, a house is always the best purchase provided the land is owned and not leasehold.
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