Why live in a condo?
A condominium is the best of both worlds. You have the advantage of ownership, without the hassles of maintenance, repairs and security concerns. For singles, couples and families, owning a condominium offers the freedom to enjoy the good things – and time to concentrate on the important things.
Owning a condominium allows you to enjoy all the benefits of a fine home, with the added benefits of amenities, enhanced security, increased affordability and ease of maintenance. Some of the amenities include 24 hour concierge, high-tech security surveillance, recreation and fitness facilities, plus the convenience of not having to shovel snow or cut grass.
As a condo owner, you will have complete access to all community recreational facilities. When looking for a condo, make sure you have a careful look at the Amenities Floorplan to ensure that you are aware of all additional lifestyle features.
Entertainment & Entertaining
To find out what kind of amenities your community features, please refer to the building’s amenity floor plan for complete details. Many communities offer amenities such as indoor swimming pools, hot tubs, fully equipped exercise rooms, entertainment lounges with kitchen facilities, virtual golf rooms, billiards and cards rooms. Amenity offerings depend on the size of the condominium building, so be sure to understand what amenities exist prior to making on offer on a unit.
Lobby & Landscaping
Many lobbies are meticulously decorated and designed with sophistication. Depending on the community, where landscaping features exist, professionals work hard to make your community a natural paradise all year long.
Access to most condominium buildings is controlled either by either a concierge in the lobby and/or standard computerized access-card entry systems . Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Security personnel not only monitor who comes and goes, but they also oversee a network of video cameras strategically positioned throughout your community. In addition, there are two-way voice communication stations for emergencies.
Garage & Home Security
Personal hand-held emergency devices can activate alarm-sensors in the garage. Residents receive a personal remote-control transmitter or a car transponder to enter the underground parking and a computerized access-card for entry to common areas.
Intrusion alarms can be personally encoded and are a standard feature in most suites. It is not uncommon for ground-floor homes to also be outfitted with interior motion detectors and magnetic contacts on exterior doors and windows. Things like extra-bright lighting in the underground garages and elevator lobby areas with glass windows that allow a clear view into parking areas are addition security features of buildings that often go overlooked.
All developers take great care to incorporate many different fire-safety features into its communities. All stairwells and elevator shafts are pressurized and receive a separate supply of fresh air to provide a safe and smoke free exit. Garbage chutes and lower garbage rooms have heat detectors and there is a sprinkler system that activates automatically should the need arise. Common hallways have smoke-and-heat-sensors, a fire hose and a direct contact firefighters’ telephone.
How is Condominium living different?
A Condominium is actually a legal definition that refers to the method of ownership, not the type of building.
Any type of home – including suites in low rise or high rise towers or townhomes – can be a condominium.
When you buy a condominium, you own the interior space of your home outright. Then you and all the other homeowners in your condominium community jointly own all the other physical and mechanical structures, from the hallways and elevators to the recreational facilities and the outside grounds. These are for the shared use of all owners and are called “common elements”. Your balcony or patio is also considered a common element, but it’s what’s known as an exclusive use common element. This means only you can use it, but the maintenance is not your responsibility.
Also referred to as common area expenses. Maintenance fees are a monthly charge (your share) for the utilities, regular upkeep, management, administration and insurance for the common element areas. The fees vary according to project and home size. Each homeowner’s portion of these expenses is set out in the budget statement, which lists the percentage for which each unit is responsible.
But for many people, the maintenance costs involved with living in a condominium are offset by expenses they used to have when they lived elsewhere. For example, you may no longer find it necessary to belong to an expensive health club or recreation club (not to mention the time and energy you spend getting there).