12 Feb Condo, Freehold, Road Fee, Co-op… Type of Home Ownership
CONDO, FREEHOLD, ROAD FEE, CO-Op –
What’s the difference in these types of home ownership?
When you start house hunting, you’ll need to think about what type of home and home ownership you want. Be it a condo apartment, a townhouse, or a detached home.
As always, every individual has a different set of housing needs. I’m happy to sit down for a consult with you at any time to discuss the pros and cons of each ownership options with you! In the meantime, let’s take a look at some of the ownership options you might come across.
Condomimiums (aka a condo)
When people say “condo” they tend to think condominium apartments. However, it’s important to know that when it comes to condos, it’s not limited to “box in the sky” units. You can have condo townhouses, condo detached homes, and, of course, condo apartments. When a home is a part of a “condo”, it really means that it is part of a non-profit condominium corporation that collects funds from all owners to maintain the common areas and other shared expenses. Homes that are part of a condominium are often subject to a number of rules about property maintenance and standards (e.g. restrictions on pets, décor selections like window coverings/front doors/exterior finishes/landscaping). The condo fee for each corporation will vary, as well as what is included in the fee. You’ll want to consider all inclusions when comparing properties.
Some properties may include water, heat, A/C, hydro, cable TV, visitor parking, common areas and landscaping, security staff and concierge, building maintenance and repairs (which may include the roof, windows, foundation), amenities (which may include a pool, gym, party room, business centre, rooftop bbq, etc.). As a rule of thumb, the more your condo includes, the higher your monthly fee will be.
This is a totally different structure from a condominium and should not be confused. When you purchase a co-operative, you are not actually buying a physical unit. You are buying shares of ownership in the co-operative and, in turn, the co-operative will provide you with a unit to live in. Since you are not purchasing a physical asset, the financing is not structured like a standard mortgage. You may need to seek a specialized lender. Buyers may also need to be personally approved by a board of directors before an offer is accepted.
Sometimes clients ask about a listing that looks too good to be true – the price is much lower than condo apartments in the area. On many occasions, it’s because this unit is actually part of a co-op. If you’re ever unsure, simply ask! I’m here to answer questions and guide you.
Freehold with Road Fee (aka parcel of tied land or POTL)
Sometimes you may find a home that is a freehold home with a road maintenance fee. You’ll likely run into these with some townhouses, or even some detached homes, that are located on a private road. Since municipalities don’t maintain private roads, homeowners may create a condo corporation to maintain the shared road and common space. While the homes themselves remain freehold and the responsibility of the homeowner. Usually, prices of these homes are higher than a freehold and the condo fee lower than in a full condominium.
This one is ALL YOURS! You aren’t likely to have rules and restrictions about what you can do to your home (other than municipal bylaws). You are entirely responsible for your home and all associated maintenance or repairs.
So how do you know what type of home ownership works best for you? Consider your needs and your budget. Work with your lender and your REALTOR® to ensure you keep within your budget and understand what options you have.
Contact me at any time to discuss your personal options!