Once looked upon as glorified apartments, condominiums have become a popular housing choice in Ottawa; offering upscale living at affordable prices. Ottawa is unofficially known as the “undisputed townhouse capital of Canada” due to it’s variety of non-traditional housing choices that have sprung up across the city, like new condos in Ottawa. Today’s condos may be a little different than the high-rise towers you are used to though; low-rise terrace condominiums are now an option for those not interested in the classic tower setting. These low-rise versions are somewhat less expensive due to lower construction and upkeep costs.
Condos are appealing to many people of all ages for several reasons. The main one is that they are an extremely cost-effective alternative to buying a full-sized home (especially for first time homebuyers), in a city where housing prices have soared in recent years. The average price for a traditional house in Ottawa is now over $350,000. Despite the fact that the price of a condo can vary greatly, even within a single development, the lower end of the price range is still often less expensive than that.
For many, condominiums can function as a sort of stepping stone between renting and owning a traditional home, or can be considered a “trial” home for those who aren’t sure if they want to take on the responsibility and maintenance of a full-size home. For instance, many young professionals are investing in condos because they don’t have the time to mow the lawn, shovel snow, paint the exterior, or even clean a larger home. The beauty of owning a condo is that they don’t have to do any of this. In most situations, the fees paid to a condo association are used to pay to have these activities done. If they change their mind later, or need a larger space, the equity from a condo can be used as a sale on a bigger home.
Condominium developments also come with extra amenities that many people can’t afford when buying a traditional house, such as common areas and green spaces, appliances, pools and clubhouses. This can be a big plus for young homeowners starting from scratch who want all the options but don’t have the budget for them.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, many retirees and empty nesters are also taking advantage of the condo craze. Some are looking to downsize and others are simply seeking a more convenient and simple lifestyle and don’t want to spend their retirement performing maintenance duties or cleaning a larger house.
The biggest beneficiary of the condominium craze though may be the municipal government, as the building boom has stimulated economic development.