Condos and Apartments vs. owning your Home

I live in a tri city area and the one city that I live in, just down the road from me on the main street has these absolutely beautiful luxury retirement communities. When I first came to the city to visit my Boyfriend before moving to Ontario, I always wanted to live there—it basically looks like a really fancy hotel, with a water fountain, nice landscaping with benches, bushes and flowers planted ever so perfectly. That was until I saw inside the windows where they all eat during breakfast/lunch and dinner – that the people inside were all seniors.

To be honest though, I kind of want to be in that sort of state of mind when I retire, or perhaps when I even buy my own house or a house that actually is a condo. I lived in one of those home-condo’s once. Basically it’s maintenance-free and you don’t have to shove, or mow the lawn. I have to say though, I am absolutely terrified of the lawn mower. I remember once my parents asked me to mow the lawn, and I did it once and I said I would never do it again. Kinda feared that my toes would be chopped off, or that I’d somehow slip underneath the tiny lawn mower and it’d roll over my leg. The things that go through one’s mind.

Right now we’re in an apartment building where we still don’t have to shovel out our cars in the winter—underground parking for us. I think that I’d like to eventually move into my own house though, and not worry about the proper condominum athesthtics that restrict you from decorating your place. My friend lives in one, where you’re only allowed to put white curtains in the windows.

What sort of place do you live in?

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  1. When I was buying my place I weighed out a lot of options, between condos and townhouses. I ended up going with a townhouse, mostly due to the cost of condo fees and how much I would be shelling out extra on top of my mortgage payment. I LOVE my new house (moved in last year) and it’s brand new. I just finished the basement. We don’t have covenants in our area. Although I do know of a few strange ones around (but white curtains? sorry but I would never want white curtains).

    Yes I do have to mow my lawn (I bought a “woman”-powered push mower) so no gas or electric for me. I have the same fear of the lawn mower and not to mention the snow blower hehehe. This past winter was not too bad I only had to shovel a couple of times. I’m excited to plant vegetables in my backyard this summer and to have a real garden with my own flowers. Yes it is work but it is going to look so nice!

    Nancy says: What are covenants? I remember my friend had to have white curtains facing the outside, I think the lining or whatever had to be white, but the inside could be whatever she wanted it. Omg I totally forgot about snow blowers – yea, wouldn’t want to work one of those contraptions either, lol.

  2. Oh and I noticed one of your tweets about Groupon! Have you seen the site It has all the local deals!

    Nancy says: Oh, I haven’t heard of that. I knew that WagJag was new. But thanks, I’ll check that one out too.

  3. Covenants are rules that you have to follow in your area, they exist more so with condos. With the white lining of the curtain, that would be a covenant. Some are really good covenants, others are pointless. At my friend’s condo you aren’t allowed to use your balcony as storage (some people put bikes, Rubbermaid containers etc) to prevent the place from looking like an eyesore.

  4. I lived in a condo townhouse once and it was ruled by retirees who had too much money and time on their hands, it was horrible! The newer the condo, the lower the fees though
    BF and I are in the middle of building a house and we are super excited for more space even if we are just moving 3 blocks away :)
    I always think newer retirement homes look like fun too!

  5. Keith and I live in suburbia with a two story house, a dog, and a street filled with lots of kids! ha! It is perfect for us though because we are in the stage of our lives.

  6. My husband and I own our home. We lived together in my apartment for a few months before getting married, then we moved into a different apartment for a year-ish, then we lived in a duplex/townhouse for 3 years. This is the first place we’ve lived where we weren’t attached to somebody else.

  7. I currently live in an old Victorian house that is divided into apartments, in the “downtown” area of a little suburb smack dab between NYC and Philly. Our apartment is across from a private school, and near a couple restaurants/coffee shops.

    Hubs and I want to own a house some day, we are building up our down-payment fund so we don’t need a massive mortgage. I can’t stand the idea of living in a condo/townhouse with steep Homeowner’s Association fees (i.e. $400/mo for WHAT…use of a club house, use of a pool 3 months out of the year, and lawn-mowing for grass that is not mine?) and strict rules on when I am allowed to put up (only white) Christmas lights and when I must take them down…and that I am not allowed to plant anything in the ground behind my townhouse, and that I can only put certain items on my back porch.

    So we will continue saving for a house…haha.

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