I think of 3 different personality types when it comes to property ownership:

  1. The “Do It for Me” type or condo people. These people don’t want to have to shovel a driveway or mow a lawn. They like extras including concierge, a gym or pool in their building, but they don’t want to have to look after it. They could be lazy or really busy or older and disinterested to doing home maintenance.
  2. The “I can do a little” type or semi-detached or townhome people. They can handle small DIY projects such as decorating or painting and they might want a small yard and a couple spare rooms, but they don’t want to spend weekends doing improvements.
  3. The “My home is my Castle” type or detached home people. They typically want to go it alone when it comes to looking after the property. They can likely do more advanced DIY projects. They might want a pool or a home gym. They are comfortable doing the maintenance themselves or paying to have it done. They prefer more space and independence.

Pros & Cons for owning each type of property

Condo pros:

  • Can leave if you travel a lot or are a snowbird without any major concerns
  • Affordability, amenities, security, usually one level which works for people with mobility issues

Condo cons:

  • Less space, lack of privacy, everything is communal, maintenance fees, limited parking

Townhome pros:

  • Maintenance fees sometimes cover issues that might not be covered in a home i.e. roof, windows, etc.
  • Affordability, more outdoor space, most come with a garage

Townhome cons:

  • Too many steps, neighbours, little privacy, no flexibility for expansion.

Detached home pros:                                                 

  • More flexibility to expand, build and addition or garage, more privacy,

Detached home cons:

  • Responsible for all maintenance, typically more expensive