The previous two postings gave some people the impression that condominium ownership is not great. That is a misleading conclusion and contradicted by the increasing percentage of households in Canada which are condos. The pros and cons of condo ownership and living need to be compared with the alternatives. These include ownership of a single family home and rental of a home or apartment. Time sharing and hotel living are other alternatives but I will not discuss these here.
When living in a high rise condominium unit (town and row house configurations would be somewhat different), typical favourable comments are that a person is living on one floor with no staircase, easy to lock up and leave the unit, good security, indoor parking, no gardening or snow clearing to do, freedom to decorate inside the unit as the owner pleases, and payment of a modest monthly condo fee (if that is the case).
Since condominium refers not to the physical layout of the unit but to the ownership arrangement, most of the above comments apply to rental of a similar unit. Two differences are that condo owners can decorate the inside of their units as they wish, and they own the unit and a share of the building. If persons wish to remain invested in the real estate market for whatever reason, then condo ownership provides this in contrast to renting, where the building owner invests in the real estate and takes responsibility for the insurance and the upkeep of the building and its units. With a condominium, the board of directors of the condo corporation acts as building owner on behalf of the individual unit owners. This works well with an attentive board of directors often assisted by a management company and in some cases a live-in superintendent who deals with day-to-day matters.
I would be interested in what others think are the benefits of condo ownership as opposed to renting similar space.