Growing up, you may have dreamed about owning a large house with a white picket fence — you know, the type of home popularized on TV shows about wholesome families in the ‘burbs. However, as an adult, you likely realize the stereotype doesn’t apply to every lifestyle, personality or income situation. In fact, large homes are often more trouble than their worth, which is why condo living is on the rise for many Canadians.
The 2011 National Household Survey showed that 1,615,485 households in Canada lived (either as owners or renters) in condominiums. Just over three–quarters (76.8%) of these condo dwellers lived in concentrated census metropolitan areas (CMAs), with the three largest CMAs being Toronto, Vancouver and Montréal. Combined, Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal made up 53.5% of condo dwellers in the country. Suffice it to say, many people, both young and old, have discovered the benefits of condo living, especially in urban cities like Montreal, and this trend is here to stay.
So why should you consider a condo in Montreal?
Location, Location, Location.
Montreal is famed for its glamorous European flair, fashion and entertainment. It also has some of Canada’s richest history, seen in the old cobblestone streets, turn-of-the-century buildings and cultural landmarks. Within this blend of old meets new, there are a dazzling array of independent retailers, grocers, artists and restaurants popping up everywhere, and all of them gravitate to downtown districts like Outremont or St. Henri. Condos in these areas are just a stone’s throw away from the buzzing nightlife, but are also equally close to tranquil parks, trails and bike paths. Better yet, they also are great places for young families, and down any street you’ll find parents taking their kids to nearby schools, daycares and community centers.
Montreal is famous for its diverse array of neighbourhoods. They are all close to each other, but are vastly different in their culture, appeal and feel. For instance, the ever thriving Plateau remains the iconic “place to be” for fun seekers who love a fast-paced environment filled with funky fashion, ethnic food, colourful buildings and a close proximity to Mont Royal. Whereas, Rosemont, La Petite Patrie, which sits just west of the Plateau, has a laid back charm, filled with cute, exposed-brick restaurants, retailers and plenty of parks for outdoor enthusiasts.
Each district also features its own cornerstone — a neighbourhood staple that attracts the masses who enjoy congregating with their friends and neighbours. Whether it’s Little Italy (part of Rosemont) beckoning with its low-key stores, eateries and cafes or Atwater Market summoning the weekend crowds with its fresh cheeses, meats and seafood, the spice of the city exists in every borough, and condo dwellers get to be part of it every day.
Financing for Beginners
Condos are great property investments for young professionals and families. The government knows this, and they have many incentives to help first-time buyers attain their first home. If your condo is $250,000 dollars or less and you do not have children, you are eligible for a $4,500 discount off your purchase. Likewise, if you have one or more children you can also receive $10,000 off, if the property value is $280,000 or less.
So there you have it, big houses in the suburbs aren’t the golden standard anymore, and condo living is the popular choice for folks who love having a home in the heart of the city. They offer colour, culture, easy access to just about everything, and you can buy one without spending your entire life savings.