Appreciating Appreciation: Investing in Condos vs. Detached Homes

Happy 2019, everybody! We hope you had a wonderful holiday season and a fantastic time ringing in the New Year. Of course, with any flip of the calendar comes a bevy of New Year’s Resolutions to back it up, and we’re more than happy to help you keep your commitments to self-improvement during 2019 – as long as they’re condo-related, of course. They are??? What luck!

In that case, join us as we welcome John Mayberry, Realtor® (and team leader of the Calgary Home Boys real estate team), who is here to help us kick the year off right by offering some sound advice on real estate investment and how to capitalize throughout 2019 and beyond. Specifically, we’ll be digging into a question we end up hearing quite often:

When it comes to appreciation, is it smarter to invest in a condo or a detached home?

The answer might surprise you – read on for more!

Let’s Get Down to Brass Tacks

The last thing we want our blog to be is the beat-around-the-bush sort, so we’re not about to drag things out: when it comes to appreciation between detached family homes and condos, detached homes win, hands down.

What’s this? Toting the benefits of detached homes on a condo management blog? That might seem like something akin to treason, but we’ve always tried to paint ourselves as straight shooters, and we’re not about to start sugar-coating things now – especially with Mayberry here to hold us accountable. In fact, Mayberry did us one better, providing several reasons why detached homes trump condos in terms of appreciation:

  • Basic supply and demand. In our current market, there are far too many condos out there compared to the number of folks who are buying. This might change if we get another big population influx again like we did in the early ‘00s, but this doesn’t seem likely anytime soon, which makes our current condo real estate climate a poor one for investment success.
  • Condo fees and regulations. Mayberry reminds us that condo fees often eat into any investment returns – and, in addition, that building-specific regulations such as restrictions on renovations or unit rentals can additionally impact any appreciation-related gains.
  • With condos, you’re just buying space – not the land itself. When you buy a condo, you’re not actually buying any property, Mayberry points out to us. Instead, you’re only investing in the space within a building or complex – and that has a direct negative impact on appreciation.

Great, you’re probably thinking. Yes, we’ve told you why not to invest in a condo for returns on appreciation, but you’re still no nearer to financial betterment in 2019. Don’t worry – Mayberry’s not about to leave us high and dry.

There Are Still Plenty of Good Reasons to Invest in a Condo

While appreciation might not be a contributing reason towards why you’d want to choose investing in a condo over a single-family detached home, there are plenty of other compelling considerations for doing so, such as:

  • Condo units bought in bulk can go for bulk prices. If you’ve investing in more than one unit, many developers will offer “package deals” that include final sales at lower-than-list prices, making it that much easier to earn a return on your investment.
  • Location (location, location). Depending on what you’re investing in a condo for, this can be a major consideration. For example, if you’re looking for a property in the heart of downtown Calgary or Edmonton, a condo is a great option to explore.
  • Consider the reason for the investment. Are you in the market because you’re looking for a property to house your kids while they’re in school? Maybe you’re keen to set up an Airbnb-style short-term rental property – or, perhaps, you’re looking for a place to rent out to somebody else so that they can pay the mortgage for you until you’re ready to move in. In all these instances, a condo could well be a preferable alternative to investing in a traditional single-detached home.

There are plenty of reasons to not write-off condos as a practical investment – appreciation just isn’t one of them. Go into the real estate market with your eyes wide open, and you might just be surprised with what you find!

First-time Investor? Be Sure to Bring in the Experts

One point that we feel is crucial to make as we close out this blog is a brutally-honest truth: investing can be risky. While real estate is about as safe an investment opportunity as there is out there, it’s still very much susceptible to the whims of the market, meaning it’s certainly possible to lose money in the process. That’s why we recommend that all would-be real estate tycoons (and first-timers in particular!) who are considering purchasing an investment property take a moment to bring in the experts.

John Mayberry and the Calgary Home Boys have been operating in Calgary for many years now – John himself for 14 years in the Calgary market alone – and are intimately aware of the distinct challenges and singular opportunities that our unique real estate market offers. Mayberry and team will help you consider all the variables that can impact an investment opportunity and are also deeply familiar with the ins and outs of the rental market – all good things to know when considering investing in a condo property.

We want to thank John Mayberry for offering his expert opinions to our blog, and for leaving us with one final piece of advice to pass on: when you’re ready to move forward with that big investment purchase, stop to consider why you’re investing in the first place. Once you’ve got an investment goal in mind, be sure to follow it through to the finish line – and remember, there are never any guarantees when it comes to investing, but at the end of the day, that’s half the fun!