The decision to buy a house in Canada is one of the most significant choices you’ll ever make in your life. And along with this decision comes the confusion of choosing the right property type. When it comes to the available housing options, houses and condo tops the list. Each option has its own pros and cons that must be weighed before making the final choice. Condos, also known as condominiums, are in a shared complex, and their square footage is generally less than that of a house. Houses, however, involve four exterior walls not attached to any other residential unit and come in multiple shapes, sizes and designs. Though both structures are best for investment and living purposes, budget, lifestyle, and life stage still affect the ultimate decision. So, in this guide, let’s explore the key factors you should consider when deciding between a house and a condo in Canada. By examining aspects such as price, maintenance, and pros and cons, you’ll be better equipped to make an informed choice between condo vs house in Canada. 

Different Types of Condominiums

Different Types of Condominiums

Condos in Canada are a popular choice among homebuyers as they provide the owners with the benefits of homeownership while sharing the common amenities of the place. Talking about the types of condominiums, they generally have two types: freehold and leasehold. They are different from one another based on the type of ownership that a person holds. 

Freehold condos in Canada are tall buildings divided into ample units, row townhouses and stand-alone townhouses. In a freehold condo, you will find standard condominium units where you buy your unit and share the property’s common elements without owning the land. These kinds of condos can be held in perpetuity. 

On the other hand, the group that runs the condos doesn’t own the land in leasehold condos. Instead, people can buy a special type of rental for their units and shared amenities like a garden or a gym. It’s like having a long-term rental contract for your condo and the things around it.

Condo Vs House – What Factors to Consider?

The choice between condo vs house in Canada can be made quite easy by considering the factors listed below:

  • Price 

Buying a residential unit in Canada comes coupled with a lot of expenses, but these expenses can be controlled by making the right choice. When comparing condos vs houses, prices can vary quite a bit. Condos are usually more budget-friendly and affordable upfront, as you just purchase one unit and share the cost of other amenities and maintenance with others. 

Single-family houses, in contrast, can cost much more because you are purchasing both the dwelling and the land. Also, houses offer more privacy and space than condominiums, which can greatly influence their higher price. However, you must always consider the size, location and other crucial factors affecting the price of condos and houses. 

  • Expenses 

While living in a condo, you must pay regular monthly expenses that involve repairs and maintenance, keeping the place secure and much more. The fees of these expenses depend upon how big your condominium in Canada is and how many condos there are in the building. For example, if you live in a condominium with 24*7 high-end security, gymnasium, swimming pool, movie theatre etc., get ready to pay higher monthly expenses. In short, the more amenities your condo will have, the more expenses you will bear. 

Apart from all this, the condo fees also involve upkeep and maintenance of the building, except the interiors of your unit. But if you own the house, you must pay for new windows or roof leakage, especially if your house is old. 

  • Maintenance Costs

Maintenance Costs

When deciding between a condo vs house in Canada, maintenance is another crucial factor that you must consider. In a condominium, the condo association handles most of the maintenance tasks, from fixing issues in the shared spaces to maintaining the exterior of the building. However, you will be responsible for all the maintenance for single-family houses. However, you have more control over the maintenance decisions. So, while condominiums offer more convenience in terms of shared maintenance costs, houses can offer more freedom allowing you to customise the upkeep of your property as per your requirements. 

  • Location and Lifestyle 

The location of the property and the lifestyle it offers plays a major role in deciding which property type to choose for living purposes. Condos in Canada are generally located in the heart of the city, making it hassle-free for you to use public transportation services and get to work or school. Plus, you will live close to retail stores, medical centres, dining options etc. For working professionals, these city advantages matter more than having an extra room or a spacious backyard.

On the other hand, single-family houses in suburban areas might cost less, but you’ll give up the convenience of condo life and its advantages. Also, if you have kids or plan on having them soon, consider privacy, space and noise. Even though a condominium might be okay for two, a growing family would need a house.

  • Freedom 

Living in a condo in Canada comes with rules and guidelines set by the condo association. Whether a tenant or an owner, one must strictly follow the rules. These rules might limit the number or size of pets you own, no smoking zone on balconies and shared spaces, and restrictions on visitors using shared amenities such as a gymnasium, swimming pool etc. The guidelines also involve rules about decorating your space, such as the colour of your curtains, hanging fairy lights, etc. The factors mentioned above will help you in making the right choice between a condominium and a house. To assist you further, we have involved a few more sections highlighting the pros and cons of both property types. 

Condo vs House: Is a Condo in Canada Right for You?

Buying a condo can be an excellent option if you’re new to owning a home and want to move forward from renting. It’s also a good choice if you’re an existing homeowner looking to downsize because the Homeowners Association (HOA) takes care of much of the upkeep. Condos can be especially smart for people who travel or dream of living in a popular area where regular houses are too expensive. They’re also a great fit if you want extras like a pool or gym but don’t have the money to set them up or keep them running.

Condo vs House: Is a House Right for You?

Choosing a single-family house instead of a condo can be great for larger families or people who prefer space. It’s also a favourable choice if you want to be in charge of how your house looks and is built. If you value having your private space and don’t want to share amenities like hallways or gardens with neighbours, consider buying a house. But remember, with a house; you’re responsible for taking care of everything inside and outside, which can be highly expensive. 

Advantages of Living in a Condo

The advantages of condominium living are as follows:

    • Budget-Friendly Choice: Buying a condo in Canada is usually more affordable than buying a single-family house. Their budget-friendly nature makes them a popular option for people buying their first home with limited financial resources or retirees looking to downsize. 
    • Extra Benefits: Almost all condos in Canada offer additional shared facilities like gyms, pools and high-end security systems. 
    • Reduced Maintenance: Unlike owning a house where you are solely responsible for all upkeep, condominiums need less maintenance. So, if you want to avoid much hassle with maintenance, a condo will be a better choice. 

Disadvantages of Living in a Condo 

The disadvantages of living in a condominium involve the following:

    • Fees: Every condo association in Canada charges monthly HOA fees for maintenance and other costs involving property insurance. They might also ask you to pay extra for unexpected or unforeseen expenses. As a condo owner, you can’t influence these fees until you become a part of the condo society board.
    • Rules and Regulations: Depending on the rules of the HOA, you might have lesser options to customise or decorate your condominium unit as per your preferences. 
    • Less Privacy: Living in a condo involves sharing walls with neighbours, which means no privacy compared to in a house. 

Advantages of Living in a House

Advantages of Living in a House

Below mentioned are the advantages of living in a house:

  • Freedom to Customise: You don’t need to follow any association rules when you own a house. This means you will be free to customise your space as per your needs and preferences. 
  • Selling is Easier: Selling your house requires no HOA approvals, making the selling process hassle-free and smoother. Also, compared to condos, houses generally offer a better return on investment. 
  • Privacy: Single-family houses in Canada often provide more distance from neighbours, offering you peace and privacy. Moreover, concerns relating to noise are also avoided. 

Disadvantages of Living in a House

The following are the drawbacks of living in a house:

    • Higher Costs: Houses can be more expensive than condos, depending upon multiple factors like location, size etc. 
    • Maintenance Responsibility: Unlike condominiums, you will maintain the inside and outside of your property. This will surely increase your expenses. 
    • Less Social Interactions: Houses might feel less connected than condominiums, as you will have fewer shared spaces. One might meet neighbours occasionally, which could be a downside if you enjoy social interactions.


The choice between condo vs house in Canada is significant, influenced by a handful of factors such as budget, lifestyle, and location. Condos offer shared amenities and reduced maintenance costs, making them suitable for first-time homebuyers or those seeking to downsize. On the contrary, houses provide more freedom, privacy, and potential for investment returns, appealing to larger families or those valuing independence. Both property types have pros and cons, so you must carefully evaluate pricing, expenses and personal preferences before deciding.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is a condo more like a house or apartment?

A condominium is a mix of a house and an apartment. Much like a house, it's a private living space within a larger building where you own your unit. However, you share common areas and facilities like an apartment complex.

Is it worth buying a condo in Canada?

Buying a condo in Canada can be worthwhile, especially if you want ownership advantages without the full responsibilities of owning a house. Condos often offer amenities and a sense of community.

Why are condo fees so high in Canada?

Condo fees in Canada are higher due to the shared costs of maintaining the building, amenities, and common areas. These fees also cover repairs, security, landscaping, and more.

What are average condo fees in Canada?

Average condo fees in Canada vary widely based on location, amenities, and building size. They can range from a few hundred to over a thousand dollars monthly.