Condo vs House: Is a Condo a Good Investment?

When it comes to real estate investments, one of the first decisions made, after the initial and significant decision of pursuing this kind of investment, is what kind of investment to make; either a condo or a house. 

Both options have their advantages and considerations, and understanding them is crucial for making an informed decision, but there is a flexibility in your choice. In this blog post, we’ll explore the benefits of investing in a condo and compare it to a similar investment in a house.

Let’s take a bird’s eye view at the two situations and how they compare:




Initial Investment

Lower – Smaller down payment required.

Higher – Usually more land and larger units. 

Monthly Mortgage Payment Commitment

Lower – Due to smaller investment.

Higher – Due to larger size of unit. 

Ongoing Fees

Equal – Condo fees apply and vary with amenities. 

Equal – Property tax rates vary with location & size. 

Maintenance & Cost Requirements

Lower – Usually covered by strata/property Managers

Higher – Responsibility falls upon the owner. 


Varies – Normally decided by association and depends on management.

Few – More freedom to use property as you feel.

Quality of Life

Varies – Depends upon location & environment. 

Varies – More freedom but usually more costly. 

Return on Investment Potential

Varies – Depends on purchase price, location & amenities.  

Varies – Depends on unit size, purchase price & location.

Income Generation Considerations

Convenient – High demand for rental units.

Higher rental rates but more complicated situations.

Initial Purchase Price & Mortgage Payments

One of the most compelling reasons to consider a condo as an investment is the lower purchase price compared to homes of similar size, and in general, condos usually require a much smaller initial investment. In Canada, it’s normal for any property with a value of over $1 million CAD to require a downpayment of 20%. That amount of money is a large obstacle to overcome, if looking to invest in a house. 

The lower downpayment for a Condo can be a significant advantage for individuals or couples looking to enter the real estate market without breaking the bank, and for other investors, the easier starting point is an attractive proposition.

Monthly Costs & Maintenance

Of course, with the lower investment threshold, this also means that a condo will have lower mortgage costs. There are more manageable options available for condo buyers versus housing buyers. 

The maintenance costs of a house will almost always trump those of a condo. For example, a house will always require the owner to be responsible for things such as lawn maintenance, snow in the winter, gutter maintenance, along with piping and electrical systems. Anything you can think of that can go wrong with a house falls upon the shoulders of the owner. 

There are fees associated with Condos to think about (Condo fees and property tax), but we must remember that due to the smaller size of the units, these fees are generally lower than the costs associated with investing in or owning a house.  

Convenience and Peace-of-Mind

While some may view condo fees as an added expense, they often provide a level of convenience and peace-of-mind that can be invaluable. These fees typically cover services like maintenance, landscaping, and building insurance. This means you won’t have to worry about the upkeep, which can be a time-consuming and potentially costly aspect of homeownership. This convenience allows you to focus on enjoying your space (or renting it out) rather than worrying about maintenance tasks.

If someone is looking to invest in a property that requires a smaller time commitment, then a condo would be the correct choice. This convenience and freedom is the major benefit to this kind of an investment.

Another important consideration is that if you earn rental income from a condo, related expenses are tax deductible. This means that fees related to upkeep, repairs and other similar expenses can reduce an investor’s tax burden.

Lifestyle Considerations

There is a myth that condos have excessive restrictions on use. For example, the thought is that investors might be restricted from re-rental of a unit,  owning pets and even having guests. However, this is not the case in many situations, and there is a great amount of flexibility for a condo owner and the options they can provide their renter, or that they can utilize for themselves.

As you can imagine, a house has a great amount of freedom in terms of customization. However, that freedom does come with a large financial cost. Many changes made to a house will have legal requirements, and can often be costly in terms of contracting and development.   

When looking at investment through a purely practical lens, everyone will have different needs and requirements for their lives and/or investments. It’s very important to take lifestyle into consideration.

Return on Investment

Given a similar real estate appreciation rate, a house may be able to beat a condo in terms of return on investment. However, this return on investment is based solely on the size of that investment, which is why many might point to a house being a better investment than a condo. 

However, if a person were to take their potential investment into a house and instead invest into two smaller condos, this diversification could provide greater flexibility and the same rate of return.  

Due to high demand for condo units and the challenge of selling a full house, versus the relative ease of selling a condo, it could be a far greater use of time and money to invest in multiple smaller units, than a larger one. 

Is a Condo a Good Investment?

Ultimately, the question of whether a condo is a good investment depends on a person’s individual circumstances and goals. For first-time buyers or those looking for a more affordable investment into a certain real estate market, a condo is clearly an excellent choice. The concept of a communal space is attractive.  Shared amenities, community involvement and proximity to urban areas make condos a great idea also. 

If someone values the freedom to customize their land and prioritizes privacy over communal living, a house might be a good choice. However, the investor should not forget that maintenance costs, along with personal responsibility are higher with a house, and that cannot be forgotten or overlooked.

The investor has to make the decision that is correct for them, but the conception that a house is a better investment than a condo is one that doesn’t hold up under closer examination. What’s important is the personal needs of the investor and what they prioritize in terms of their involvement. 

When making the final decision, keep in mind that a condo will provide a great deal of flexibility, return on investment and benefit to the owner. A house will do the same, in different ways, that usually involve a great need for management and resources.  

Ready to make your investment decision? Contact us today to explore available condos and townhomes that match your preferences. Secure your future in real estate!