Right now, if you have a budget under $ 400K, it’s hard to find a freehold townhouse. But you can find a beautiful condo townhouse (often called a “row unit”) in a beautifully managed complex for well under $ 400K. Generally, you will get a lot more bang for your buck in terms of space. Your lawyer can tell you if there are any red flags and what is included in the condo fees (this varies from complex to complex).
Some of my favourite condo townhouses are as follows (I’ve bought and sold in all of them):
Esterlawn Private, near Carlingwood. Great location, just off Fairlawn, steps to shopping. These three bedroom condo townhouses have single garages, small private back yards, and there is a child’s playground in the centre of the complex. Many have finished basements. The condo fees cover almost all exterior maintenance. These units have jumped in price over the last year or two from well below $ 300K up to almost $ 400K and they get snapped up fast because of the location.
3205 Uplands Drive, Hunt Club. These are huge three bedroom units with big basements. They have single garages and most have decks that open off the second bedroom. Some of the units back onto protected greenspace and they all have private back yards. They are currently selling in the low $300K range. The condo corporation does not cover much in terms of exterior maintenance but has been taking on more responsibility in recent years, so be sure to check with your lawyer to see what’s in and what’s out.
Monterey Drive, Leslie Park. This is NOT a condo townhouse complex (the units were converted to freehold some years back) but is located close to the Queensway Carleton Hospital, and IKEA, just south of Baseline Road. These are two to three bedroom units that are very spacious with large eat-in kitchens and patio doors to the private back yards. Sometimes they have surface parking right in front and sometimes it is off to the side. Occasionally a unit with two parking spots will pop up. They have large basements. There is an association fee than ranges from around $ 100 to $ 150/month for snow removal, grass cutting and parking lot maintenance. These units have rapidly increased in value — they used to sell in the mid-$ 200Ks a few years ago but are now selling for well over $ 300K . Even so, these are great value.
Nuggett Drive, Orleans. These are condo townhouses with extremely low condo fees in a nice quiet part of town close to shopping and parks. The condo corporation does not cover exterior maintenance. The units are quite large with fenced backyards and single garages. These can vary in terms of interior finishes, and some had foundation issues that the condo corporation has taken responsibility for addressing (although that responsibility is time-limited: contact your lawyer for details). They are selling in the mid to high $ 200K range right now.
Briston Private, Hunt Club, near Conroy Pit. These are not technically row units but stacked condo units. All the units on Briston Private are two levels but there are newer ones that have forced air furnaces/ natural gas heating and central air (as opposed to baseboard heating in the other units in this complex). They are much larger than the others and feel more like townhouses. Parking is out front and there is a ton of visitor parking. The condo corporation handles all exterior maintenance, right down to eavestroughs and front railings. All have separate family rooms with gas fireplaces as well as eat-in kitchens and living rooms. The lower units have access to a small unfenced but private yard where BBQs are allowed. The most recent sale was over $ 300K.
There are pros and cons to buying a condo vs. buying a freehold but these are complexes I always keep an eye out because they are such great value. Happy to answer your questions!