March 28th, 2023 | Real Estate

Should I Buy a House or a Condo?

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This is one of the most common questions we get asked.

Whether a first timer, tenured investor or otherwise, the question is most often asked to find out what the best use of their capital is.

The underlying question, really then, is “what will make me the most return on my investment?”

Great question!

Quick answer – almost always, a house! At least in Toronto. (Provided your budget allows for it, of course)

And this has been our position from the very start.

Why? Because a house gives you more outs.

What do we mean by “outs”? We mean, options, ways to make it different, bigger and better than when you purchased it.

Think about it, a condo, while great and appropriate for many, at the end of the day, is just a variation of 8-15 Floorplans in 1 tall structure. In most high rises, condos along the same rows are identical, minus the finishes. So, outside of floor height and orientation, it’s very difficult to articulate why your suite on the 21st floor is somehow 50K more vs the exact same suite on the 15th floor.

On the flip side, a house provides you with … land! You can build up, back, and even forward. You can differentiate your from your neighbours ina variety of ways, not the least of which is palette and finish. You can underpin, divide, create a backyard oasis … or you can simply get the plans to do some or all of the mentioned work and sell with said plans – also very valuable to potential Buyers.

A house can give you tremendous upside potential. It provides you with the ability to extend beyond what is there and therefore appeal to a greater demographic upon resale. And the greater your Buyer pool, the greater the odds of you yielding a higher return on your investment.

Finally, why do we prefer homes with lanes or laneways?

Because, laneways represent even more “outs”. A laneway is effectively a private drive off the rear of your propery. You have direct access to the back, and can most often use this space for parking, a garage, a carport and most recently … laneway hosing … also known as “coach housing” in BC.

Laneway housing in particular represents a unique and very viable opportunity to generate healthy cash flow and equity!

In Toronto especially, where we’ve had a (good) supply issue for decades, laneway housing can serve to bring more units to the market. This fact only furthers the pros of homes with lanes – as permits for laneways are quite easy to get these days (provided the min requirements are met).

Various companies even specialize in laneway housing builds, providing you with 2-3 models to chose from and handling everything from start to finish.

And the financials? Super attractive! Even with todays higher interest rates … so you can imagine how attractive they are when rates drop.


Today – 400-500K all-in cost.
Potential Rent – $3000-3500/month
Carry – Less than rents + will drop with lower rates

Bottom line – laneway housing is a good investment in the worst of times … and a great investment in the best of times!

When you think lanes – think:

  • 2 for 1
  • Potential
  • Equity and cash flow
  • In law suite
  • Home office
  • Man/woman cave
  • Teenage hangout
  • Workshop
  • Think … possibilities!

If you have further questions about laneway and how you might benefit from them – DM US!

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