If you're a Canadian resident and are thinking about buying a home, then you might be feeling a little confused by all the ownership options that are available to you. One option you may want to consider to help you get a better idea of what's right for you is to meet with a real estate lawyer. Furthermore, by doing a little bit of your own research, you can foster a decent understanding of your options, their potential benefits, and how to determine which choice is best for your needs.

Co-Operative Ownership

Co-operative home ownership is similar, in a lot of ways, to purchasing a condominium (explained below). This is true in the sense that, with a co-operative purchase, you buy a share of a property from the actual property owner. Often times, this equates to a condominium unit or a town home within a larger residential building. The main difference between co-operative ownership and condominium ownership, then, is that in addition to the costs of exterior maintenance, HOA fees, and other monthly community dues, you are also responsible for paying the underlying mortgage costs that were taken out to fund the building of the units. Generally, this is a fixed monthly cost that will not fluctuate.

Condominium Ownership

Condominium ownership, on the other hand, is slightly different in that your monthly payments go mainly towards maintenance and ownership fees; unlike with co-operative ownership, these fees can fluctuate from time to time and may cover more specific services, such as cable and Internet to your unit. Also, a condominium typically has an owners' association that is run by an elected board of members. These people are the ones responsible for the operation and maintenance of the community.

Freehold Ownership

Finally, there's good old-fashioned freehold ownership. With this type of ownership, you buy your home and the property on which it sits. From there, you're pretty much free to do whatever you want with it (assuming you don't live in a community with an HOA), and you are individually responsible for all maintenance, operation, and other fees. This is a great option for those who want their own space and don't want to rely on others for lawn care, interior/exterior maintenance, and the like. It's also the most traditional option when it comes to home ownership in Canada.

Now that you have a better understanding of the types of Stony Plain real estate ownership options available to you, which one will you choose?