Among the different ownership types, freehold is the most common. As an owner, you have full access to the land and the structure built on it. You are responsible for all indoor and outdoor maintenance and repair. As the owner of the freehold interest, you have full right to control and use the building and land, subject to any rights of the Crown, local bylaws about land usage and any other terms that were put forward during the purchase.
A condo ownership will allow you ownership of the unit and a shared ownership for the common areas. As a home owner, you will be responsible for the maintenance and repair of the interior of the unit. The condo association will be responsible for everything outside the walls including the common areas and grounds. The rules for condo are a bit stricter about the use of common area, renovations and noise. The condo association fee covers costs that include common utility bills, taxes and maintenance costs. Though a condo is cheaper than a freehold house, it offers lesser privacy.
Co-ops (co-operatives) are very similar to condos. The difference is that you own a share in a complex or a building instead of owning a unit. If you decide to sell your share, the co-op board has every right to reject your prospective buyer.
You might even opt to get a lease on your property. This gives you the right to use the property for a limited but long period of time. This type of ownership is commonly known as leasehold interest. This type of ownership is available for homes (usually apartments or townhouses) that are built on land that is owned by the city. Usually the contract allows ownership for 99 years. Occasionally, the ownership is made available for detached homes built on First Nation reserves and farm land.
A Strata is another type of ownership that allows you to use and own a particular housing unit which is contained on a larger property. Just like condo ownership, you will have share in the common areas of the property. You can find this type of ownership for different types of properties throughout the city.
Contact your Ottawa real estate agent today and find out which type of ownership and home would best suit your needs given the circumstances.