As you begin your search for your dream home, you may run across some unfamiliar terms related to the types of property in Canada.  It is important that you understand the differences so you can make the financial choice that works best for you.

Freehold Ownership

Freehold Ownership can be Non-Strata (single, detached unit) or Strata (described further below).

In Non-strata ownership, the buyer has full ownership and responsibility for the building(s) and land.  The most common type of ownership, this allows for the most privacy and freedom of choice.

Condominium (Strata) Ownership

The buyer owns a specific housing unit (usually apartments, condos or townhouses) contained in a larger strata property or development.  They have shared ownership and responsibility for common property.  While often less expensive that freehold homes, strata properties require monthly maintenance fees and often have strict rules that residents must abide by.


The owner has the right to use the property for a set period of time, but does not own (have freehold rights to) the property.

Co-operative Ownership

Similar to condo strata ownership, but instead of owning a particular unit, buyers own a share in the entire building or complex.  Co-op residents pay monthly maintenance fees and the co-op board has the right to reject prospective buyers when owners sell their units.

What Type of Property is Right for You?

As you shop the real estate market in Surrey or White Rock keep in mind that each type of property ownership option has its own advantages and disadvantages. There are also unique legal implications that should be considered when choosing your home.  As local Realtors in your neighborhood, the Taylor Team of Sutton WestCoast Realty agents can help you navigate finding, viewing and buying your next Surrey or Greater Vancouver home.

Contact us to get started.

Editor’s Note: This original post published in October 2011 has recently been updated for relevance and accuracy.