• Real Estate Photography, Videos, Tours, Printing & Design - Toronto, GTA & Surrounding Areas

Posts Tagged :

condo living

What to Look for in a Condo

150 150 Nisha Muire

Toronto condos have been selling like hot cakes for several years now, so buying one should seem easy – but it isn’t. You have to be aware of what to look for in a condo before signing on the dotted line otherwise you might find yourself with an investment that is more like a led weight instead of your ticket to financial security. Here we cover some of the basics to look for and to avoid when shopping for a condo.

Location is always key
Regardless of whether you are shopping for a house or for a condo, location is the prime element that will determine the long-term success of your purchase. Condo developments in up-and-coming neighbourhoods should definitely be located near amenities and services and the neighbourhood should already be on its way to gentrification. When it comes to resale, your condo’s neighbourhood will certainly play a huge role.

Encompassed in location is the surrounding neighbourhood – by this we mean that its important to find out whether there are other developments zoned for your area. If there are other condos in the works, then your building’s view might get obstructed and this will impact the resale value of your own building’s units.

Design madness
Carefully inspect the final design of your condo complex. Is it a massive complex connecting several phases of construction and networking a variety of services from fitness centres to playgrounds to shopping? If so, you might want to think about what that will actually mean in terms of activity, logistics (parking, driving) and congestion. While it might look terrific on paper, in fact, a large complex will mean hundreds of residents sharing the same space and facilities and it may not be exactly what you were looking for.

Developer Check
Be sure to check out the developer of the project to see whether they have completed other successful projects in the area. You don’t want to tie yourself to a new player that isn’t yet seasoned enough to pull off the grandiose plans they have on paper. You want a developer that knows the ropes and how to deliver what they promise.

Price Point
Condo madness has definitely taken over most Canadian cities lately with projects popping up on even the tiniest of lots. Naturally this has pushed pricing sometimes higher than is warranted. Be sure that you don’t over pay for a project. You should know the cost of similar projects in the same neighbourhood and understand why the condo you are eyeing is priced where it is at – this is especially important if you are looking at buying purely for investment purposes. You want to know that you’ll be able to resell the place at a profit and/or rent it out for one.

When it comes time to choosing your condo’s finishes, think long term and think in terms of resale – don’t upgrade fixtures and finishes just for the sake of upgrading. If you plan on living there long term, then by all means choose the finishes and materials that appeal most to you, but if you have a plan of moving in five years, then choose materials and finishes that will appeal to the widest number of buyers on the market. Always remember that neutral palettes and timeless finishes will always work well.

Finally, when looking for a condo, don’t believe everything a developer tells you. Remember that they are there to sell and they will do and say a lot of things to make that sale. Be sure that the condo has good curb-side appeal, because it will definitely count when it comes to resale. Lastly, if sales are slow – be cautious; there is always a reason for it.

Family Living in a Toronto Condo

150 150 Nisha Muire

Toronto, and most big cities, have traditionally been home to singles and couples who enjoy city life and the convenience that it offers them. In the past, singles and couples who decided to have families would move out of the urban environment to the suburbs where they could afford bigger housing and more land. However, the tide is slowly turning as greater numbers of families are deciding to stay put and to raise their children in the city. As single family housing is not only scarce in the city, but also prohibitively expensive for the average person, condos have started to see a rise in the number of children who live there.

The number one reason most families cite for remaining the in the city is the shorter commute to work. Increasingly people are foregoing the long drive in to simply remain close-by. Another big reason for remaining in the city is lifestyle – people aren’t willing to give up the lifestyle they lead when living within walking distance to so many services. If you are considering staying in the city with your family, there are things to keep in mind so that you have an easier time of dealing with the changes that children will bring.

Just as you would when shopping for a home elsewhere – check-out the neighbourhood and surrounding services first. If you want to send your child to a particular school, makes sure that the school will accept children from the neighbourhood in which you plan to live so that you don’t have any surprises later on. Look to see whether there are green spaces or parks nearby where children can play and find out whether there are day care services close by as well.

When it comes to the actual condo, look for complexes that offer:

Party rooms where you can host play dates and birthday parties
Games room for teenagers
Fitness amenities such as pools and/or gyms so that children can burn their extra energy
Green spaces with playgrounds for their littlest residents
Day care centres

Inside your unit you’ll need to ensure:

Versatile spaces that can serve double duty, ie: dining room that can be used as a homework/crafts area
A networking room where all computers can be hooked up for strict monitoring of internet usage
An open concept that maximizes space for moving around

Some condo townhouses have even opted to start reducing their monthly maintenance fee for families, which is a very attractive incentive for people to stay in the city with their kids.

Once you do find the right condo for your needs, remember that children can be noisy and to ensure friendly relations with your neighbours, keeping noise levels low is essential. A good tip is to lay down carpet on heavily used areas and in children’s rooms to muffle footsteps. Investing in some good over-the-ear headphones for them to use when gaming or watching TV/movies is another good idea.

Despite the perception of what family living might be like in a condo, there are success stories everywhere. As long as you are prepared to give up space for the convenience of a shorter commute, proximity to a large number of services and the improved lifestyle that these elements will bring, you are ready to raise a family in Toronto’s urban core.