The 2 Most Important Things To Consider When Buying A CondoWhen you’re buying a condo, whether it’s a pre-construction condo purchase from a floorplan or a resale condo you’ve seen on the MLS, there are many important things to consider, like: does the unit have parking, does the unit have a balcony, does it have the countertops you want, does it face the direction you like, does it have a walk-in closet to store your insanely large collection of designer shoes, etc…
And of course, it goes without saying, that you also need to take into account your overall purchasing budget, closing costs, the condo maintenance fees (common element fees), and review the status certificate & accompanying documents with your lawyer to ensure there isn’t anything unexpected with the suite or the condo corporation itself.
But, assuming all other things equal, how do you actually choose a suite and what is actually important to your selection?
In my opinion, these are the 2 most important things to consider when buying a condo in Toronto, because these thing you can’t change – almost everything else you can.
I know, you’ve heard this many times in your life, from TV, from your parents, from some sleazy salesman you met at a dinner party… Location, Location, Location. Yes, it is important. Why? Well one main reason is that you can’t change the location of your condo. In the grand scheme of things, you as an individual cannot change anything to do with the location of your condo.
And when I say location I mean 2 different things:
Where is the building located in the city?
First, the most common one and most discussed one, the location of where the building is in the city. If you like a specific neighbourhood, even if it is as simple as where it is located in proximity to your friends, or family, or your workplace, or because it’s right above your favourite coffee shop, then that’s a good reason to pick that location.
And in a city of neighbourhoods, like Toronto, typically when someone asks where you live, most people say the neighbourhood they live in first, proudly.
Where is the condo suite located in the building?
Second, the less common and sometimes overlooked location, where I the condo suite is located within the building. Yes this makes a difference in both the resale ability of your condo and also the enjoyment you’ll be able to get out of your condo.
- The condo suite that is directly across from the amenities will be noisier than one that isn’t – it would be like living in the house across the street from the neighbourhood park. Some people would love this, others would hate it.
- Is the suite on a low floor that doesn’t get any sunlight because it’s blocked by an adjacent building, or is it on a higher floor that has loads of sunlight?
- Is the suite on an outside corner layout, that has lots of sunlight, or is it on an inside corner layout – that gets all of it’s sunlight from a tiny window that faces the inside of a building, where everyone can stare in on you.
- Is your suite directly above the underground garage entrance or loading dock for other commercial tenants (i.e. a grocery store)?
These things are important because they affect you enjoyment of your suite, the value of your suite, the resale ability of your suite, plus you can’t do anything to change it – you can’t physically change where you suite is located in your building.
This is sometimes overlooked by buyers. Sometimes a buyer is looking merely at the square footage of a unit, and may discount a smaller layout, whereas a smaller unit with a better layout could be cheaper to purchase, cheaper to carry (since maintenance fees are calculated based on internal square footage), and may also be a much better option to layout furniture.
Size (square footage) isn’t everything.
New condos look great, they have new trendy hardwood/laminate flooring, designer kitchen cabinets, brand name appliances, and modern bathroom vanities and tubs, etc… But let’s face it. In 20 years from now, even the newest, coolest, most modern condo in the city will be old and dated.
At that time, the suites in a building that will be the most desirable will be the ones with the best layouts, because everything inside will need to be updated.
There’s obviously many thing to consider when buying a condo, but I truly feel, that and I tell my clients this, these are the 2 most important things to consider when buying a condo in Toronto, or anywhere.
If you’re thinking of buying a condo, and want expert advice along the way, get in touch with us – we’ll be happy to help!