TOP 5 Reasons Condo Ownership is Awesome

Top 5 Reasons Condo Ownership Is Awesome

Condo ownership has picked up speed in urban centres across Canada. According to the 2016 census, nearly 1.9 million condominiums were occupied by Canadians. And in the time between 2016 and today, you can bet that number has increased for a number of reasons.

Affordability plays a big role, but that’s not the only reason for condos’ soaring popularity.

Condos are seen everywhere from bustling urban centres to sleepy suburban pockets, but since we’re talking affordability (or lack thereof) let’s see where they fall in relation to their single-detached counterparts in Canada’s priciest housing markets – Toronto and Vancouver.

According to the latest figures reported by the Toronto Real Estate Board, the average price of a condo in Toronto was $615,582. The price has increased almost 12 per cent year-over-year, but it’s still a far cry from your average detached house, at $1,342,363 (Source: Market Watch, September 2018).

Meanwhile in Vancouver, the average apartment condo was priced at $687,300, while the average detached house came in at $1,540,900. (Source: Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver)

Condo ownership benefits: Location, location, location
Due to their very nature, condos have typically been a downtown mainstay. Their smaller size has always been worth the trade-off when it comes to convenience and the amenities steps from home. And thanks to urban sprawl and urban un-affordability, condos can be seen rising in suburban areas as well, close to transit hubs, shopping and services that make them a great alternative to traditional single-family homes.

According to Statistics Canada, between 2011 and 2016, the growth rate of Canadian households living in condominiums was up 16.6 per cent in Census Metropolitan Areas, which are defined as areas with a population of at least 100,000, with 50,000 or more living in the core. Non-CMAs (read: smaller cities and towns) were not far behind, with the growth rate increasing by 11.9 per cent.

Condo ownership benefits lifestyle-Lock-n-leave lifestyle
Does the term “turn-key” resonate with you? This is a big draw to condo ownership across all ages and stages in life.

First, there’s the maintenance factor to consider. How do you feel about washing exterior windows every spring and fall? What about shovelling the driveway and sidewalk in the winter? Or mowing the lawn and maintaining gardens through the warmer seasons? There’s no question that some people truly enjoy all the upkeep that comes with home ownership. Bot for those who don’t have the time, ability or inclination for regular maintenance, a condo could be your dream home come true.

Part of condo ownership is paying a monthly condo fee – a portion of which goes to the above-mentioned services. This makes condos ideal for busy professionals, jet-setters, snow birds, the young and the restless, and those who refuse to lug garbage bags out to the curb.

condo ownership benefits luxuryLittle (and big!) luxuries
We mentioned the condo fee – a portion of which covers your use of (and maintenance of) the building amenities. The best part? You won’t have to leave the comfort of home to enjoy them. With condos gaining popularity, many developers are including five-star level services to make your home-sweet-home all the sweeter. Think concierge service and a-la-carte options like home cleaning and laundry (at a cost, of course); spa, salon and massage; a fully equipped gym with fitness classes; pool, hot tub and sauna; games room, party room, board room, library, film-screening theatre, even a guest suite available for overnight visitors. The list is long and luxe.

Depending on the age and amenities offered in your condo building, your fees will vary. But just think about what a rooftop pool, a home theatre and butler service would cost you in a your detached home!

Condo ownership benefits investment.
We started this Top 5 list with money, so let’s end it with money. Investors have always sought out small condos in urban centres as great money-makers. Particularly if you plan to hold the property over the long-term, you can rent it to a tenant and use the rental income to pay off the mortgage. Once you have that monkey off your back, you can reap the rewards of owning a really cool downtown crash pad, sell it and pocket the profits, or continue renting to tenants – and earn! Here are some signs of a great investment opportunity:

Low vacancy rates
Steady population growth
Lots of employment opportunities
Higher average income
New infrastructure developments
Public transit projects

If condo ownership sounds appealing to you, use our search feature to find the perfect place to call “home.”


Beware of Over-Downsizing or Over-Upsizing

Buying a new pair of shoes is relatively easy. Once you find the style you like, all you need to do is try them on and see if they fit. If they do, you go to the cash register and pay. When it comes to size, buying a new home can be trickier!
Whether your intention is to upsize or downsize, figuring out the right size can be especially challenging. Say for example, you’re downsizing from a large two-story home to a smaller bungalow. You don’t want to underestimate the space you need and end up in a place that feels tight. If you’re going the other way and upsizing, you don’t want to end up sinking extra money into a property that’s larger than you really need.
So how do you avoid these scenarios?
One of the best ways is to start by considering your current home. Do you use all the rooms in your home regularly? Is there a bedroom that’s rarely occupied? Has the recreation room become simply a storage area? If you’re downsizing, subtracting rooms you scarcely use can give you a better idea of what you need in a new home.
Upsizing is a bit more challenging because you have to anticipate what you will need in the future. For example, if you have young children, and your place is feeling cramped, then a home with a recreation room or separate family and living rooms may be a good idea. You may also need a bigger kitchen with a spacious eating area (in addition to a separate dining room.)
Think about the extra room you’ll need and how you’ll use that space. When I work with a client, I typically sit down with them and discuss the type of home they want in detail — and, based on needs and circumstance, I make expert recommendations.
Bottom line, I help clients find the perfect fit in a new home. Contact me if you’d like to learn more. (416) 779-8732
*Morris Marketing*

Showcase your Condo With the Right Lighting

The top retail store chains invest heavily in creating just the right lighting to make their products look great. Why? They know that lighting makes a measurable difference in sales.
The same is true when you sell your condo. Lighting can make a big difference in the impression your unit has on buyers. There are two types of light sources, manufactured and natural. You need to consider both when staging your condo for sale.
Think about the mood you want to create in each room. For example, you might want the kitchen to seem bright and alive. If yours isn’t quite like that, check whether you are using the highest wattage light bulbs suitable for your
fixtures. Also, look for ways to bring in more sunshine. Switching curtains for blinds might do the trick. In the living room, you might want a cozier feel. That can be accomplished by using lamps that cast a softer and gentler light than more imposing overhead lighting.
Pay particular attention to dimly lit rooms in your condo, including nooks and crannies. Even adding small track lighting to a pantry cupboard can make the space seem brighter and more inviting. Check that lighting is adequate in walk-in closets, bathrooms and storage areas too.
Finally, make sure all the lights work in your condo during viewings. Have spare bulbs available in case of a burn-out. You don’t want a buyer to try to turn on a light and discover it’s not working. When a viewing is scheduled, adjust the lighting so that your condo looks its best.
*Morris Marketing*

Whole-Home Security Systems Continue to Evolve

Until recently, even the latest home security system could become obsolete overnight. But, newer whole-home integration systems are much more compatible with interchangeable parts and innovative add-ons. As a result, it’s now possible to have a multi-faceted security system that watches over many functions and activities in and around your home.
For example, you can organize and control your home’s exterior cameras, motion detectors, door locks, window coverings, lighting, entertainment, appliances and HVAC with one system.
If you’re buying an entirely new system at once, there are many established and emerging brands available, so consider their functions, cost, convenience and reliability. But, if you want to introduce a whole-home system to manage existing utilities and appliances, things can become more challenging. You will need to ensure that your specific devices can communicate with your new hub, which means you need to identify the protocol under which they can share information.
Because their compatibility is not certain, it’s advisable to identify the make and model of your existing equipment before you purchase a new security hub or system.
*Morris Marketing*

Look a Little Closer When Viewing a Condo

When you’re viewing a condo for sale, you may get swept up by initial appearances. Everything may look clean and beautiful, with all the features you’re looking for. Indeed, you may even be considering making a serious offer. So, during that viewing, don’t rush. Be sure to take a close look at all the important details. For example:
• Do you get a sense you’ll like the condo and its residents?
• If the condo is old, are there any major repairs and renovations scheduled?
• What are the maintenance fees?
• Do you like the surrounding area?
• Is there anything that might bother you? (For example, very few visitor parking spots.)
• Is the closing date going to work for you?
• Are the size and orientation of the rooms to your liking? (You might want a spacious living room if you entertain regularly.)
There may be other details you’ll want to consider as well. Most of what you need to know can be found out during that initial visit. So, take the time to view the condo carefully and to ask all of your questions. Then, if you choose to jump on the opportunity quickly, you’ll be ready.
*Morris Marketing*

Shopping for an Out-of-Town Home

There are many reasons why you may need to relocate. Whether you’re moving for work or simply to live closer to family and friends, shopping for an out-of-town home can seem, at first glance, challenging. It doesn’t need to be.
People move out-of-town all the time. So, to use a traveling analogy, you’re driving on a well-paved road! There are two important strategies you can use to help make finding the right home easier.
First, make room on your schedule. You need to book days to travel to the new area so that you can explore neighborhoods and view selected listings. The more time you can give yourself, the better.
Second, be as specific as you can about the type of home you’re looking to buy. The clearer you are about your criteria, the more likely you are to be shown listings that fit your requirements.
So, don’t let an out-of-town move worry you. With the right expert help, the process can be smooth and relatively trouble-free. It may even be fun!
*Morris Marketing*

3 Tips for “Second Time” Home Sellers

When you purchased your first home, all you had to worry about was finding the right property. It was a single transaction. But, if you’re about to sell that home, you now have two transactions to make happen: selling and buying.
Of course, people buy and sell homes all the time. But it may still seem overwhelming. So, remember that while there are more steps in the process, it can still go very smoothly.
Consider these tips:
1. Learn the selling and buying processes, especially when it comes to closing dates, scheduling viewings, etc. The more you understand, the less intimidating it will be.
2. Find out what you can afford. You’ll need to know what your current home is likely to sell for on today’s market. This will help you determine the price range you can shop within for your new home.
3. Give yourself more time. Remember, you’re not only selling but you’re also looking for your next dream home. Clear time on your calendar to see properties for sale that match your criteria.
Following these tips will help make your journey to your second home purchase a successful one.
*Morris Marketing*

Look a Little Closer When Viewing a Property.

When you’re viewing a home for sale, you may get swept up by its initial appearances. Everything may look clean and beautiful, with all the features you’re looking for. Indeed, you may even be considering making a serious offer.
So, during that viewing, don’t rush. Take a close look at the important details. For example:
• Will it need any major renovations?
• If the property is old, are there items (kitchen stove, furnace, roofing shingles, etc.) that will need to be replaced soon?
• Do you like the neighbourhood and surrounding area?
• Is there anything that might bother you? (For example, a single rather than two-car garage.)
• Does the closing date work for you?
• Are the size and orientation of the rooms to your liking? (You might want a spacious living room if you entertain regularly.)
There may be other details you’ll want to consider as well. Most of what you need to know can be found out during that initial visit. So, take the time to view the property carefully and ask all of your questions. Then, if you choose to jump on the opportunity quickly, you’ll be ready.
*Morris Marketing

Rethink and Reorganize for the Long-Term

From time to time, homeowners turn their attention to décor. But, before you act on a decorating makeover, take the time to consider the long-term. Examine how each room in your home is used, and determine whether the layout and design are living up to your needs. You may discover that redesigning or refurnishing can give your home a revitalized look and expanded functionality.
For example, consider rooms which are currently underutilized. Could they become more usable with the right furniture, such as a hideaway bed or a fold-down desk?
Perhaps a larger room could serve a dual purpose if you introduce furniture that doubles as a divider. If you are prepared to take on an even more significant renovation project, find out whether the plumbing and electrical systems in your home can be reconfigured, or a non-supporting wall removed, so your home can serve you better.
You may even want to ask an interior designer for help. Ultimately, the more versatile you can make your home, the more functional it will be for you.
*Morris Marketing*

Setting Your List Price Requires Calculation and Savvy

When you’re having a garage sale, one of the toughest tasks is pricing your items. If you put a price tag on your old golf clubs that’s too high, no one will buy them. If you make the price too low, they might sell quickly, but you’ll spend the rest of the day wondering if you could have gotten more!

It’s similar to selling your home — except with your home, the stakes are much higher. You want to price your property to sell, but you don’t want to leave any money on the table. How do you accomplish that? Setting the right list price for your home requires a combination of skilled calculation and industry savvy.

Let’s start with the “calculation” part… When you work with me, I’ll review recently sold properties that are similar to yours in type, size, features and location. Then, using that data, we’ll calculate a range that represents your property’s “current market value.”

For example, consider a spacious 15-year-old bungalow in a nice neighbourhood. If similar homes in the area have sold for $475,000- $550,000 in the last six months, then it’s obvious that your home should sell in that range too. A list price above or below that range would be in the danger zone.

But skilled calculation is only half the task. Setting your list price also requires expertise in the local market, combined with good old-fashioned gut instinct. That instinct comes from being on the front lines of many property transactions. That’s why working with a good real estate salesperson is so important, when you’re deciding on the list price for your home.

Want to discuss selling your home? Call me. 416-779-8732