Condominium purchasers who buy early in the sales cycle often have up to two or three years to wait for their move-in. By purchasing early, you get the best choice of floors and suites for prices that are sure to go up as sales continue. My advice is to make the most of your wait time to maximize your move.
First and foremost, this gives you more time to save money toward your down payment. At Baker Real Estate Incorporated, we recommend depositing the equivalent of your maintenance fee into your bank account each month. It will add up quickly, and will make it easy for you to budget for your monthly carrying costs.
The fun factor can enter into your wait, too. Think about your new suite floorplan and start planning what furnishings and accessories will transform your surroundings to make them feel like home. Browse through the amazing dual-purpose furniture items available today that offer storage space behind closed doors. Look through magazines and on the Internet for ideas. You will be all that much more prepared when you are called for your colour selection appointment.
For those of you who are right-sizing to smaller square footage, take some time to pare down your possessions. Each item you sell, give or throw away something, you will feel a sense of freedom, helping to ease the psychological as well as physical transition to your new condo. The other advantage of your condo wait is having time to explore the amenities around your new building. You can figure out what stores, restaurants and the like are within walking distance.
Enjoy the wait – and remember that your investment will most likely increase in value by the time you move in!
In April, I wrote a blog about Toronto’s tremendous diversity being one of its most attractive features and a key indicator in many of the international accolades the City has received. How interesting that recently, BBC Radio declared Toronto the most diverse city in the world. This was after London’s new Mayor claimed his city has that distinction.
Regardless of the source, there is no denying Toronto’s diversity. Over half of our residents were born outside of Canada and hail from 230 different nationalities. More than 140 languages and dialects are spoken here, with over 30 per cent of Torontonians speaking a language other than English or French at home. Multiculturalism is a way of life for us.
The Culture Trip website (theculturetrip.com) lists Toronto among the 10 most multicultural cities in the world, along with Amsterdam, London, Los Angeles, Paris, New York City, San Francisco, Sãn Paolo, Singapore and Sydney. Pretty impressive company to be included in!
Ah, lovely spring weather has finally arrived, and I notice yard and garage sales popping up across the GTA. At Baker Real Estate Incorporated, we often hear from condo purchasers that they own more “stuff” than will fit into their new suites. It strikes me that now is the perfect time to go through possessions and purge what you will not be taking with you when you move. As you right-size to the condominium that fits your lifestyle needs, you likely have to down-size your clothing, furnishings, accessories and other household items.
The yard sale is a terrific form of recycling. People who buy the “treasures” you sell are happy, and you make some money that can potentially go toward purchasing new items for your condo. So take a good look around. Do you really need all those small kitchen appliances that have been hiding at the back of your cupboards for years? Is there a spot for every single knickknack you’ve collected over the decades? These items may be treasures for others – let them go, and enjoy the fact that someone else will enjoy them.
Treat the yard sale as a fun event. Invite friends and family to help, and you never know – you may make some new friends in the process. Of course, you can always give heirlooms and other cherished possessions to family and friends. Jewelry pieces, antiques, appliances, toys and household items can be sold online or even donated to charity shops. Be ruthless: items that are beyond salvage can always go into the trash.
And here’s great news: people tell us that once they have de-cluttered their surroundings, they have a wonderful feeling of freedom. What a spectacular way to start your new life in your beautiful new condo!
To mark its 60th anniversary year, Global Kingdom Ministries will soon hold the Grand Opening at Trinity Ravine Towers in Scarborough. Designed to offer convenient faith-based living that will serve residents as they age in place, suites will be available on a 55+ market value Life Lease basis – with a major advantage over other programs by that name. Unlike most Life Lease programs, when you choose Trinity Ravine Towers, you essentially own your Life Lease interest. You can bequeath it to your family members, who can then keep the suite or sell it at market value. You can also register a “Notice of Agreement” on the title to the property (similar to registering a deed), which is an important protection of your investment. This is a significant advantage for those seeking ease of living in a mature adult community where wellness and medical support is readily available as you age and your physical needs increase.
The Life Leases also includes shared usage of common areas, and in the case of Trinity Ravine Towers, the extensive amenities are beautiful. In the four-storey podium that will anchor the two high-rise towers, there will be wellness and fitness areas, entertainment areas, a community dining room and a computer lab, to name just a few. Atop the podium, a landscaped rooftop barbecue terrace will invite al fresco dining and entertaining. Trinity Ravine Towers will also feature a lovely lobby with a green living wall and waterfall. Residents will pay a monthly maintenance fee for the care and maintenance of the common areas, as well as a reserve fund to cover repair, replacement and maintenance costs over time.
Life Lease communities are becoming popular in Ontario, and there are currently 140 operating successfully. It is important to know that not all Life Lease programs are identical. When you compare, you will find that the Trinity Ravine Towers market-value Life Lease is truly remarkable. For more information, visit TrinityRavine.ca.
Originally, I coined the term “rightsize” to replace “downsize” – but as condominiums have become the residential choice of buyers of all ages, rightsize applies across the board. It simply means selecting the home style that accommodates your current needs best as you go through various life stages. This includes renters who are poised to purchase their first home. For them, rightsizing may mean going up or down in the square footage they are used to.
The key is getting into homeownership while our low mortgage interest rates make it possible. They understand the long-term value of owning real estate, historically one of the best financial investments anyone can make. And as new low-rise home prices skyrocket out of the financial reach of first-time buyers, they turn to more affordable condos. As an added bonus, most condos are located steps to public transportation, so owning a vehicle is an option rather than a necessity.
Once first-time buyers get more established in life, children often enter the picture. To raise a family, owners usually move up, which is another form of rightsizing. Today’s condominiums offer families a wonderful lifestyle, with security measures, beautiful amenities and proximity to local schools, shops, restaurants, entertainment and cultural venues. With building maintenance taken care of, parents can spend more quality time with their children enjoying all of these niceties.
Once the kids are grown and gone, parents may choose to rightsize again to less square footage in a building with added sumptuousness. Their suite might even be above a luxury hotel. Traveling is a breeze for condo owners, who can simply close the door and leave without concerns about exterior maintenance and security.
One thing all of these buyers have in common is the knowledge that their condominium suites in the Greater Toronto Area are bound to increase in value over time.
It is popular in the media to speculate on what will happen with condominium prices in the Greater Toronto Area in the future. I agree with the industry experts who content that prices will continue to rise, even if they have not skyrocketed as aggressively as those of low-rise homes.
Let’s look at the basics. We have been hearing for years about the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan and Ontario’s Greenbelt Act greatly limiting the land supply for low-rise. Remember that available land for urban high-rise development is dwindling, too – especially in downtown Toronto, where Lake Ontario forms the southern border. Combine lands scarcity with ever-increasing taxes, development, labour and materials costs, and price increases seem inevitable. Of course, resale prices have been increasing too, so even as condo prices go up, they will still represent remarkable value.
Keep in mind as well that condominiums have become a robust source of rental accommodations across the GTA, and as rents rise, investors see a healthy return-on-investment when they purchase new suites. It is interesting that as condos have increased the rental supply in the city, the rental market has doubled in the last few years. This is likely because a lot of people who would like to own have not yet saved enough for a down payment. In addition, Toronto and the GTA are growing quickly, with the influx of immigrants every year. The point is that now is the time to get into condominium ownership, while mortgage interest rates are still incredibly low!
A prestigious Bloor Street address, incredible views, steps to the subway and a direct connection to the Lifestyles Canopy Hotel by Hilton, the first of its kind in North America … all of this, and more, can be yours at SkyWatch Condos at The Rosedale on Bloor!
Recently, we introduced the second phase of this distinguished condominium neighbourhood to a record number of brokers, who were wowed by the Bloor Street – Mt. Pleasant location just east of Yonge. Residents will be able to walk to fabulous Yorkville in five minutes. Bloor Street is changing every day, with gorgeous condominiums rising and being topped off, and the east side of Yonge Street is becoming a beautiful promenade. The Rosedale on Bloor will be an iconic residence connecting Rosedale to Yorkville amid beautiful green spaces.
Priced from only the $200,000s, the suites at SkyWatch will be situated on floors 26 to 48, offering unobstructed views in every direction.
Developed by The Gupta Group, which owns Easton’s Group of Companies, this 52-storey mixed-use tower is designed by Page+Steele/IBI Group Architects, interior designer Alessandro Munge of Studio Munge and landscape architect NAK Design Strategies.
NOW is the time to register for this outstanding opportunity, because for a limited time, every suite purchase will include a free Rolex watch! Visit www.skywatchcondos.com or call 416-928-9997
From changes in Ontario’s Electronic Commerce Act that enable new home buyers to sign their Agreements of Purchase and Sale electronically, to the fastest high-speed broadband network in Canada along Waterfront Toronto, the condominium landscape in the GTA is changing rapidly with technological advancements.
Just a few of the condos that offer exceptional technology are Great Gulf’s Monde, where every suite is broadband ready; Dundee Kilmer’s Canary Park community, with fibre optic cabling to each suite; 45 Charles Ltd. and Edenshaw Developments’ Chaz Yorkville, which is a leading-edge building with regard to online connectivity; and The Rosedale on Bloor, where residents of SkyWatch Condos will receive Rogers Ignite 250 Unlimited Internet installed in the suites.
The market is booming with items that make connecting easier and faster, such as wireless charging night tables, audio products that allow you to manage the music and audio in your suite using your iPad, and electronics that can control things like heating, lighting, and opening and closing blinds remotely.
Many condo developers are making the parking areas future ready for electric vehicles. Can The Jetsons’ flying cars be that far away?
There is no doubt about it: Millennials are making a major impact on new home real estate today! Born between the early 1980s and early 2000s, these young people are starting to buy homes and condominiums as they mature and their lives change. A great many of them are turning to condos for financial attainability. They also appreciate the carefree living that condominiums offer, as well as proximity to local amenities and public transit. The possibility of not having to own a vehicle appeals to these young people – certainly saves a lot of money they can put toward owning a suite.
I am impressed with how well educated and savvy Millennial buyers are. They are the Internet generation, and they know how to use today’s technology and their ever-present hand-held devices to find what they want. And what they want is a home that will satisfy a more minimalist lifestyle than their baby boomer parents have. Millennials look at condominium suites in the 400-700 square-foot range as just fine for their needs, especially with today’s clever open-concept designs with flexible spaces. Building amenities essentially expand their living space so they do not have to find ways to fit exercise equipment, home theatres and large tables for entertaining in their suites. They have fitness rooms, party rooms, theatres and much more all under their roof.
Investors take note: Millennials make up a large renter market in Toronto and the GTA. They are used to paying substantial rents, and once they save up a down payment, they find carrying a mortgage un-daunting. A condominium also offers them a “neighbourhood” where they feel a real sense of belonging.
There are oh, so many reasons for offering new condominiums in Toronto and the GTA. Satisfying the needs of Millennials is an important one!