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BUSINESS BLOG


9 Features to Look For in a Condo


Brady Stone 2016-06-23

Once you've decided on location, age, and style of the condo you want to buy in Toronto, you can refine your search even further by deciding which features are most important. Here are some features to consider when you are looking to buy a condominium.

  Appliances

Lots of new or newer developments will offer upgraded appliances like stainless steel microwaves, fridges, and ranges. Older developments might have standard appliances or will have upgraded. Most units will have laundry hook-ups but each owner usually has to furnish those appliances themselves.

Age Restrictions

Certain condo communities have age restrictions that cater to the older population. These are usually marketed as “active adult communities” or “retirement communities” and while kids and grandkids are permitted to visit, some communities limit overnight stays to so many per consecutive days or a certain number of days per year.

Parking

If you have a vehicle, convenient parking is a priority when looking to buy a condo unit. Most developments offer on-site parking either under the building or adjacent to the structure. A lot of times, each unit will be assigned a certain number of passes based on the number of bedrooms in the unit. Any time a vehicle is in the parking area, the pass must be displayed. Sometimes owners can purchase extra parking permits.

Common Areas

Common area features make developments unique, and buyers should take into consideration the amenities that they find desirable as well as those they find undesirable. Condo dues will be based on common areas, so if the condo offers something you don’t need, you may want to give it a pass and look for a development with the amenities you will use.

Social Opportunities

If your social life is important to you and you want to be involved with the community, speak with residents about nearby opportunities that exist. There may be regularly scheduled events like book clubs, potluck meals, pool parties, or shopping trips. Events may be off- or on-site. Even if the development doesn’t promote or sanction activities, some residents may have an informal get-together on a regular basis for things like card games or running clubs. Rosedale is a great area to live in for social opportunities, so you may want to talk to a real estate agent at Slavens & Associates Real Estate for a property near this area.

Security

Condominium developments may have a number of different security measures in place such as gated parking areas, secure entry, staffed gate houses, cameras and video surveillance, locked access to community facilities, well-lit common areas and hallways, security guards, and community watch programs. Other security features may include safe landscaping and perimeter fencing. There should be an emergency plan in place for dealing with power failure, fire, natural disaster, or flood, and large developments should have fire suppression systems. All buildings must have carbon monoxide detectors (where required) and smoke detectors.

Unit Upgrades

Units in the same development will often have different floor plans and packages from which to choose. Some may also have upgrades to appeal to certain buyers. These upgrades may include additional parking spaces, flooring upgrades, kitchen upgrades, luxury bathrooms, upgraded window treatments, additional storage space, stylish light fixtures, and interim finish elements.

Storage Space

Condo units must offer adequate storage space so look for sufficient kitchen cupboards, bedroom closets, living room and dining room cabinets, entry closets, and bathroom/linen storage. Some developments offer an extra closet outside of the unit for larger or lesser-used items like sporting equipment, bicycles, and beach chairs.

Square Footage

Regardless of whether you are looking at single-family dwellings or a condo unit, you must take into consideration the space that is offered, both in terms of the number of bedrooms as well as the actual square footage. To learn how to calculate squrae footage, check out this WikiHow guide.

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