Be Aware of the Fees

There is a lot to be said for condo living, it is simple and convenient.  You never have to worry about shoveling snow in winter or mowing the lawn in the summer.  Your building has a fitness center so no more expensive gym memberships, there is a pool and sauna you can use whenever you like and the Toronto nightlife is right on your doorstop.  There is a cost to all of this luxury and convenience and you need to be aware of the fees.

What are Condo Fees?

Essentially condo fees cover the costs of managing the complex along with the maintenance costs.  Your condo fees will pay for things like landscaping, snow removal and cleaning.  They will also cover any repairs that need to be done to the building.  In many cases repairs needed to the inside of the condo are your responsibility, clogged toilets are your problem but needing a new roof is not.

How Much Are Condo Fees?

Condos fees can vary a great deal.  Generally the close you are to downtown the higher they will be, there are exceptions to this rule.  Also the more amenities that are in the building the more you can expect to pay.  If you have fitness facilities, pools, business area and onsite restaurants or spas then you can expect to pay far more.  Don’t expect to pay less than $300 per month in fees and finding a place that low won’t be easy.  Luxury buildings will charge per square foot, for example One Bloor charges $.50 per square foot each and every month.  That means for a 1,500 square foot condo you are looking at $750 a month plus you will pay for parking on top of that.

What Happens if You Don’t Pay?

Not paying your condo fees is not an option. The management company can and will take legal action against you in the event that your condo fees end up in arrears.  They can put a lien on your property and you may find yourself in court.  You won’t be able to sell your property until the fees are paid.  Never fall behind in your condo fees it will cost you in the long run.

Before you buy into a condo you should also make sure the management company has the finances in order.  If the reserves are too low and something happens you can get stuck with a bill you didn’t expect.  Condo fees are a trade-off for hassle free living.

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Condo Living in Downtown Toronto

Toronto condos have always been in high demand and there are some incredibly luxurious buildings in the downtown core.  The condo buildings in the downtown area are built with young professionals in mind, most are sold to executives or real estate investors and those that live there embrace a certain lifestyle.  Condo living downtown means having the hustle and bustle that is Toronto right on your doorstep.

Pricing

This is prime Toronto real estate and that will be reflected in the price.  Many of the condos are sold before they are even built and the price can run up to $1,000 per square foot.  That’s right a luxury condo that is 1,000 square feet can run you well over $1 million.  If you are looking at one of the more prestigious address like Bloor and Yonge or the Four Seasons residences then expect to pay.  You can get a better deal for a used condo that are somewhere between $700 – $800 per square foot.  Just so you get an idea of how luxurious these condos can be here is an insider’s view of One Bloor West.

Investing

Toronto real estate has always been a great investment attracting buyers from all over the world.  The interest rates are favorable in Canada, the unemployment rate is one of the lowest in Canada and it has seen strong economic growth.  However foreign investment has proven a problem for local buyers.  In 2017 when the market was hot it was increasingly difficult for locals to afford and purchase property in the GTA.  The situation got so bad that the Wynne government add a tax for foreign investors leaving their properties empty.

Rentals

Renting in the downtown core has also become more difficult with an incredibly low vacancy rate.  However, if you own property in the area that you are looking to rent out then you are in luck.  Not only can you charge premium prices for your condo but you will have your pick of tenants.

If you are on the other end of the deal and are looking to rent a condo downtown then you can expect to pay.  First you should know exactly where you want to live, be it near the water or further north.  The competition will be fierce so be ready to jump on a deal as soon as possible.  You are also going to have a good credit score and a secure job.  People who have been in their jobs for a while will likely get preferential treatment.  Most importantly don’t get attached to a place until the rental agent hands you the keys.

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