Add value, and your personal touches, with an existing condo
Buying a shiny new condo is exciting. Common elements such as swanky pools, games rooms, rooftop patios, fitness centres and all the other bells and whistles can be very seductive. Not to mention all those bespoke finishes you can choose from. New can be pretty appealing.
But, buying an existing or recently built unit, and modernizing it to your liking, is also worth considering.
For starters, with an older condo, you can get in the market for about $700 per square foot. A new unit, on the other hand, can run you anywhere from $1,100 to $1,200 per sq. ft. As you can see, there can be a significant cost implication in going the new route.
To be sure, new condo showrooms are impressive, with elegant, lifestyle-rich brochures and other displays that highlight the irresistible common elements. But here’s the thing. When you consider an existing condo, there are other advantages. For instance, you will see exactly what the space and building look like. Nothing is left up to the imagination. For some people, that’s reassuring.
Moreover, with a fraction of the money you save by buying an existing unit, you can renovate the bigger space you acquire, with the contractor of your choice. Also, you can work with your contractor to find the exact finishes that suit your tastes and budget. And, importantly, you’ll get a real sense of how design changes will play out with your floorplan, because the unit already exists.
So, you can afford more space, get a customized renovation, and have control over what that looks like by going with an existing unit. It’s an alternative way to think about it.
Another consideration is that a Purchase Plus Improvement Loan can give you even more buying power. If you wish to renovate, the value that would add to your unit will increase its overall value. With such a loan, you can borrow up to 10 per cent of the total price of your property to fund the improvements. Your contractor will work with you to break down the scope of the work and all associated costs.
Those attractive common elements in brand new buildings are great. But if you’ll spend the majority of your time in your unit, renovating it and adding your own personal touches can make buying resale a compelling option.
GUY SOLOMON is the founder and CEO of Penguin Basements, started in 2011 to bring a standard of process and professionalism to a burgeoning industry.