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Location, location, location, why it’s so important when buying a condo

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Location, location, location, why it’s so important when buying a condo

I often write about condominium shoppers creating a spreadsheet or list of important items to consider. The number one thing is always location. The phrase “location, location, location” may seem trite, but in fact, it is based on solid truth. For most purchasers, the big picture is paramount in their final decision. Fortunately, in Toronto and the GTA, you will find a myriad of amazing choices, locations and designs available offered by some of the world’s finest developers and architects.

One of the first things to look at regarding location is whether the buildings are in established or up and coming neighbourhoods. You may feel that you prefer and can afford a residence in the midst of established amenities and mature trees and greenery. On the other hand, if price is a major factor for you, selecting a growing area with new amenities planned in the future might be more economically feasible. Again, you have numerous wonderful choices of both types.

Where do you work? Even with the pandemic-fuelled work-from-home scenario, there are still thousands and thousands of people across the GTA who have to go somewhere for their jobs. When you consider your commute from a new condominium, be sure to avoid the mistake of estimating times by the as-the-crow flies method. You are wise to actually do the commute during rush hour, whether by driving or using public transit, to be realistic.

And speaking of public transit, are the condos you are considering close to transportation access? In addition to making your life easier, they will hold their appeal more when you go to sell someday. Our transportation infrastructure continues to grow and expand, which is a wonderful boon to residents everywhere.

Transportation aside, what about walkability? Most condo owners want to live where they can shop, dine out, run errands and the like within a quick stroll. Visit walkscore.com, plug in the address of a condo, and you can find out what amenities and services are within walking distance.

How about the places and people you visit often – family and friends, and any clubs and associations you belong to? Will they be easy to get to from the new locales you are looking at? If you are a member of a yacht club or keep a boat on Lake Ontario, you might want to live right by the water.

Of course, price, architecture, building amenities, features and finishes and builder reputation and track record should all have prominent places in your comparison list or spreadsheet. Wherever and whatever you buy, keep in mind that when you purchase new, you benefit from the latest design and construction standards, as Ontario Building Code is regularly amended to increase quality and energy efficiency.

New-home buyers in the GTA are among the luckiest in the world. So, enjoy your shopping, consider the details and remember the big picture. Then take your place in it in a beautiful new condo!

Barbara Lawlor is President and CEO of Baker Real Estate Inc. and winner of the pinnacle 2017 Riley Brethour Award from BILD, among other accolades. A member of the Baker team since 1993, she oversees the marketing and sales of condominium developments in Canada in the GTA, Vancouver, Calgary and Montreal, and internationally in Beijing. bakerrealestate.com

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Outdoor lovers love condos

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Outdoor lovers love condos

If you are an active person who loves the outdoors and think you have to live in a lowrise home to be happy, think again! Condominiums offer ample opportunities to stay active and enjoy being outside without ever leaving the building.

First, today’s condominium suites have extra-large windows that bring the outdoors in on a daily basis. Gorgeous city, tree and/or lake vistas help to keep condo residents grounded, no matter what floor they live on. And then of course, there are balconies where residents can place outdoor furniture and planters to grow everything from flowers to herbs and tomatoes. Unless you plan on growing giant pumpkins, gardening is no longer the exclusive pastime for people in lowrise homes with backyards.

On a more public level, new condominiums feature gorgeous common areas that offer outdoor recreation and enjoyment. Landscaped courtyards at ground level are perfect for sitting in the sun using a personal electronic device or even … gasp … reading a paper publication. Oh, and sipping on a coffee or tea enriches that experience.

In the buildings themselves, you may find any number of other outdoor or indoor/outdoor spaces such as Zen gardens and yoga areas. Rooftop terraces are beautiful and exciting. Discover barbecues, outdoor kitchens, fire pits, loungers or pools; the possibilities are fascinating. Imagine sitting and lapping up the views under a clear blue or dramatic evening sky.

As for the keeping active part of the condo lifestyle, that begins at ground level with location. Today’s new condos are situated close to amenities. Residents can usually walk or ride a bicycle to run a variety of errands or dine out or visit attractions or shop – you get the picture. In the City of Toronto, condos are are required to contain a certain number of bicycle parking spots to accommodate this healthful trend.

Then, of course, there are fitness facilities in most, if not all, new condominiums – and they are so well equipped that residents can give up expensive gym memberships. They can throw on some workout clothes, take the elevator to the fitness room, exercise and then go back to their suite without braving the weather or having to start the car. Today’s state-of- the-art fitness rooms have high ceilings, massive windows and elaborate equipment. Some even enable team sports in a gymnasium, and many have Pilates/yoga areas or climbing walls. They may include change rooms, saunas, steam rooms, whirlpools, plunge pools and/or swimming pools to vary the experience. Keeping active is so important to people today, that some condominium corporations are hiring recreational coordinators to organize classes and events. Who needs a commercial fitness club, when you have all of this right at home?

Whether you prefer a brisk walk, a vigorous weight workout, an energetic aerobics class, a feel-good yoga session, basketball game, swim or some green-thumb bending and stretching, in a condominium, the fulfillment of your exercise needs is at your doorstep.

Barbara Lawlor is president and CEO of Baker Real Estate Inc., winner of the pinnacle 2017 Riley Brethour Award from BILD, and an indemand columnist and speaker. A member of the Baker team since 1993, she oversees the marketing and sales of condominium developments in the GTA and overseas. Keep current with The Baker Blog at blog.bakerrealestate.com

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Invest in your future

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Invest in your future

Whether you are thinking of investing in a condominium suite for financial or lifestyle reasons, you win either way. Even if you plan to live in your suite and enjoy the carefree condo lifestyle, in the long run, you benefit financially as well. Condos continue to rise in price, even with the pandemic affecting our lives, and the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Toronto is nearly $2,300. Tucking a condo into your financial portfolio has the potential to be a lucrative investment. In addition to earning equity and rental income, a condo suite is concrete, rather than simply words on paper. You can touch it, keep an eye on it, and it’s easier to understand than stocks.

People who live in their suites add a lifestyle investment to their enjoyment. The fact you don’t have to worry about building maintenance frees up your valuable time. And isn’t time something we all want more of nowadays? It is pure luxury to have everything from staff wages to the cleaning, upkeep and repair of building systems facilitated by the residence’s condominium corporation. Residents say good bye to clearing snow, mowing lawns, weeding gardens, sweeping leaves… You get the picture. Maintenance fees also cover the cleaning, upkeep and repair of the building’s amenities. Once the pandemic is a thing of the past, residents will once again be able to enjoy these wonderful spaces. Having amenities right in the building means residents save on gas and wear-and-tear on vehicles to go to gyms, which is better for the environment.

Another lifestyle benefit of condo living involves security. New buildings incorporate everything from eyes-on-the-street with a carefully placed concierge in the lobby, to strategically placed cameras in other areas. With advances in technology, we are also seeing more security measures showing up in condominium suites themselves. Systems may be in place to enable residents to control who they invite in via smart phone apps and in-suite monitors. Some suites even come equipped with home automation that allows owners to adjust the temperature and position of the blinds from their mobile devices, so the suite is comfortable when they get home. In addition, I have always said that a condo is essentially a vertical community where people get to know each other in the common areas. As a result, they tend to look out for each other as well, and to notice if anything is amiss.

As for locations, new condominiums are situated in areas in such a way that they take advantage of existing and future infrastructure, such as public transit routes and local amenities. Often, condo residents can walk to shop, dine out or attend a live theatre/concert performance. In a city such as Toronto, which has an abundance of trees and greenery, parks are usually close by as well.

People of all age groups and family configurations are choosing condos for their homes and/or their investments. In fact, think of your life as a portfolio. Adding a condominium as your residence is a wise and fun way to invest in your future.

Barbara Lawlor is president and CEO of Baker Real Estate Inc., winner of the pinnacle 2017 Riley Brethour Award from BILD, and an indemand columnist and speaker. A member of the Baker team since 1993, she oversees the marketing and sales of condominium developments in the GTA and overseas. Keep current with The Baker Blog at blog.bakerrealestate.com

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The condo buyer when money is no object

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The condo buyer when money is no object

Yes, there are people out there who can afford to purchase a new condominium residence without worrying about price! These elite buyers are fortunate enough to be able to satisfy every need and desire they have in their surroundings. They can choose to live in prestigious areas that may be out of the financial reach for many prospective condo buyers. And when it comes to suite design and appointments, the sky’s the limit.

For example, let’s say someone selects a sprawling penthouse that measures several thousand square feet. Usually, the developer offers the opportunity to customize extensively. Perhaps a traditional layout is the preference, or maybe the buyer would like a more contemporary plan. Living and dining rooms can be separate, or they can be part of a large open-concept living area that could accommodate entertaining on a grand scale. If purchasers are rightsizing from a large lowrise home, they may still want an opulent space for holding galas.

And oh, the sumptuous features and finishes that can be brought in from around the world! In kitchens alone, I have seen everything from pasta taps at the stove to vegetable steamers by the sink, exotic backsplashes, custom-designed hardware, appliances that rise out of the counter with the press of a button, and even wine cooling rooms or niches.

As for master bedrooms and ensuites, well, the possibilities are positively elegant. If the buyers are art collectors, they may opt for a feature wall on which to hang their favourite works. Those who are into being pampered might want marble counters, lavish oval standalone soaker tubs, heated floors, spa features and even a steam room.

Among the other elements elite purchasers may choose are items such as multiple fireplaces, posh chandeliers, back-lit coffered panels on high ceilings, an exercise room, home theatre, media room, whirlpool, multiple balconies and maybe a private landscaped rooftop terrace with a pool. Need space for quarters for the help? It’s likely possible, as well as a separate entrance and sometimes a private elevator.

Nowadays, condominiums are graced with spectacular building amenities as well, and these are essentially extensions of suite owners’ living spaces. If the penthouse is not large enough to accommodate a large family gathering, the multi-purpose party room is just the answer. Having a concierge book theatre seats for you, arrange a dog-walker, accept dry cleaning and parcels, and in some cases valet services is indeed a privilege.

Another way to live an ultra-pampered lifestyle in a condominium is to purchase a residence above a five-star hotel. Suite owners have access to world-class amenities in the hotel below. They can indulge in spa treatments and dine at a superb restaurant without leaving the building.

We read a lot these days about condos being the relatively affordable choice for first-time buyers in Toronto and across the Greater Toronto Area. Isn’t it fascinating that condos are also the choice of so many elite buyers? Money may not buy happiness, but it can buy the level of surroundings that make people feel special every time they walk into their fabulous condominium suite!

Barbara Lawlor is president and CEO of Baker Real Estate Inc., winner of the pinnacle 2017 Riley Brethour Award from BILD, and an indemand columnist and speaker. A member of the Baker team since 1993, she oversees the marketing and sales of condominium developments in the GTA and overseas. Keep current with The Baker Blog at blog.bakerrealestate.com

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How to buy in a time of escalating prices

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How to buy in a time of escalating prices

Affordability is a hot topic today when it comes to new home real estate, including condominiums. Yes, prices are prohibitive for many prospective buyers. The thing is, however, that people are purchasing with enthusiasm, as they recognize what a great lifestyle and financial investment a condo in Toronto or the GTA is these days.

How can they afford it? The down payment is often the deterrent to buying, but perhaps the bank of mom and dad can help with that. Sometimes, parents of grown children purchase a condo suite for their offspring to live in temporarily while in college or university, then hand over ownership once the young people finish their post-secondary education, are employed and can afford to keep up mortgage payments.

Then again, some buyers are harnessing out-of-the-box thinking when it comes to affordability. For example, co-ownership has become an alternative for many. Co-ownership involves non-related (often) people or relatives sharing ownership of a home. Although it is not an entirely new concept, it is gaining such popularity that the Province of Ontario has developed a guide called “Co-owning a home.” You can find the guide at ontario.ca/document/co-owning-home.

Part of More Homes, More Choice: Ontario’s Housing Supply Action Plan, this guide was developed after roundtable discussions with stakeholders to determine best practices and what advice people would need. The benefits of co-owning include more than just affordability; buyers can have access to living quarters larger than they could on their own. Someone who can afford only a compact one-bedroom suite may be able to go for a larger two-bedroom suite by co-owning.

The guide is, however, not the ultimate when it comes to the rule of law. The Province advises that it is important to obtain legal advice to protect your interests when co-buying. There should be a legal contract that all co-ownership purchasers sign to clarify rights and responsibilities. This legal agreement may possibly support an application for mortgage financing as well.

Financial outlays include mortgage payments, property taxes, utilities, repairs and home insurance. How will these be divided? In addition, there is a lot to consider besides who pays what, when. For example, how will the workload to keep up the suite be divided? How and when can the suite be used to entertain guests? If life circumstances change, can the co-ownership agreement be altered? What happens if and when one of the parties wants to leave the co-ownership arrangement?

Work with an experienced sales person who is familiar with co-ownership, as well as a real estate lawyer who understands the process. Co-ownership of a condominium suite can be an effective and smart way to enter the new home real estate market to build equity together. The great news is that mortgage interest rates remain low, so the moral of the story is to get in now, rather than later. I always say, a happy purchaser is an educated, informed one.

BARBARA LAWLOR is president and CEO of Baker Real Estate Inc., winner of the pinnacle 2017 Riley Brethour Award from BILD, and an indemand columnist and speaker. A member of the Baker team since 1993, she oversees the marketing and sales of condominium developments in the GTA and overseas. Keep current with The Baker Blog at blog.bakerrealestate.com

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The perks of condo living

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The perks of condo living

Over the years, condominiums have become the new home choice of people of all ages and walks of life. And why not? Decades ago, empty nesters and retirees discovered the benefits of selling their large lowrise homes and opting for a more carefree lifestyle. They were (and still are) happy to leave behind outdoor maintenance and total reliance on a vehicle to take them to run errands, access recreational venues and other activities. With amenities right in their building, convenience was a daily nicety. And with today’s condos situated close to local amenities such as shopping, entertainment venues, restaurants and the like, an outing is usually just a quick stroll, bus or subway ride away.

11YV by Metropia
11YV by Metropia

Nowadays, condos have come a long way, and the assortment and quality of condo amenities are topnotch. It is a luxury to host large gatherings in the party/multi-use room without affecting your private suite. Rooftop barbecues make it possible to dine al fresco while taking in spectacular city or lake views. Exercising regularly is appealing, with a beautiful and professionally equipped fitness facility in the building.

In addition, today’s young professionals and families are stressed to the max with hectic lifestyles, so condos have become a popular choice for them as well. Leaving exterior and shared spaces cleaning, upkeep and repairs to someone else frees up precious time for leisure activities and family. Yes, residents pay a monthly maintenance fee, but keep in mind that the services those fees cover protect suite owners’ privacy, safety and investment.

Even the opportunity to own a new condo is appealing, as lowrise homes are out of the financial reach of many would-be buyers. Price is a major motivating factor for buying a new condo, regardless of age or life circumstances. The potential for earning a substantial return-on-investment is also a bonus.

Lifestyle is also a key factor in the decision to go condo, and the benefits go beyond the convenience of having wonderful amenities just an elevator ride away. The peace-of-mind that comes from knowing you have built-in security aspects from strategically placed cameras to the eyes-on-the-street of concierge service is priceless.

Remember, too, that a condominium is a vertical community in which neighbours get to know each other in the lobby, hallways, elevators and amenity spaces on a daily basis. The beauty of this arrangement is that if something is amiss, likely someone will notice it. Condo residents tend to look out for each other, even more so than in lowrise communities, where neighbours may not see each other for long periods of time.

Another appealing aspect of condo living is being able to go away on business trips or holidays without worrying about the upkeep and security of your home. If you have not yet invested in a condominium suite for your own life, or as an investment, 2020 is the year to do it, while interest rates are still at remarkably low rates. You’ll be glad you did!

Barbara Lawlor is president and CEO of Baker Real Estate Inc., winner of the pinnacle 2017 Riley Brethour Award from BILD, and an indemand columnist and speaker. A member of the Baker team since 1993, she oversees the marketing and sales of condominium developments in the GTA and overseas. Keep current with The Baker Blog at blog.bakerrealestate.com

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What does my crystal ball say about design this year?

What does my crystal ball say about design this year?

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What does my crystal ball say about design this year?

Over the years that I have been involved in new condominium marketing and sales, I have seen suite designs evolve to keep up with changing purchaser needs and wants. Separate kitchens have morphed into linear layouts and become part of the main living area. Barn doors on bedrooms have eliminated the space required for swing doors. Entrance hallways are rare nowadays, as they represent wasted space.

I have been thinking about what changes might be next, and I believe one may be the attitude toward balconies by both developers and buyers. As prices have increased dramatically over the past few years, square footages have gotten smaller to make suites more affordable. Currently, having a personal outdoor space is a must for many buyers, so developers typically include as many balconies as the building design will allow for. Nowadays, however, with prices continuing to rise, I see buyers wanting every square foot possible in their suite interiors. If you look at, say, a 10-by-five-ft. balcony, that is 50 sq. ft. that could make a big difference inside. This predicted trend is a reality in cities such as New York right now, where you do not get balconies in new condos period.

Looking at this another way, keep in mind that the outdoor shared amenity spaces in today’s condos are extraordinary. When residents want to commune with nature, there are plenty of opportunities to do so in courtyards and on terraces and rooftop gardens. We even see urban vegetable and herb gardens in some condos.

The other design trend I see catching on in the future is the addition of more Zen-type spaces in the amenity rosters of condos. In many ways, the condominium lifestyle is conducive to well-being and healthy living. Buildings are located close to local amenities so residents can walk or bicycle to run errands. Exercise facilities right in the buildings makes keeping fit convenient. Lately, I notice yoga/Pilates and stretch studios being included as well, plus Zen gardens to encourage meditation.

There has been a lot of media attention recently to circadian rhythms – our 24-hour cycles that are affected by internal physiology, as well as sunlight, temperature and other external cues. In short, our circadian rhythms are our sleep/wake cycles. When these are out of whack – which happens a lot nowadays because of our hectic lifestyles – we can experience insomnia, daytime sleepiness or both, putting us at greater risk of cardiovascular and metabolic disorders. The trend toward including Zen gardens and areas in new condos has started, and I see more of this type of shared space in the future. We will likely even see nap rooms in offices and work areas, to encourage mindfulness and enhanced health.

The word from the agencies we deal with at Baker Real Estate Incorporated is that condominiums represent 60 per cent of new construction, and that percentage is growing. Imagine the positive impact that the increase in well-being for condo residents will have on society as a whole!

BARBARA LAWLOR is president and CEO of Baker Real Estate Inc., winner of the pinnacle 2017 Riley Brethour Award from BILD, and an in-demand columnist and speaker. A member of the Baker team since 1993, she oversees the marketing and sales of condominium developments in the GTA and overseas. Keep current with The Baker Blog.


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Why are condos selling like hotcakes in Toronto and the GTA?

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Why are condos selling like hotcakes in Toronto and the GTA?

To say that condominiums have become the new home of choice for most buyers in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area is an understatement. Even in the face of rising costs, the new condo market is continually robust.

The first reason is, of course, price. The cost of single-family homes has skyrocketed to the point that first-time buyers, in particular, are just not able to afford them. Even with prices of condos rising, they are still typically more financially attainable. People are also coming up with creative ways to afford condos, such as co-purchasing. Parents of college and university age children also often find buying a condo for their kids to live in while attending post-secondary school is more economical than paying for them to stay in a dorm. At the end, these parents have earned equity as well. Just look at how well condo owners who purchased a few years ago are doing. Savvy investors will also tell you that a condominium suite is a great addition to a financial portfolio. The nice thing is that exterior maintenance and amenity repair and upkeep are handled for them.

Lifestyle also has a lot to do with the trend toward condominiums. People of all ages today are just plain busy. Their lifestyles are hectic, so eliminating exterior maintenance from their lives frees up time for family, friends and leisure activities. And in a condo, they have wonderful amenities just an elevator ride away. Today’s beautiful common areas range from chic party rooms to equipped fitness centres, technologically advanced theatres, glorious swimming pools, spectacular barbecue terraces, children’s play centres and more!

Here is another reason – for most people, condominium living is fun. With people passing each other in hallways and meeting in elevators and common areas, they get to know their neighbours. There are so many options for relaxing, exercising and interacting in areas such as games rooms, that the building is truly a vertical community. In fact, condo purchasers have told me they rarely knew their neighbours in their single-family home communities, and that they find it easier to make friends in their building.

The icing on the condominium ownership cake is location. Nowadays, buildings are situated close to public transit and local amenities. In fact, many condo owners do not even need to own a vehicle, which frees up thousands of dollars to put toward their other expenses. There is a certain freedom that comes with being able to walk or hop on a bus or subway to go to work or run errands. Toronto and the GTA locations are all home to superb shopping, cultural venues, schools, parks, recreation centres… you get the picture.

If you are looking for a new home, and even if you can afford a single-family residence, consider a condo for any or all of the above reasons. Around the world, apartments and condominiums are the norm for everyone from singles to young couples, emptynesters and even families. Toronto and the GTA are catching up. Viva the condo!

Barbara Lawlor is president and CEO of Baker Real Estate Inc., winner of the pinnacle 2017 Riley Brethour Award from BILD, and an indemand columnist and speaker. A member of the Baker team since 1993, she oversees the marketing and sales of condominium developments in the GTA and overseas. Keep current with The Baker Blog at blog.bakerrealestate.com

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Fall into value with a new condo

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Fall into value with a new condo

When it comes to new condominiums, the word “value” refers to how much you get for your money, both now and in the future. Of course, every buyer, regardless of circumstances and means, wants to get the most possible in the purchase of a new condominium. So, what are the elements that make up value?

I would say that location is first. Given the demand for condos in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area, pretty much any location is perfect for someone. Many purchasers choose buildings in up-and-coming areas in order to get in before prices go up as new amenities and infrastructure are added. Others who have the wherewithal, choose to live in already established, prestigious neighbourhoods they know will always be desirable. The hot button nowadays is proximity to transit, and any condominium near or on a transit line is bound to sell quickly to buyers who realize the value in not having to own and maintain a vehicle to get around. Add to that easily reachable local shopping, parks, services, restaurants, schools and the like, and location takes on an even deeper significance.

Next, consider aesthetics. Architecture can have a huge effect on desirability – and fortunately, developers offer a range of styles to satisfy every taste from sleek and modern to contemporary and traditional. From the outside, a condo should feel like “home” to purchasers, so the exterior does make a difference. Today’s designs also include brilliant landscape plans that enhance the beauty and sustainability of the buildings.

Amenities are another consideration in the decision-making process for condo-shoppers. There is nothing more convenient than having wonderful common areas right in the building. These may range from retail venues on the ground floor to pools, party rooms, fitness facilities, lounges, libraries, theatres, rooftop barbecue and dining areas, pet grooming spots, and even golf simulators. Certainly, one of the best parts of living in a condo is having a simple elevator commute to access these attractive areas. Some condos go so far as to employ activity coordinators to help residents make the most of their “homes.”

And speaking of “home,” condo buyers (unless they choose completed inventory suites) have the privilege of selecting the features and finishes that will make them comfortable and appeal to their senses. Today’s choices are phenomenal, even when buyers stick to the standards. The quality and selection alone speak to value, both to end-users and investors. Even those who live in their suites benefit in the future when selling to move on. Lovely finishes that stand the test of time will always be selling features.

One more thing is to consider the developer’s reputation. There is a certain cachet inherent in buying in a building created by a company that has earned a reputation for providing value and excellent customer service. It is easy to research the history of developers, now that we have the Internet at our fingertips. Do some research and find out about the “pros” that add up to value. In the long run, you’ll make a value-packed new condo decision!

Barbara Lawlor is president and CEO of Baker Real Estate Inc., winner of the pinnacle 2017 Riley Brethour Award from BILD, and an indemand columnist and speaker. A member of the Baker team since 1993, she oversees the marketing and sales of condominium developments in the GTA and overseas. Keep current with The Baker Blog at blog.bakerrealestate.com

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Women buyers a force in the condo marketplace

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Women buyers a force in the condo marketplace

According to Statistics Canada, the number of single-person households has more than doubled over the past 35 years, and many of the people in this group are women. Although at one time, this group was largely made up of widowed seniors, these days women living alone come from every age group, especially between the ages of 35 to 64. According to a StatsCan report, one in five people who live alone do so in condominiums. Last year, a report in the U.S. showed that single women are the second-largest group, after married couples, of home purchasers.

At Baker Real Estate Inc., we regularly see this trend in action, with women choosing condominium suites as their primary residences, vacation residences and/or investment properties. One-bedroom suites sell like hotcakes, and I estimate that about a third of our sales for our clients are to female buyers. They may be young first-time purchasers who understand the value of owning a home, and who choose condos because of their relative affordability in the Greater Toronto Area. We have even helped women buy a condominium suite in partnership with another female in order to afford a larger suite than they would be able to carry by themselves, – a great way for both to build equity.

Seasoned professionals often want to live closer to where they work. Other scenarios include single mothers, or any women who have become widowed or separated and are now facing life on their own. Condos also offer a sense of freedom for women who travel extensively. They can just lock the door and leave, knowing they don’t have to worry about snow removal, lawn mowing and the cleaning and upkeep on the condominium’s amenities. In addition, there are savvy investors who recognize a tremendous return-on-investment opportunity.

Many who intend to live in the suites they buy appreciate the community and security aspects of condominium living. The concierge, for example, provides screening for visitors and “eyes on the street.” Today’s buildings are also equipped with advanced security features such as monitored cameras in the underground parking garage, entry phone and in-suite security systems.

Condos in essence are vertical neighbourhoods, and women appreciate the sense of community they find in these residences. If and when they need help with anything, plenty of neighbours live close by. Over time, they get to know each other in the elevators, hallways and amenity spaces. They may trade favours such as watering plants and caring for pets while away.

New condos also appeal partially because of the “new” aspect. I believe that every woman has a decorator in her soul, so being able to select your own colours and materials for flooring, countertops and other finishes is appealing.

Women of all ages and walks of life benefit from all aspects of condominium living. Buying instead of renting is a wonderful investment in their financial and lifestyle future, and they can enjoy the fruits of this investment every day.

Barbara Lawlor is president and CEO of Baker Real Estate Inc., winner of the pinnacle 2017 Riley Brethour Award from BILD, and an indemand columnist and speaker. A member of the Baker team since 1993, she oversees the marketing and sales of condominium developments in the GTA and overseas. Keep current with The Baker Blog at blog.bakerrealestate.com

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