Many people struggle with the decision of whether to buy a condo. The stage of your life has a lot to do with the answer to this question. For those in their 20’s and 30’s, the only property that they can afford to own is a condominium. For empty-nesters, it makes most sense to sell the family home and move to a condo. There are many lifestyle considerations that guide this decision.
The following is a list of the advantages and disadvantages of buying a condo.
Amenities: Condos come with underground parking, concierge service, mail service, pools, exercise rooms, party rooms, libraries, computer rooms, business centres, etc. How nice would it be to have a pool for your friends, kids or grandkids to swim in? How about walking into a warm car in the middle of the winter?
Community: In condo living, you get to know your neighbours. Many condos hold social events, classes, card games and shows where you get to meet your neighbours.
No more maintenance: The days of mowing the lawn, shovelling the driveway or fixing the shingles on your roof are over. This is especially ideal if you travel for business or pleasure. You just lock your door and leave all your worries regarding your property to the condo managers.
Location: Although condos are available everywhere, many people are motivated to purchase condos to move into the city and enjoy city life. Very few people can afford to live at the most prestigious locations such as Avenue Road and St. Clair, Yonge and Bloor, King and Bathurst, or Yorkville. There are fabulous condos throughout the city and new ones under development.
Security: Entry into condos is very secure. Guests need to be authorized to enter. Anyone else is unable to enter without the approval of a condo owner. Almost all condos employ lobby security guards.
Comfort: Young or old, healthy or compromised, condo living is for everybody. Parking is underground. Access to all floors is by elevator. The entire space is on one floor. No more stairs, floors or basements.
Affordability: Condos are available in all sizes, neighbourhoods and levels. There are high-rises and low-rises. There are adults-only condos and family-friendly condos. There are condos that permit pets and those that don’t. There are condos on the subway and condos outside of the city. Maintenance fees vary from building to building depending on the number of units and the amenities offered. Condos usually cost considerably less than a home. Choosing the right condo requires careful investigation and research. That is why most people find the right match by using realtors who are most familiar with the condo, the condo manager and the original condo builder. Realtors like The Graff Girls are extremely knowledgable and familiar with condos in Toronto so that your particular lifestyle and economic needs are met by the right condo.
Condo Fees: All condos levy a monthly charge on its owners for services such as maintenance, services, security, garbage removal and landscaping. Condos with lots of amenities have high condo costs. There can also be special assessment for unforeseen expenses. Condos with many units spread the expenses amongst many owners and can be lower. It is critical to seek advice on the quality and quantity of the particular condo’s services when considering options.
Parking: Parking is generally limited. Normally each owner is granted 1 or 2 parking spots. Although there is guest parking, some condos charge for guest parking and prohibit overnight parking.
Elevator: In some condos, the wait for the elevator can be long and frustrating. Moving furniture or large items can be challenging. The elevator always needs to be reserved in advance.
Less Privacy: In condos, walls, ceilings and floors are all shared with your neighbours. Although most condos are constructed with noise prevention, there are cases where the noise from the neighbour is heard. For some, this could be distracting and frustrating.
Rules & Bylaws: Condos have lots of rules. Condos have rules for guest parking, barbecues, door hangings, balcony use, etc. Most of the rules are created in order to ensure a consistent and uniform appearance, as well as the safety and security of the occupants. But for some, the rules could be annoying.
In conclusion, condo living can be amazing, exciting and comfortable. However, in a city like Toronto, with so many options for condo living, it is critical to be guided and advised by a realtor who has the experience, familiarity and expertise in condominiums. The Graff Girls have represented buyers and sellers of condos for the last 25 years and are able to ensure that you make the right choice, to buy the right condo, in the right place, from the right builder, at the right time.
Divorce raises many emotional, financial, legal and housing questions. At a time of separation, the spouses have many questions swirling around. It is at this very difficult time that homeowners need neutral, objective and expert advice.
Do I stay in our home?
Can I afford to buy out my spouse?
What can I get if I sell?
THE GRAFF GIRLS are real estate experts who have helped hundreds of divorcing couples make the right decisions.
Some of their clients decided to stay put. Samantha and Cheryl have helped them set the buy-out price and helped the other spouse relocate nearby.
Some of their clients decided to sell. In which case, Samantha and Cheryl have helped them maximize their sale price and found them new homes close by.
THE GRAFF GIRLS have a preferred list of professionals that we trust and regularly rely upon for our valued clients. Samantha and Cheryl work closely with other experts such as stagers, mortgage lenders, financial planners, family lawyers, divorce mediators, therapists and movers.
But the most valuable advice that Samantha and Cheryl give their clients is a careful and balanced review of the emotional, lifestyle, financial and legal considerations for each options.
Do I stay in our home?
THE GRAFF GIRLS have advised divorcing spouses for decades and have helped them navigate this change of lifestyle with ease, speed and integrity. The decision to remain or vacate the family home is a heavy question to answer. Cheryl and Samantha will help you consider all of the reasons to stay, and all of the reasons to sell, so that you have carefully considered all your options. Most importantly, Samantha and Cheryl are familiar with the schools, programs and services in the different parts of Toronto to assist you in considering the consequences on the children.
Can I afford to buy out my spouse?
THE GRAFF GIRLS are award winning realtors who have established their reputation at securing sellers the maximum sale price, but also the very best terms of sale (eg. closing date). This is no small matter. Samantha and Cheryl encourage and are happy to introduce you to well respected, experienced financial advisors and/or accountant sto help determine your situation.
What can I get if I sell?
THE GRAFF GIRLS will study the sale prices of all nearby properties sold and then analyze the differences to arrive at the fair market value of your home. They will also help you understand what your net proceeds will be after the sale of the property. That way, you make an educated decision to buyout your spouse.
Before you make any decision regarding the sale of your home, be sure to speak with THE GRAFF GIRLS. Cheryl and Samantha will ensure you consider all your options, and understand the ramifications of each choice. With this information, you are sure to make the right decision that is in your (and your children’s) best interests.
Since 1995, THE GRAFF GIRLS have helped over 1,000 families buy and sell their homes in the GTA. Year after year, they have maintained a high standing across the board of TREB. They were recognized in 2017 as being in the top 1.2% in sales. Source: IMS
The Graff Girls have consistently been Award Winning realtors in Toronto for over 35 years. Their achievements are a reflection of their expertise, diligence, discretion and strong negotiation skills.
Both Cheryl and Samantha are greatly respected by their clients and peers alike, as is evident by their high level of repeat business and ongoing referrals.
The Graff Girls marketing strategy goes beyond the local market of Toronto via online and print advertising through exclusive Harvey Kalles affiliations.
Toronto's real estate market has had some recent interesting comparable statistics between April 2018 and May 2018.
*Sales are up
*Active listings are up
*Average price is up
*Days on market are down
The Graff Girls have well qualified clients to purchase homes in a variety of neighbourhoods. They would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you in the strictest of confidence to provide a free market evaluation of your home.
- THE GRAFF GIRLS were in the top 6 percentile of units sold
& top .5% of value
- THE GRAFF GIRLS sold their homes in an average of 6.5 DAYS compared to the overall average of 33.2 days it took to sell a home.
- THE GRAFF GIRLS average sale was $1,794,750
- 262% higher than the TREB $495,391 average price
- THE GRAFF GIRLS sold their listings at 98.5% of asking price
*stats are from TREB (Toronto Real Estate Board)
A referral is the highest compliment our friends, family or clients can ever give to us. Thank you to all who have continued to pass our names on to their own family, friends, colleagues and/or clients. Your confidence and support is greatly appreciated.
Cheryl and I look forward to meeting your nearest and dearest in 2013 or when the time is right!
Happy April! May SPRING get its groove on sooner than later!