Should I buy a Older Condo or a Newer Condominium?

 

Is An Older Condo a Good Investment? This is a Question I Often Get From Toronto Home Buyers.

Most purchaser’s initial thoughts are that older condos built more than 10 years ago are relatively not as good a real estate investment, due to potential upkeep problems, & higher maintenance fees. While it’s true that some may be poorly managed and badly run, resulting in higher costs and dreaded special assessments (unexpected charges to owners), this is not necessarily the case – in fact, far from it.

 

There are several excellent older condo buildings throughout the city of Toronto. They were constructed at a time when condos were luxury investments, and not at a time – like today – when most are first time entry point purchases. As a result, many were built to a very high construction standard, with exceptional amenities, lots of space, lower maintenance fees per square foot due to better design and planning, and very good sound insulation.

Some examples include 2330 & 2350 Bridletowne Circle (Skygarden Condos) at Warden & Finch in Scarborough, 77 & 99 Harbour Square (One York Quay Condo) at Queens Quay & York in Downtown Toronto Harbourfront, 199 to 205 Wynford Drive (The Palisades Condo) at Don Mills & Eglinton in North York, 15 to 55 Austin Drive (Walden Pond Condo) in Markham near McCowan & Highway 7 in Unionville, & 2045 Lakeshore Boulevard West (Palace Pier Condos) at Lakeshore & South Kingsway in Etobicoke. Most of these were constructed in the late 70’s and 80’s.

 

Let’s consider the ‘condo space’ aspect first. Many if not most of the units in these buildings are over 1000 sq feet. That’s unheard off with many of today’s condos.

Let’s consider the ‘condo maintenance fees’ second. As most of the above buildings have been around for more than 15 years, they have excellent reserve funds (i.e. condo savings accounts) and excellent maintenance fees per square foot that for the most part include all utility costs (heat, hydro and water) unlike all condos built in the last 5 years.

Let’s consider the ‘condo investment’ element third. As the Toronto population ages, and demographic shifts that have been predicted for some time (remember “Boom Bust & Echo”) start to occur, there will inevitably be a shift from 2 storey, large houses to smaller bungalows, retirement communities and yes - condos - but not just any condo. Baby boomers are used to space, and they are not used to compromising –rightly so. These older condos are in great Toronto neighbourhoods and have all the amenities, space and quality that they are accustomed to, and I’ve seen prices increase in these buildings as the demographic shifts get under way. People buy here to live here, not to rent out their units, which is also a good thing.

So, in summary, while there are legitimate concerns about some older condominium developments, many are unwarranted, and it’s not advisable to paint all condos with the same brush. Some of the more seasoned buildings – particularly the ones that I have mentioned above – were built to accommodate the tastes and preferences of the most discriminating condo buyers. They were built by extremely competent & highly ranked builders, such as Tridel. They have stood the test of time, & on any measure, represent superb investments. Moreover, they are great communities to live!

 Ram

  

Ram Rajendram is a Toronto Real Estate Broker with Century 21 Harvest Realty Ltd. He sells condos and houses throughout the GTA, and assists home and condo buyers with their purchasing needs. He is also a Canadian Chartered Accountant and holds a Bachelors Degree in Economics from the London School of Economics (LSE)

 

 

Ram Rajendram

Ram Rajendram

Real Estate Broker
CENTURY 21 Harvest Realty Ltd., Brokerage*
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