Condominiums, apartments or high-rise buildings are among the various types of accommodation found in Toronto. Condominiums or condo for short are owner-managed units within a high-rise facility.
Each unit is sold to individuals, while the building manager or property manager maintains the shared facilities. The individuals that own the units of course can rent their units. Many condo owners use this as an investment opportunity when purchasing their condominiums.
There are many International investors in the Toronto condominium market as well as domestic purchasers. Individuals also purchase condos prior to completion of construction as speculative opportunities, hoping the prices of the unit will increase before the sale closes thus allowing for a profitable resale.
When purchasing a unit prior to the completion of construction only a deposit is required initially. This is often approximately $50, 000 to show proof of commitment. This money is often not refundable, though the date for completion may change and the price of the unit may also change.
The deposit guarantees your purchase price to remain as it was at the time of your deposit. If the market is on an upswing your unit will have increased in value by the time you close. If the market is suffering the units may be lowered in value, though you will still be paying the same price at the time of your deposit.
The latter is rare, as the prices of materials and labor tend to increase as opposed to decrease, and the value of the unit tends to either stay the same or increase during construction.
Apartments are buildings that are owned by an individual, corporation or business and the individual units are rented out to interested parties. There is a property manager that works to maintain the facilities and common areas.
The owners of the building hire property managers, or in the case of a condominium, are hired by the board. The Board of directors in a condo are elected individuals with interest in the building either tenant or owner. An annual election will allow new individuals an opportunity to apply and run for positions on this board.
The Board will also host an annual general meeting where the new board members are announced and returning board members reinstated. At the meeting several items are discussed including the finances of the building fund, and the ongoing projects and maintenance needs of the building.When living in a condo each unit is charged a maintenance fee. This fee is charged in an amount per square foot of the unit. Therefore larger units often incur greater maintenance fees etc.
These fees are pooled into a fund overseen by the board in order to cover the maintenance costs of the common areas and amenities. Amenities in many condos and apartments include the elevators, stairs, parking garage, swimming pools and gyms. Today many condo communities boast theatres, tennis and squash courts, mini-putt golf and even bowling alleys.
Toronto real estate districts are defined demographically by location. There are of course areas that will have clusters of high-rises and areas that are predominantly houses.
The downtown core of Toronto is home to many condominiums and apartments. Space is limited and the convenience is priceless. Most condo units increase in price for the upper floors of the structure. This can be in the range of $1,000 per floor for the same unit.
For example, a 500 square foot unit in a given building could charge $300,000 on the first floor and the same unit on the 30th floor may be at least $30,000 more. Some buildings will change the design from the 20th floor up and increase the height of the ceiling adding a premium of $10,000 plus or minus to the unit, thus the unit on the 30th floor in our example would be $13,000 more.
The maintenance fee is subject to change and generally increases as the condo ages and the cost of maintaining the facilities also increase.
Often the penthouse or top floors offer premium floor plans and are extraordinary large units. Many condo developers/builders reserve these units for themselves, however many of these units are also for sale, again with many premiums attached to the sale price.
The HST or harmonized sales tax has also affected sales of the condominiums in terms of price. If one is purchasing any new unit less than $400,000 the unit is HST exempt because the government considers this to be a first time home buyer exemption. If the purchase is of a unit greater than $400,000 the tax is charged on the full amount. This increases the price of the unit by 13%.