If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know that we’re fans of condos and lofts. But take note, they aren’t for everyone…
1. You have a big dog. And I’m not saying this from an ‘it’s unfair to the dog’ perspective. Almost every condo in Toronto has rules restricting pets – from number and kinds of animals, to size. If you have a 60 pound dog, there won’t be many condos that will be welcoming. And unfortunately for Fido, condo bylaws have been successful in court and owners who didn’t abide by them were either forced to sell or give up their dog.
2. You want to live in total silence. Communal living means noises are unavoidable – from people talking in the hallways, to elevators to the garbage chute. Levels of noise vary by condominium building and I have seen the odd ‘sound-proofed’ unit, but if you expect total silence, you’ll be disappointed. Of course living in a semi-detached house or a detached house that’s 4 inches away from the neighbour doesn’t exactly guarantee you peace and quiet either. Welcome to Toronto.
3. You need control. Living in a condo means being at the mercy of the other owners and the condo board. Sure, you get a vote, but you need to be prepared for the reality that decisions might get made that you don’t agree with. The board might decide to pass rules you don’t like, they might not clean the windows as often as you’d prefer or they might increase condo fees to pay for facilities you don’t even use. You can take comfort however, that it’s almost always more expensive to maintain a house than to pay condo fees.
4. You’re known for your Pitmaster BBQ skills. Take note: propane gas cylinders are not legally allowed in elevators in Toronto, so unless you have a built-in gas line on your balcony or live on the main floor, you won’t be BBQ-ing next summer.
5. You want total freedom to renovate and decorate. Condos have rules, and in most buildings, your window coverings have to be white or beige and there will be restrictions as to what you can put on your balcony (read: that wicked hot tub might not be welcome). When it comes to renovating the inside of your condo, keep in mind that the condo board will need to approve any major changes to the unit, and because you don’t actually own the electrical/plumbing/anything on the other side of the drywall, you may not be permitted to make major alterations (for example, adding a bathroom).
Is condo living for you? As always, we’d be happy to chat about the pros/cons of buying a condominium in Toronto.