If you’ve been searching the Toronto housing market to get a feel for your housing options when you relocate to Toronto, you’ve probably come across a lot of mention of condos (a short form term for the word condominium). The development of this particular form of housing in Toronto was introduced in the 1960s with the creation of the Condominium Act, but it didn’t pick up in popularity until the 1980s.
Now, they are so popular what Canadians affectionately call the phenomenon the “Toronto condo boom.” By January of 2015, 10,400 new condo units were being readied to go on the market, according to the Globe and Mail newspaper. Dozens of new condominium buildings are build each year in the city, and in its suburbs.
Condos in Toronto represent a new approach to community planning and an attractive lifestyle, but what is a Condo, and why might it be a good option for you?
Condos in Toronto are a buildings in which individual people are the owners of smaller housing units within a larger community of units. Usually, there are some common land and/or facilities like hallways, heating, elevators or parking areas, and even pools and exercise rooms, but each individual’s home in the building is private. There are monthly condo fees, which pay for the maintenance and repairs of the building, and each owner is responsible for the maintenance and care of his/her own unit.
One special part of condominium living is the residents and owners of the condo units within a building are part of a condominium association. Together, residents elect a board of directors, vote on how the condo will be governed and vote on other issues pertaining to the condo. Because of this structure, condos are a great option for people who like to be involved and help make decisions about the community around them, but condos in Toronto may not be the best option for people who prefer a less communal, more hands-off housing environment.
The government of Toronto has an excellent webpage about what to consider before choosing condo living. We suggest you check it out!
One of the reasons condos in Toronto have become so popular for people who prefer to own, rather than rent their living arrangement is because in general they are more affordable than single-unit housing, and their costs are not rising as fast as single-unit housing, either. According to another Globe and Mail article, while the average price of a new single-unit house in the GTA was $733,587, a rise of 12 per cent from the year before, The average price of a condo unit was $4432,672, which was up just 1 per cent from the year before.
If you think you may be interested in living in one of the condos in Toronto, here is some advice for your search:
- Hirer a realtor or real estate expert to help you. They can set up viewings, help you with paperwork, and provide input on the quality of the condo owner and community.
- Understand supply and demand. When it comes to condos, there’s not a whole lot of negotiating the price, so it will be good to keep an eye out for where condos are being built. If there’s a large supply in the are where you want to live, you may have a leg up when it comes to pricing.
- Try and assess the building’s current residents and staff. Are residents mostly renters are owners? Are they loud or quiet? Does the general lifestyle in the building seem compatible with yours? Is the staff friendly and helpful? Do they respond quickly to issues?
- Do your research. Gather as much information as you can on the condos developer or corporation. Do they have a good track record? Are they in debt.
- Think about the upgrades and amenities you may want, and understand added costs.
From all of us at settle-in.com, we hope this helps you understand condos in Toronto a bit more!
Read more great articles about housing in Canada:
- Setting Up Services and Utilities in Toronto
- Airbnb in Canada: How it Works
- House Sharing in Montreal – Tips and Tricks