Cursing Condo Fees!

Many people tell me they love the idea of condos for all the good reasons (freedom, lock the door and go, peace of mind, modern fittings and finishes, no more snow, built in community, contemporary layouts, great locations, convenient amenities) but just simply won’t consider buying one because they can’t stomach the idea of paying condo fees.

I call their bluff…..they are just  not ready for a condo move.

To replicate the level of amenities and service that one gets in a condo, to fully quantify all of the operating costs of a detached home and also to contribute monthly to a slush fund for future major expenditures, condominium fees start to look like a bargain.

Well, that may be excessive, but you know what I mean.

I fully admit that one has to willingly and gleefully embrace the condo lifestyle.  If you want to save money by cutting your own grass and cleaning your eaves troughs and shoveling snow, you are not a good condo candidate. But if you are ready to embrace the hassle-free condo lifestyle the condo fees are part of the package.

Watch for my next post where I will dive into why condo fees vary from building to building.

Thanks for reading!!


RAHB REALTORS® Release July Statistics

The REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB) reported 1,072 residential sales were processed through the RAHB Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System in July 2018, 4.7 per cent fewer than the same month last year and 16.3 per cent fewer than the 10-year average for the month.

Residential freehold sales were 3.2 per cent lower, and condominium sales were 11.5 per cent lower, than July last year.

New residential listings were 8.4 per cent lower than the same month last year, but 1.5 per cent higher than the 10-year average.

“Comparing this July to last does not necessarily provide an accurate picture of the market, as last year’s increase in listings and prices were influenced by government regulations,” says RAHB President and local REALTOR® Jack Loft. “Right now, we are sitting on the border between a balanced market and a seller’s market.”

The average residential sale price for July 2018 was up 1.3 per cent, continuing the upwards trend for the month of July over the past 10 years.

Neighbourhoods throughout the RAHB area experience results that differ from the average of the entire RAHB market area. In July, while Hamilton Centre, Hamilton Mountain and Burlington followed the trend of significantly fewer sales compared to last year but had higher increases in average sale price, Ancaster saw an increase in sales but a dip in the average sale price compared to last year.

“Even within neighbourhoods, the real estate market differs from one street to another, from one property to another,” adds Loft. “REALTORS® know the local markets and can help buyers and sellers navigate their way to a successful home buying or home selling experience.”

What Makes a Condo Floor Plan Work??

Of course, that’s personal.  To buy a condo from floor plans can be a daunting task at best.  For those of you who have trouble picturing a 2 dimensional floor plan in real life, let me give you a hint on how to see it in 3D and how you can imagine you would live in it.

Take a walk with me.  Yes, I mean, take a walk.  Mentally or virtually.

Start at the front door.  Open it.  What do you see immediately – a beautiful piece of art, a hallway, a doorway, a closet, a foyer?   Kick off your shoes.    Hang up your coat.  Where do you throw your keys?

Take your groceries to the kitchen.  Make dinner.  How is the magic triangle (a line from fridge to stove to sink) working in this kitchen?   Where is the prep area,  cooking area and clean up area?    What do you see when you stand at your sink?  Is there enough cupboard space?

Answer your door when visitors arrive.  Hang up their coats.  Take them into your living room.  Serve them a drink.  Go out to your balcony.  How are you sitting?  Can you create a conversation circle that works in both your living room and your balcony?  Sit down for dinner.  Where are you sitting?  What do you see?  Where does your TV go?

Now it’s time for bed.  Walk into the bedroom.  Where is the entrance door to the bedroom?  Does it bang into any other doors such as an ensuite bathroom or closet door?   Do you have to close your bedroom door in order to get into your closet?  How big is the closet?  Where do you keep your laundry hamper?

Oh no, it’s time to do laundry.  Take your hamper (from where?) to the laundry.  Where do you fold?  Where do you keep sheets and towels?

How large are the windows?  Which way does it face?  Whether you want a lot or a little, how much sun will you get?  What will you be looking at when you sit on your sofa – both inside and outside of your unit.  Do you have full view into a bathroom from your living room….this isn’t really pleasant.  Do you look into a wall of an adjacent building or do you have a vista of some kind?

Thank you for going on a virtual walk with me. Hope it helps.