By Barbara Lawlor
Condo Pro: The Investment of a Lifetime
A substantial percentage of our clients at Baker Real Estate Incorporated buy condos as an investment to add to their financial portfolio. Real estate remains one of the soundest investments anyone can make. In fact, many people feel more comfortable investing in the tangible asset of a condominium rather than stocks and bonds. Historically, those who ride out the lows of occasional real estate cycles do well in the long run. A lot of our investors are international buyers who recognize the value in our spectacular condos. They come from all over the world and from a wide variety of backgrounds and cultures.
From their point of view, they know that we have thousands of newcomers to the GTA each year, and they all need a roof over their head. Many begin by renting, so the demand for rental condominium suites promises to remain strong for years to come. We even see bidding wars going on for rental accommodations.
The point is that purchasing a condominium suite with the intention of renting it out is a viable financial strategy. Considering bang for the buck, you get a lot for the price per square foot when you go condo. In addition, condominiums are bound to increase in demand across the GTA as our strong immigration continues and the price of low-rise homes rises even more. Renters know that the amenities and landscaping in a condo will be kept up well, and that with many owners living in the building, their neighbours will take care of their homes. This is a win-win situation.
Here are a few tips for making the most of your decision to buy a condo as an investment.
· Buy early in the marketing/sales process to get the best price.
· Buying early usually means delivery dates are between three and six years, and many buyers make money and earn equity before occupancy.
· Today’s condos are typically built close to transit nodes and have amenities within walking distance, as well as beautiful amenities right in the buildings. Be sure to select a convenient location.
· Most investors select from the builder’s standard finishes, which are gorgeous today. A lot of the new suites come with hardwood or laminate flooring in the main living areas because so many people have allergies today. Think neutral with choosing, as these finishes appeal to a broader target market.
· When you consider the kind of suite to purchase, look carefully at the difference in price between a one-bedroom and one-plus-den. Often, the ability to charge more for rent for a unit with a den outweighs the extra amount at purchase. The den really opens up your market for renters, as it can be used as an office, or a second bedroom with a Murphy bed in it. In essence, these become junior two-bedroom suites. And if the suite has two bathrooms, all the better, especially if a couple students are sharing the space. If your pocketbook can handle only one bedroom, it is still a wise investment choice as a starter rental. These suites are rented are filling a major void in today’s market.
· Be sure to buy from a reputable builder with a track record for success with striking condominiums in amazing locations. I am happy to say that you have excellent choices in Toronto and beyond.
If you choose to live in the condominium you buy, your suite can still be considered an “investment” in two ways: in your quality of life and your peace of mind. Condos save time with so many amenities close by and maintenance taken care of by the Condominium Board. In addition, it is comforting to come home to a building where you know the concierge has a vigilant eye-on-the-street and security monitors for areas like underground parking.
However you slice it, buying a condominium is a great idea for anyone, investor or end-user, of any age – and the sooner, the better!
Source: Toronto Star.