Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Condo Living: Downsized Space, Upsized Self-Awareness?

Moving from a house into a condo has its perks, but the transition can mean a culture shock for many.  Ellen Alban, a recent condo convert, shares her account with us as she begins to experience the condo lifestyle and adjust to some of its quirks!

By Ellen Alban

The first day I moved into my new condo my life as I had known it changed dramatically.

In my former home I could be cranky, loud, and generally obnoxious and no one would know anything about my ornery moods. I could dress as I pleased in any old thing and no one would see, hear, or care about my appearance. 

On the other hand, in my new condo I discover that my threadbare pink bathrobe and my faded pink mules would not be suitable for taking out my puppy at 7:00 in the morning. Wearing this ancient get-up I must pass the concierge desk and often scare the wits out of them. 

But alas, other issues must be considered. How would my aforementioned morning attire be received by those perfectly pressed and polished people in the elevator with me at that hour? I must smile and say good morning, even though my high voltage bed-head and no makeup are a noticeable source of shock for my fellow riders, I must not be self-conscious. I must still say good morning and hope that they are too tired to notice too much about me. I do run a grave risk of being reported to the powers that be, the building manager. The charge—reckless and inappropriate clothing, thus a major violation of condo corp. 2276487’s rules and regulations, which state clearly the following: it is not permitted to enter any public area without suitable makeup, hair and fashionable attire. Does this apply to men as well? Must they too look sharp for the elevator ride to G at 7:00 am? I certainly hope so. Does this also mean that my appearance on a normal bad hair day is grounds for a stern reminder about building protocol? Can I use Halloween as my raison d’etre for my imperfections in October? 

In order to resolve the situation a meeting must be called. The board of directors and the rules committee have too much to do. 

In the meantime, a full-length coat, huge dark glasses, a wide brim sunhat and my laundry white Nike runners might be my temporary solution. I hope it works!!

Ellen Alban is a former high school teacher of English and French who in retirement is still teaching. She leads physical fitness classes, teaches an adult creative writing class, and plays bridge and Mah Jong. She does all this in spite of the fact that she has been living with Parkinsons Disease for 16 years. Her first book of poetry is published and her second book, a group of short stories about cottage life, is ready to be published shortly. Ellen is an optimistic, humorous writer who good naturedly pokes fun at herself, often hearing from her readers  that the very same events happened to them as well. Ellen has been married to her husband Henry for forty one years. They have two adult children.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Condo Sales at The Lexington

This week, we're heading to Toronto's prime College Park neighbourhood for a closer look at The Lexington condos, near Yonge and Carlton streets.


Completed about 30 years ago, this classic building offers its residents an impressive range of amenities including a fitness centre, indoor pool, squash courts and indoor running track.

In the past 60 days, three units sold at The Lexington, from about $465,000 to $480,000 for 2-BR suites of approximately 1,200 to 1,300 sq ft.

In this time, four units also leased in this building, ranging from $1,700/mo for a 1+Den unit to $2,400/mo for a 2+Den suite.

For more information on The Lexington condos, please click here.

If you’re a Realtor and would like to share similar stories, please contact us at info@livehigh.com to participate or be featured in a post.

Please note that units can vary greatly in features and finishes which would normally be considered in any purchase or sale. Any transactions outlined above are for general information purposes only and may not reflect those of typical suites. LiveHigh.com is not responsible for the accuracy of information provided or for any damages or loss resulting from the use of such information. For further information on these or other sales, please consult a real estate specialist.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Non-Resident Condo Buyers & Sellers

By Cesia Green

As discussed in our previous post on closing costs for condo buyers, purchasing or selling a condo involves a number of costs above the actual purchase price, such as property tax and condo fee adjustments, legal fees and disbursements, and Land Transfer Tax and document registrations.

If you are not a Canadian resident, there are also some additional concerns.

Warning: tax law ahead.

Canada has tax treaties with many other countries, so that taxes are only paid once.  However, in order to ensure that taxes are properly paid, the Income Tax Act provides that non-residents must surrender a portion of non-business income, as well as a portion of the proceeds on the sale of any capital property (unless the non-resident obtains a tax clearance certificate before selling the property), in order to cover potential tax liabilities.

As a non-resident condo buyer, there would be no additional initial cost to purchase simply because of being non-resident, although there are higher minimum down payments required.  However, if you are buying the condo as an investment, and intend to rent it out, you will have tax withheld on an ongoing basis on the rental income.

As a non-resident condo seller, you would have to set aside enough of the sale proceeds to cover the capital gains tax. You could need to set aside as much as 25% of the sale proceeds for withholding tax; obtaining a clearance certificate can take as much as four months.

There are no bars to non-residents purchasing property in Ontario, but you would be wise to speak to both a lawyer and an accountant before buying in order to be sure that it is the right investment for you, and well in advance of selling to ensure that you can get your sale proceeds promptly.


Cesia Green is a partner at Wall-Armstrong & Green (www.wall-arm.ca) in Barrie, where she practices in the areas of residential real estate, estate planning and estate administration for clients in Barrie and the Greater Toronto Area. You can read the real/estate blog at www.wallarmstrong.wordpress.com or follow Cesia at twitter.com/cesiagreen.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Shopping for a Condo: The Latest Trend

For many, one of the biggest drawbacks to buying a condo 'blueprint' is the inability to really picture what your unit might actually look like, once built.  This is particularly true for new construction first-timers.

3D Condo Explorer now offers a solution to this problem, bringing Virtual Reality Technology (VRT) to the sales offices of new home builders.  The company provides custom‑built, touch‑driven technology to the sales floor, allowing for 3D simulation and exploration of new projects.

Rather than relying on their imagination, potential buyers now have access to a virtual walkthrough showcasing everything from interior finishes, available unit upgrades, or views of units in different seasons and times of the day.  Buyers can also interact with Google for panoramic views of the surrounding area and neighbourhood amenities.

We love this concept!  Could this be the next trend in condo shopping?  It certainly sounds like it'll make purchasing decisions that much easier for new home buyers.

video

3D Condo Explorer was founded in 2010 by CEO Alexander Neshmonin, who has an extensive 25+ years of IT experience.  Times Group, developer of condo projects such as Uptown Markham and 500 Sherbourne, is the first to use this technology for their new Eden Park II project.

Interested in giving this awesome new technology a test-drive?  Visit the Eden Park II sales office for a demo today!

For more photos taken from the Eden Park II sales centre, please follow the jump.

Great Gulf Breaks Ground at One Bloor

Last Friday, Great Gulf Homes celebrated the groundbreaking of One Bloor, the flagship condominium residence situated at the crossroads of Yonge and Bloor. Occupancy is slated for December 2014. The project, now 85 percent sold, will rise to 70 storeys in height with a total of 732 suites.

For those interested in this project, available Tower Suites range in size from 530 to 1,727 sq ft, priced from $511,990 to over $1.7 million. Two-Storey City Suites ranging in size from 1,059 to 1,659 sq ft are also available, priced from $688,990 to over $1.1 million. Suite layouts include one-bedroom, one-bedroom + den, two-bedroom and two-bedroom + den designs. Maintenance Fees are estimated at $0.50 per sq ft with hydro metered separately.


Follow the jump for pictures from the groundbreaking event.

Condo Sales at Platinum XO

This week, we're heading to North York for a closer look at Platinum XO, a 36-storey condo tower near Yonge and Sheppard.


Completed in late 2008 by Conservatory Group, this building offers its residents a wide range of amenities, including concierge, fitness centre, indoor pool, bowling, and a party room.

In the past 60 days, 11 units sold at Platinum XO, from $355,000 for a 1+Den unit to $510,000 for a 2-BR suite.

In this time, five units also leased in this building, ranging from $1,425/mo for a 1-BR unit to $2,295/mo for a 2+Den suite.

For more information on Platinum XO condos, please click here.

If you’re a Realtor and would like to share similar stories, please contact us at info@livehigh.com to participate or be featured in a post.

Please note that units can vary greatly in features and finishes which would normally be considered in any purchase or sale. Any transactions outlined above are for general information purposes only and may not reflect those of typical suites. LiveHigh.com is not responsible for the accuracy of information provided or for any damages or loss resulting from the use of such information. For further information on these or other sales, please consult a real estate specialist.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Condo Sales at Success Tower (Pinnacle Condos)

This week, we're heading west for a closer look at Success Tower, the third phase of the popular Pinnacle condo development in downtown Toronto.


Completed in September 2009 by Pinnacle International, this condo on Harbour St at the foot of Bay.  The building offers its residents a wide variety of amenities ideal for those who lead an active lifestyle, including a 70' indoor swimming pool, tennis, squash and racquetball courts, putting green, running track, fitness centre and yoga room.

In the past 30 days, three units sold at Success Tower, from $349,000 for a 1+Den unit to $445,000 for a 2+Den suite.  These properties spent an average of 24 days on the market.

In this time, six units also leased in this building, ranging from $1,425/mo for a 1-BR unit to $2,295/mo for a 2+Den suite.

For more information on Success Tower condos, please click here.

If you’re a Realtor and would like to share similar stories, please contact us at info@livehigh.com to participate or be featured in a post.

Please note that units can vary greatly in features and finishes which would normally be considered in any purchase or sale. Any transactions outlined above are for general information purposes only and may not reflect those of typical suites. LiveHigh.com is not responsible for the accuracy of information provided or for any damages or loss resulting from the use of such information. For further information on these or other sales, please consult a real estate specialist.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Hints & Tips: Change of Info for Property Taxes

If you've recently bought a condo - be it for residential or investment purposes - you'll want to ensure that your contact information is up-to-date with the municipal government so that your property tax bills are sent to the right place.

Check with your lawyer to see whether this was already done on closing.  If not, you can request the update yourself, as outlined on the City of Toronto's website.

Keep in mind too, that you'd also need to update the City in the event that your contact info changes during the time you own the property.

Remember, it's your responsibility to notify the city of any change to your ownership information, just as it is to pay your property taxes!  It's a quick and simple process that will save you from a bigger headache down the road.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Condo Sales at ONYX (Past 30 Days)

This week, we're heading west for a closer look at ONYX Condominiums, located in Mississauga's popular City Centre.


Completed last year by Davies Smith Developments, this condo is located near Hurontario and Burnhamthorpe.  The building offers its residents a variety of activities including specifically tailored health, fitness and recreation programs ranging from aqua fitness class to pilates

In the past 30 days, five units sold at ONYX Condominiums, from $251,000 for a 1+Den unit to $370,000 for a 2+Den suite.  These properties spent an average of 24 days on the market.

In this time, six units also leased in this building, ranging from $1,325/mo for a 1-BR unit to $1,750/mo for a 1+Den suite.

For more information on ONYX condos, please click here.

If you’re a Realtor and would like to share similar stories, please contact us at info@livehigh.com to participate or be featured in a post.

Please note that units can vary greatly in features and finishes which would normally be considered in any purchase or sale. Any transactions outlined above are for general information purposes only and may not reflect those of typical suites. LiveHigh.com is not responsible for the accuracy of information provided or for any damages or loss resulting from the use of such information. For further information on these or other sales, please consult a real estate specialist.