I had chosen to ditch the original blog simplycondos.com, as so many of the 1,500 blogs that I had published over the past 14 years were based on the market years back and today, the market is so different that I feared being misinterpreted.
So in June of this year I relaunched simplycondos.com, along with simplymansions.com under this umbrella site simplycharles.com.
You see in 2000 good quality condo units, in good quality locations, developed by good quality developers, were running at approximately $325/square foot. I bought a 750 square foot one plus den unit in The Hudson (and represented 47 other purchasers) that was actually $317 per square foot ($237,500) that generated approximately $2,000 in rental income.
Then, right next door just a few years later, Charlie Condo took the price to almost $700! Rental income did not increase so any investment return (had you invested in Charlie) was cut in half and then you factor in rental income you’re looking at 25%! And don’t get me started on the disparity in “risk“.
Today at between $800 to $1,000 per square foot and rental incomes lagging, an over-abundance of empty, unoccupied units, a heavy stream of buildings being completed and a whole bunch more just digging foundations, and new launches being announced weekly, I just haven’t been able to see the logic to playing.
If you are looking to invest in a condo to live in (this is a huge challenge) or simply invest in, in Toronto, I would recommend looking at long-established “quality condo communities” in Toronto. I don’t post a list of them here but as my client you can rest assured that you are not being led to “dog suites” in “dog buildings” in “dog locations“.
I have turned my sites on Oakville, an upscale city approximately 40 minutes drive or Go-Train ride as the number one place to live and invest that I can find.
I invested the past few winters in researching Florida condo investment opportunities but discovered that the laws governing condo association and/or home owners associations are so out of whack that I’ve decided to drop my investment strategy in America all together. I’m still contemplating investing in Mexico.
You see, I’m concerned about finances, mine as well as the global financial marketers. I also invest in the stock market (only through my RSP) and I don’t see stability there either.
There are good condo communities in Toronto and I am uniquely the one guy that can zero you in to the right selection of condos that meet your expectations without dragging you all over town looking at everything that is on the market.
I’ve “grown up with” the Toronto condo industry being in it since its inception approximately 40 years ago. It’s what I know and what I’ve done for a considerable part of my career as an entrepreneur.
I continue today to visit new condo buildings but just to keep myself fully informed as I don’t see a lot of great quality buildings these days.
I know-all the condo buildings that have the worst sound attenuations problems (an epidemic in Toronto) and make sure my clients “don’t fall in love with the window dressing for these high priced pieces of real estate“.
In Condo Land, once you’re in . . . . you’re in! And the average price of a condo in Toronto runs at about a half million dollars. You really can make a mistake that you have to live with intimately, especially because you live in it!
When it’s bad, it is bad. No-one wants to openly discuss their condo’s deficiencies as they are afraid that they won’t be able to resell it when the time comes to bail out, and people don’t move easily.
So people are living in problem condo units, in poorly managed buildings, seeing continually escalating maintenance fees, while having to listen to the conversations of their neighbours through the walls, and there is not a thing that you can do about it.
If buyers would get together an unit under one banner, the tables could be turned and the playing field levelled. But, they don’t. Instead they stumble into reconstruction sales sites on their own or visit open houses in resale condos and take whatever is offered to them, not knowing the background on the building or the builder.
If this sounds at all like the way that you’ve been investing in condos . . . . . . GET A GRIP!
I’ve purchased a detached home in Oakville and am looking forward to getting away from shared walls, condo rules, condo management and all those renters!
But I understand that if you are working in downtown Toronto the best place for you to live is downtown specifically because of Toronto’s poor road infrastructure and a detached home of a million dollars is scary these days downtown!
I’ve heard for a long time now that “Toronto wealthy are moving to Oakville” and a quick tour on realtor.ca will show you that there are literally hundreds of multi-million dollar houses along the lake from Ford Drive clear out past Burlington!
I will be blogging at simplymansions.com (adding when I move into Oakville) to assist other fortunate people like me who can move out there (I won’t miss downtown at all) to find and buy their dream home.
I will also be focusing on condos in Oakville as well so, downtown Toronto or Oakville, you can trust that I’ll be there ready to work with you to find and buy that perfect property for you.