One of the most common questions we get as Toronto condo experts is, “how do I know that a Toronto condo development is a good investment?” With so many developments out there, it can be hard to choose which one would be a good fit for you and your investment strategy.
This week, we’ve compiled the top 5 things to look for when choosing a condo development.
While even the best builders are subject to unexpected changes, one of the easiest ways to protect yourself while investing is to go with a builder that has a proven track record.
Don’t be too trusting – there are builders with bad reps out there. Some sellers will do things like include the square footage of the balcony when sizing their units to make their condos appear a little bigger.
Here are 4 quick ways you can do your due diligence on a builder:
1. Do extensive online research – include forums, media sites, and Facebook groups of current condo owners.
2. Talk with a condo expert.
3. Ask the builder questions like, “how long have you been in business?” “What finished developments in the city have you completed?” or “Have you ever been late on a development project?”
4. Go visit those completed developments, and if you get a chance, talk to current residents.
It’s true – location is key to successful investing. However, this can be difficult, as investors have to keep on eye on the present and the other eye on the future. These few important locational factors will keep you from going cross-eyed.
Is the development near attractions, shopping, transportation, or sporting facilities? These features will make your condo more appealing to potential renters.
The development you go with should be paired with your ideal tenant profile. Who are your ideal tenants? Young families? Seniors? Whatever demographic you’re targeting, make sure your development fits those renters. So if you’re looking for a student rental, make sure your condo is near a university or college. And, maybe a pub!
For a more detailed discussion on picking the right location, click here.
Often times there are benefits that developers will throw in to a sale. Some, however, are more essential than others. One important consideration is parking. A permanent parking spot can run you as much as $40,000 to $60,000. So, if a builder will include it at a discount, that’s a big bonus!
Other upgrades, while non-essential, are still considerations. Is the builder willing to throw in appliances? Granite countertops? More cupboard space? Any of these upgrades could be a factor when choosing your development.
The fees and taxes can vary depending on the development you go with. Would you want a development with all the bells and whistles – such as a community pool with a built-in waterfall – or would you rather save and choose a development that has lower condo fees?
Some builders will cover certain taxes or fees for a period of time as an added bonus. This can save you thousands of dollars in closing costs, so be sure to ask the builder for an idea of how much closing costs will be.
One of the best ways you can help yourself is to talk to an expert who knows the Toronto market. Friends and relatives living in the Toronto area will be able to help you out somewhat, as they might have local knowledge, but nothing beats a seasoned professional.
A condo investing professional will have critical information that you wouldn’t otherwise know – such as who the reputable builders are, or even if your gorgeous waterfront view will be blocked in a year’s time by another condo being built between the water and your window.
Contact us for any condo investing questions, and as always, happy investing!
Matt Elkind, Co-Founder CONNECT Asset Management