When shopping for a new home or condominium suite, location, location, location factors first in most people’s must-have lists. Price and size typically come next in order of importance. Nowadays, with prices the way they are across the Greater Toronto Area, it is leading more buyers of all ages to condos for affordability. For years, empty-nesters moving from a large home to a condo suite referred to this step as “downsizing,” and purchasers opting for larger square footage called it “upsizing.” A few years ago, I coined the new term “right-sizing” to more accurately reflect the concept of buying the right new home for you, whatever its size.
As people age and life circumstances change, so do their housing needs. Later in life, we simply do not need as much square footage in a home, and moving to a condominium brings with it a multitude of benefits that make square footage less critical.
Rightsizing can mean going down in square footage and moving up in luxury, comfort and leisure time. First-time buyers want as much space as they can afford, and even the most compact of suites today feature efficient layouts that “live” larger than their square footage may suggest. These newcomers to the marketplace want the benefits that come along with owning and building equity over the years. For them, buying while mortgage interest rates are still low is critical – especially because the prices of new lowrise homes are out of their financial reach. Condos are the more affordable choice.
Urban professional couples, families and others looking for a larger home base may rightsize to a suite with additional bedrooms, or even a penthouse. Consider modern condominiums’ security measures and proximity to local amenities, and the appeal is strong for families. Once children are grown, their parents may move to a smaller suite that is even more luxurious. It’s all about rightsizing.
The great news is that our forward-thinking developers are designing for all of the above. They are being innovative when it comes to suite design and maximizing every square foot. I have often heard from empty-nesters who have moved into a condo suite, only to realize how much wasted space their lowrise homes had. Think hallways, landings and stairs. Some have even told me that despite a lower square footage number, their suites have more
Of course, a major benefit of living in a condominium is access to common amenity areas that in essence, augment your private living area. A fitness centre and pool eliminate the need for exercise equipment in your suite. With gorgeous party rooms and lounges in the building, you can entertain a crowd without worry of how they will fit into your private home. Wedding and baby showers, Thanksgiving or holiday feasts, anniversary celebrations can all be held under your own roof. And remember – over the years, someone else will clean, maintain and repair these amenity areas for you.
Let’s face it – leaving behind maintenance is a main attraction to the condominium lifestyle. Condo maintenance fees are well worth it when you consider the fact that landscaping, outdoor window cleaning, and the maintenance and repair of everything from hallways to swimming pools, is taken care of by professionals. Condo living also means being able to lock your door and leave for holidays without worrying about exterior property upkeep and security while you’re away.
As life goes on, things change, needs change and we adjust our circumstances accordingly. Whatever the size of the new home or condominium suite you choose, make sure it’s the right size for you!