Condo living: A carefree lifestyle

Over the course of 39 eventful years in real estate, I’ve toured just about every possible type of condominium. I’m familiar with every layout, finish and amenity out there. Very little surprises me – but I can tell you that I’m blown away by the level of luxury available today in Ottawa’s condo market.

That’s not to say that there aren’t some great, simple condos out there, with minimal condo fees and basic building maintenance. These definitely respond to the needs of many buyers. But if you’re looking to be pampered, there’s never been a better time to go condo shopping in this city.

It’s not simply that the quality of available finishes has gone through the roof – although that’s certainly true. In today’s luxury condos, marble, granite and hardwood are de rigueur, and architectural features such as nine-ft. ceilings and wall-to-wall windows are not uncommon. I’ve even encountered bathroom mirrors embedded with LED televisions: Flossing your teeth need never be boring again!

But it’s the amenities that have really evolved. When I started out, purchasers of luxury condos could expect to enjoy the use of a nice swimming pool, weight room and party room. Nothing to sneeze at, yet these features pale in comparison with rooftop pools surrounded by cabanas; fully staffed fitness facilities and spas; and the use of executive boardrooms, screening rooms and rooftop lounges with hot tubs and outdoor kitchens. And these are just some of the bells and whistles I’ve encountered in the last couple of years.

Some new condominiums are built in conjunction with boutique hotels, giving residents unlimited access to a full menu of services including a 24-hour concierge, room service, dog walking and housekeeping. Need your suit pressed? Tickets to the game? No problem. There’s also the perk of dining at a first-class restaurant without stepping outside.

Condo living allows a certain carefree way of life; residents needn’t give a second thought to upkeep and are free to “lock and leave” at a moment’s notice. Interestingly, today it’s not only residents who can purchase a worry-free lifestyle: Some new condos are available to investors fully furnished, and tenants found with the assistance of an on-site property manager. Now, that’s what I call service.

I’ve always been proud to live in this world-class city. I just can’t tell you how excited I am that it’s now got the world-class luxury condominiums it deserves.

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