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Baby, we got a bubble!?

I've always paid an additional fee for parking as well. As noted, it's tacked into your monthly maintenance condo fees.

Regarding the cost of a desirable home in central Toronto, it is very expensive...but why shouldn't it be? If you talk to any of the people who actually live in these homes, you'll note that most of them are business owners, doctors, lawyers, fund managers and other professionals. Absolutely there are a number of others who have financial backing from their family or inheritance, but for the most part, the people buying these well-above-average priced homes, are in the well-above-average household income demographic.
 
...but for the most part, the people buying these well-above-average priced homes, are in the well-above-average household income demographic.

I'm not so sure. I think there has been a fair bit of manipulation going on outside of usual supply-and-demand, i.e. cheap interest, easy loans, foreign money being "parked", over-speculation, etc. I think a lot of these people are just barely making it, and a bump in interest rates or a life-changing event could be catastrophic for them.
 
I'm not so sure. I think there has been a fair bit of manipulation going on outside of usual supply-and-demand, i.e. cheap interest, easy loans, foreign money being "parked", over-speculation, etc. I think a lot of these people are just barely making it, and a bump in interest rates or a life-changing event could be catastrophic for them.

And that would be scary indeed. I don't doubt there's a number of people in that category described above but I don't know that they're necessarily a majority. For the sake of our economy, hopefully they are not, but no one will really know the true situation until it all unravels.
 
Here's how I feel about it, misguided or not:

If I choose to purchase a parking spot with my unit for whatever price they are asking, and then I am being charged monthly maintenance fees for the building structure and amenities, as far as I'm concerned I am DONE.


Some of the newer projects near Yonge and Eglinton are charging around $150. I think someone mentioned it in this thread.

Here it is as to how it works in my building -- CP1

Every year, we get a maintenance budget for the next year -- by category of expense: hydro, insurance, maintenance etc.

Condo fees for the next year, then, are arrived at depending upon the size of your unit.

Then there is a separate charge for maintenance of parking areas

Both these items added together become your monthly condo fees.

In our buidling, garage is, mechanically, sweeped clean every year -- 7 floors below grade altogether.

Then there are repairs to the floors and any other items -- mainly, the result of winter salt coming in with the cars.

If I don't have a car, then, I shold not be paying for these costs in my monthly condo fees.

I am sure that monthly fees of $ 150 are based upon certain facts, data, costs. If someone finds these extra parking charges too much, then, think of doing without a car. Join the car sharing companies instead.
 
Here's how I feel about it, misguided or not:

If I choose to purchase a parking spot with my unit for whatever price they are asking, and then I am being charged monthly maintenance fees for the building structure and amenities, as far as I'm concerned I am DONE. Call me crazy, but I would assume that the parking area is part of the building property and thus should be included in my regular monthly maintenance fees. If it is included, that is fine and expected, but from what I've been hearing, and perhaps I misunderstood, is that these fees are now above and beyond regular maintenance (due to some folks not having cars, perhaps?).
No, you are misguided. It actually costs money to maintain a parking lot. To put it another way, the maintenance costs to maintain a building + additional parking is higher than if it was a building with no parking. Most of the cost of that parking lot maintenance gets split amongst those who have parking spots.

The people in a condo who don't have parking spots don't pay extra for parking maintenance. People who have a parking spot pay a maintenance fee depending on the number of parking spots owned.

If you are a condo owner with no parking spot, you pay the basic building maintenance fee, which includes cost for maintaining the building and guest parking spots. If you are a condo owner with a parking spot, you pay the basic building maintenance fee plus additional fee to cover your parking spot. If you are a condo owner with two parking spots, you pay the basic parking maintenance fee plus 2 x the parking spot fee.

This seems very fair to me. In fact, if I had a studio apart condo with no parking spot, I'd be pissed if I had to pay to maintain somebody else's parking spot.

Now, when it comes down to individual buildings, it can be true that some may overcharge owners for parking spots. But the basic idea of paying condo fees for parking spots is a fair concept that I'd guess most of us here agree with.
 
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Older condos tended to have parking and locker included in the overall maintenance fee -- there were still specific amounts, but they were all lumped in (some also included cable and/or hydro in maintenance fees). Newer condos tend to have the amount broken out so it's more transparent. Kind of like HST being built in to the price vs being added on after. It's still there, and the final amount is the same, but you have a clearer picture of what you're paying for.
 
Older condos tended to have parking and locker included in the overall maintenance fee -- there were still specific amounts, but they were all lumped in (some also included cable and/or hydro in maintenance fees). Newer condos tend to have the amount broken out so it's more transparent. Kind of like HST being built in to the price vs being added on after. It's still there, and the final amount is the same, but you have a clearer picture of what you're paying for.
Yep. You're still paying for it. Another difference though in some older condos, every unit had a parking spot, which can make it easier to lump things together.

If you have 10 1-bedroom units of similar size and all have parking spots, then all will pay a similar amount of condo fees. However, as soon as you have a setup where some have parking spots and some don't, it's clearer if you separate out the charge for the parking space. The basic condo fee will be lower, but then a parking condo fee gets tacked on, on top of that.
 
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The time when having no separate parking spot maintenance fee makes sense is when the parking spot is bundled in with your unit. However, that just means you're paying higher condo fees for your unit than you would otherwise. Either way, you're still paying fees to maintain your parking spot.

BTW, when I bought my condo, I specifically looked for one with as few amenities as possible. The fewer the amenities, the cheaper the condo fees. (Not always, but frequently.)

This makes sense in theory. I have virtually no amenities in my building and pay 58 cents/foot. If I had parking. Over 60 cents.
 
Thanks for setting me straight and making it clearer. I guess it just appears as if condo fees are still staying high in TO while the things they cover are decreasing. For example, with separate utility metering, parking fees, etc, you would expect fees to drop, but it doesn't seem to be the case.
 
This makes sense in theory. I have virtually no amenities in my building and pay 58 cents/foot. If I had parking. Over 60 cents.
It various from building to building, but is it correct to assume you guys are building your reserve fund reasonably quickly?
 
An interesting U.S. article with some similarities that we've already experienced in the Toronto market:

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/many-seek-homes-near-cities-070225209.html

Many seek new homes near cities but are priced out

As more buyers seek new homes near downtowns, they face fewer and more expensive properties

Associated Press By Josh Boak, AP Economics Writer

In this June 4, 2014 photo, attorney Tim Nelson poses for photos in his new town home in Phoenix. Americans like Nelson increasingly say they prefer to live near the centers of cities and towns, where commutes tend to be easier and culture, restaurants and entertainment close by. It marks a pronounced shift away from the yearning for open suburban space that drove U.S. home construction for decades. (AP Photo/Matt York)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- City living has been a blessing for Tim Nelson.

The Phoenix lawyer moved downtown a few months ago into a new $389,000 home with a warehouse-style floor plan, a Jacuzzi tub and kitchen counters made of Caesarstone quartz. His favorite coffee spot is three blocks away. When the Arizona Diamondbacks play on Friday nights, he can watch postgame fireworks from his deck.

"I like the views," said Nelson, 50. "My commute is almost nonexistent."

Nelson has plenty of company.

Americans increasingly say they prefer to live near the centers of cities and towns, where commutes are typically shorter and culture, restaurants and entertainment close by. It marks a shift away from the yearning for open suburban space that drove U.S. home construction for decades.

But it carries a costly trade-off: Land in many cities has surged in price. And fewer Americans can now afford newly built homes in the walkable neighborhoods they desire.

The average price of a newly built home nationwide has reached $320,100 — a 20.5 percent jump since 2012 began. That puts a typical new home out of reach for two-thirds of Americans, according to government data.

Yet many builders have made a calculated bet: Better to sell fewer new homes at higher prices than build more and charge less.

Their calculation is partly a consequence of the growing wealth gap in the United States. Average inflation-adjusted income has declined 9 percent for the bottom 40 percent of households since 2007, while incomes for the top 5 percent exceed where they were when the recession began that year, according to the Census Bureau.

Buyers have historically paid about 15 percent more for a new home than for an existing one, a premium that's reached 40 percent today, according to the real estate data firm Zillow. An average new home costs about six times the median U.S. household income. Historically, Americans have bought homes worth about three times their income.

The high prices and sparse construction are no help for a still-subpar U.S. economy. With new-home sales well below their historical average, construction firms need fewer workers. The economy remains 1.49 million construction jobs shy of its total in December 2007, when the Great Recession began.

After 60 years of migrating to car-dominated suburbs, polls show more Americans want out of long commutes in favor of neighborhoods where jobs and stores are nearby.

Stuck with pay that's barely budging, many face a tough choice: Keep renting. Pile up huge mortgage debt to buy a home near their job. Or buy a cheaper home that requires a lengthy commute.

"Middle-class Americans are (being) squeezed out," said John McIlwain, a senior fellow at the Urban Land Institute.

Low mortgage rates have eased some of the pain from rising prices. But the desire to live near town centers on costlier land could depress home ownership rates to as low as 60 percent, McIlwain estimates. That would be down from 65 percent today and 69 percent during the housing bubble.

About 40 percent of Americans still live in a suburb "where most people drive to most places," according to a new poll by the American Planning Association, a trade group for community planners. But just 7 percent say they hope to stay in car-dominated neighborhoods. Those findings mesh with a March report on the preferences of millennials by Nielsen Holdings.

The construction business thrived for decades by bulldozing cheap farmland into suburban networks of streets and houses. But as farmland grew costlier, land prices in cities and towns with attractive amenities soared, says Christopher Leinberger, a professor at George Washington University and an industry strategist.

Homebuilder Toll Brothers spent $24 million in 2012 to buy two-thirds of an acre near Nationals Park in Washington. That's equal to roughly $830 a square foot, compared with $5 a square foot before the ballpark existed, Leinberger said.

At the Walnut Hill Townhomes in Chattanooga, prices start at $610,000. The figure reflects a revival of that industrial city. A pedestrian bridge spans the river, carrying locals to gastropubs, gourmet tacos and a waterfront park.

Dale Mabee, who's building the homes, said his material and land costs meant prices had to be $243 a square foot, nearly three times the average in the metro area.

"It's almost a necessity to build at a higher price point to make the numbers work," Mabee said.

Among the buyers was Spencer McCallie, a 77-year old former school headmaster. McCallie initially retired to a lakeside cabin about 30 miles outside the city. But its quiet pleasures were undercut by long drives downtown for symphony concerts and Rotary Club meetings.

"We didn't want to have to come in 28 miles because we knew we'd have to come home late at night," McCallie said.

The shift in tastes is among factors that are eroding home affordability despite still-low mortgage rates. Among other factors: tighter lending rules and difficulty producing down payments.

All of which helps explain why construction has yet to rebound with vigor. Just 433,000 new homes were sold on an annualized basis in April. Over the previous half-century — when the United States had a smaller population — annual sales had averaged 660,000.

Builders noted in recent earnings calls the higher prices and the decline in construction.

Richard Dugas, CEO of PulteGroup, says building entry-level homes isn't profitable enough anymore.

Builder D.R. Horton says escalating prices have left first-time buyers "underserved." It's introduced a low-cost division with homes priced as low as $120,000, targeted in part at millennial buyers but located at the edges of suburbia where land is cheaper.

For those able to live downtown, the tight supply of new homes has forced them to act fast.

Crews broke ground last month on a 47-rowhome luxury development in Chicago. Every apartment — starting at $562,900 — sold before digging began. The rooftop decks survey the city skyline. Buyers are waiting 12 to 16 months for construction to finish before moving in, said Heather Gustafson of CMK Realty.

The homes are built in the Cabrini-Green area, once occupied by a housing project notorious for gang violence. The city began to demolish the project in 1995 and resettle residents, clearing prime real estate just a 20-minute walk from the office towers and trendy restaurants of Chicago's Magnificent Mile.

Adam Kriticos, a mortgage broker, bought the last available home at the development, known as Basecamp River North. He had less than four days to make an offer after touring a model home. That didn't faze him.

"It's not like we're overpaying for where the market is now," he said.
 
Here's how I feel about it, misguided or not:

If I choose to purchase a parking spot with my unit for whatever price they are asking, and then I am being charged monthly maintenance fees for the building structure and amenities, as far as I'm concerned I am DONE. Call me crazy, but I would assume that the parking area is part of the building property and thus should be included in my regular monthly maintenance fees. If it is included, that is fine and expected, but from what I've been hearing, and perhaps I misunderstood, is that these fees are now above and beyond regular maintenance (due to some folks not having cars, perhaps?).



Some of the newer projects near Yonge and Eglinton are charging around $150. I think someone mentioned it in this thread.


Perhaps I could shed some light on this. As Ka1 correctly pointed out, parking is usually a common element which is assigned exclusive usage to the owner. The parking spot may be assigned or at times it may be owned outright. Similarly your suite is owned.
The difference between other amenities and the parking is that some people have use of it and others do not.
The decision as Eug pointed out of whether to buy a building with a lot of amenities and pay higher fees to maintain them is a decision that one makes at the onset. However, to pay for an amenity which you can never use in my view should be charged only to those who can use it.
In other words, my parking spot is to be maintained by me exclusively just as I am to pay for my space on the floor for the unit that I own exclusively. I would expect to pay proportionately for my share of the common amenities and therefore everyone should pay to maintain the visitor parking lot but I should pay for my exclusive use parking.
I don't think you are crazy.

I just think it is a question of fairness. Ultimately the garage structure has to be maintained. It is only a question who whether everyone should pay for it or those who have EXCLUSIVE use of it. Since everyone can't use the parking, in my view, it is unfair to have it paid evenly by everyone.
 
I've been looking for a 2 bedroom downtown for the last few weeks and it seems that I may be priced out of the market. Not due to affordability but due to me refusing to overspend on a marginal property. I get that you'll have to overspend to get something decent, but overspending by $50-75K is something I'm unwilling to do. Even if the bank says so. Whether it's pre-con, resale or even assignments, you're not finding much that isn't grossly overpriced. Where is the market going?
 
^^^
TheKingEast.
Can you give a couple of examples of prices that you feel are over ask that you would be seriously considering.
I am curious basically as to what you think is a reasonable 2 bedroom and what is a reasonable price for the property.
Also would be interested to hear what you consider a "good property" and which one(s) you feel are marginal and why.
 

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