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Condo troubles?

NorthYorkEd

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When I see a building with several units for sale or rent, I wonder if there is an issue and if there is any way to find out what it is (outside of asking sellers or current residents).

For example, these buildings around Yonge/Sheppard (NYCC) have the following number of units for sale or lease:

23 Sheppard - 19 units (15 for sale)
33 Sheppard - 27 units (12 for sale)

35 Hollywood - (22 for sale)

4968 Yonge - 29 units (18 for sale)
4978 Yonge - 15 units (9 for sale)

18 Spring Garden - 13 units (11 for sale)

153 Beecroft - 11 units (7 for sale)
155 Beecroft - 10 units (2 for sale)

By contrast, most of the other buildings in the area typically have anywhere from 1 to 6 units for sale/lease at any given time. It just seems there is high activity in certain buildings and no obvious clues as to why. Sure, there is development going on that might have some residents rattled, but is it safe to assume these buildings might be best to avoid?
 

TheKingEast

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This is something that always bothered me. There really isn't much data available on condos.

Condos with many units for sale/lease can mean many things and not all of them are bad. If they are new condos, it could be that it just closed and people are trying to cash in on their investments.
 

Bruno Republic

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Sometimes it's just a case of it being a new building and the speculators who bought pre-construction are cashing out. Occasionally, buildings can be decently run and in high-demand areas, but have external factors that make units very difficult to sell. For example, my previous unit was in a building which was part hotel condo. Although the hotel condo portion was run by a separate corporation and even had a separate entrance/address compared to the rest of the units which were ordinary residential properties, a while back all the major lenders had decided they considered my unit a commercial property, and would not consider financing any mortgage with less than 25% down. That right there eliminated a large majority of potential buyers. In fact, under such conditions, I would not have been able to buy it in the first place. Needless to say, it was very difficult to sell, even though I was willing to let it go for very little. It took me four months to sell it. Had it not had that financing restriction, I probably could have sold it in a couple of weeks and for about 20% more than I did.

But yes, usually a high number of units listed is not a good sign. A large number of units for rent usually indicates fewer owner-occupied units, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but something to be wary of. Of course, it depends on the size of the building too. 10 units would not be all that many for a large building with 600 units. But when you've got more than 10% of the building listed for sale, well, something's probably not right. Very high maintenance fees, serious building flaws, bad management, problem tenants, any number of things.
 
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Ex-Montreal Girl

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This is something that always bothered me. There really isn't much data available on condos.

Condos with many units for sale/lease can mean many things and not all of them are bad. If they are new condos, it could be that it just closed and people are trying to cash in on their investments.


Some of these buildings appear to be five or so years old. Of course, it could simply be investors cashing out. But it may also be that, after the initial honeymoon phase, the Board may have discovered that the initial maintenance fees were too low and whack! A huge increase to maintain the reserve fund.
 

NorthYorkEd

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Yes, as many of these buildings are fairly established, my gut leans towards disgruntled owners. Just be nice to know what they are disgruntled about.
 

uptownto

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Some of these are located adjacent to construction or soon to be construction sites. 23/33 Sheppard, 18 Spring Garden, 35 Hollywood more specifically. It could be owners don't want to put up with the noise/dust, etc or they could be losing a view or something.
 

supegui

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It could also be a lot of first time home buyers out growing their condo space. Most first time buyers are in their late twenties. 5 years later they are now in their mid 30's probably married and starting to have children. A one bedroom plus den just won't cut it anymore and it is time to pack the bags and move to a house.
 

moonjo

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Nobody would want to devalue their property. This is one of the reasons why builders get away with shoddy construction.
People keep quiet about building problems in fear of depreciation. Best bet would be to find former tenants/owners.
 

neuhaus

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www.theDirt.co is a good website with condo reviews from all kinds of people: owners, renters, people who have viewed/visited them, and agents, so you get a wide prospective for a lot of the larger and more popular condos in the city.
Yes, you will get the occasional bitter reviewer who will criticise on the most stupidest things or who are completely ignorant of the facts on the building, but those reviewers are easy to spot.
And yes, there will be a handful of agents who will write the same generic reviews for a ton of condos just to spam their name on throughout site.
 

Shiny

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It could go both ways.

On one hand, the condo might just be delivered and many buyers purchased for rent purposes.

On the other hand, the condo owner who recently purchased might notice that they were deeply disappointed at the builder. For example, in my case,
after I finished my PDI, when I called the customer care centre, they said that "As long as you have running water, the unit is livable" despite that the window is broken!!!!! How could I live above 50 floors with wind/snow/rain leaking into my unit in Toronto?

Some findings (not inclusive all problems)

  • Scratched wood floors.
  • Damaged windows that link wind/rain/snow to the room
  • Missing knobs on all cabinets
  • Improperly installed fridge with missing components
  • Missing doors in closet
  • Scratched windows/stove surface
  • Poor paint and drywall work throughout the unit
  • Subpar tile work in bathrooms;
  • Construction debris not cleaned up
  • Customer care centre said that "as long as you have running water, the unit is livable" despite it would be cold and the rain/snow/wind would ruin the unit
 

jwicks

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Unfortunately there isn't much data available on condos and that area has a lot of development. I looked at www.homenova.com to try to gauge more about the condo selections, but so far it looks like they have more houses than condos. I am not getting much information from the builders...
 

ponyboy

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For each of the properties NorthYorkEd listed above, perhaps (a) age of building and (b) total number of units (divide unit for sale by this number) would help put those "for sale" numbers into perspective.
 

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