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Family Sized Condos

Ex-Montreal Girl

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In a well laid out suite, in buildings with like on top of like (i.e. living rooms on top of living rooms, kitchens on top of kitchens, etc.), no useless tunnel corridors, no double vanity ensuites with ginormous showers, 1000 sf for a 3BR is not ideal but do-able, especially if the developers include common spaces for kids.

The typical post-war East York bungalow is 800 sf with maybe another 800 sf in the basement, half of which is usable due to furnaces and low ceilings. Think how many boomer kids grew up in those.

Sure there was a period that followed -- maybe the 60s-70s -- 80s -- that the apartments got bigger but things change. All that's happening is we're going back to what was once realistic.

The problem today, IMO, is too much wasted space created by trying to cram as many units as possible onto a floor, resulting in some crazy layouts. Build a 2BR here and a 3BR there and oh look, there's 500 sf in-between so let's squeeze in a 1+den. And so on. We checked out a 2400 sf "penthouse" in one 2011 building and were wondering where all the space went. A teeny kitchen that could not accommodate a full-size fridge, let alone a French-door fridge, a MBR that could barely hold a queen size bed and two wee side tables, a ridiculously long hall that was about four feet wide, not enough to line with IKEA type closets so totally wasted, etc.
 

lead82

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I had to drive around East York the past couple of days. The O'Connor-Coxwell-Broadview-Mortimer area. I was struck by the huge new infill houses, or those old post-war bungalows with significant extensions plus second and third storeys.

Back when those were built, they probably contained 3-4 children, maybe a grandparent. Now? Two kids at most.

I also thought back to when we first bought in Riverdale, 1985. So many houses were divided into 2-3 units -- if they weren't outright rooming houses. I'm not saying we should go back to rooming houses but what's wrong with dividing a 3 storey+basement into 2 homes? Rather than tax homeowners more -- and this is coming from a condo owner -- why now offer tax credits for creating basement units and such that conform with fire and building codes? Didn't Toronto use to do that?
Encouraging the creation of basement units isn't likely to be much of an incentive because the costs to adhere to the Fire and Building codes would be substantial, especially in older homes. Perhaps a combination of higher SFH property taxes and lower for multi-unit properties would help persuade people. It will also bring more fairness. Why should the tax paid by a condo and house valued the same be equal? The house takes up way more land and costs a lot more to service.

The city is growing and we can't afford for most of downtown to be SFHs. It's not efficient and doesn't provide enough density to relieve the cost pressure.
 

Ex-Montreal Girl

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And she's back with her pet peeve...!

Just stumbled across this Global News report (video) from late June.

"New gridlock as a result of Condo Baby Boom

As single condo dwellers become couples with children, a new type of gridlock has hit the downtown core. Minna Rhee takes a look at a new report out by Social Planning Toronto – and the stark reality young families are now facing."
 

TheKingEast

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Not surprising. the planning in this city is abysmal. Build all these condos then worry about everything else later. Like a few decades later.
 

cdr108

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My issue is that they'll build 3BR condos. But they'll still be 1000 sq ft. When I moved back from Ottawa, I couldn't believe what passed for a 2BR condo in Toronto after living in a 980 sq ft 2BR in Ottawa which even had in-suite laundry, water heater and heater taking up space. I would argue that the condo I had (and I was single at the time) would be the minimum for a couple with a young child.

2BR is fine for one child. Not more though. And ~900 sq ft is bare minimum for 2BR. I can't believe these Toronto condos that are 2BR at 700 sq ft. Ridiculously Lilliputian.

hmmm ... i'm really surprised to hear many here say that they consider 1,000 sq ft too small for 3 BR.
I'm considering converting 1,100 Sft. 2 Br + solarium/2 bath into 3 BR/2 bath.

The other rooms seem adequate sizes to me:
Living room/Dining room 10 ft W x 25 ft L
Kitchen 10 ft x 9 ft
Master bedroom 15 ft x 12 ft
Bedroom #2 11 ft x 10 ft
Bedroom #3 (current solarium) 11 ft x 9 ft (11ft before construction of closet)

There are other units within the building that have combined the solarium into the LR/DR resulting in very bright space with 21 ft of windows but I think it's completely unnecessary.

What do you think would be more desirable from end user and re-saleability perspectives ?

since we're talking about "Family Sized Condos", i would think an extra bedroom be more desirable/valuable ?!
 

TheKingEast

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hmmm ... i'm really surprised to hear many here say that they consider 1,000 sq ft too small for 3 BR.
I'm considering converting 1,100 Sft. 2 Br + solarium/2 bath into 3 BR/2 bath.

The other rooms seem adequate sizes to me:
Living room/Dining room 10 ft W x 25 ft L
Kitchen 10 ft x 9 ft
Master bedroom 15 ft x 12 ft
Bedroom #2 11 ft x 10 ft
Bedroom #3 (current solarium) 11 ft x 9 ft (11ft before construction of closet)

There are other units within the building that have combined the solarium into the LR/DR resulting in very bright space with 21 ft of windows but I think it's completely unnecessary.

What do you think would be more desirable from end user and re-saleability perspectives ?

since we're talking about "Family Sized Condos", i would think an extra bedroom be more desirable/valuable ?!

All depends on the layout. If 150sqft is wasted on a hallway or stairs and there are 2 bedrooms without windows along with a linear kitchen then 1000 sqft isn't enough.

Layouts in these new condos can be terrible.
 

cdr108

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All depends on the layout. If 150sqft is wasted on a hallway or stairs and there are 2 bedrooms without windows along with a linear kitchen then 1000 sqft isn't enough.

Layouts in these new condos can be terrible.

i agree - most layouts in these new condos are terrible.

it's ironic that these "space saving" designs - windowless bedrooms and linear kitchens, contribute to further wasted space on hallways with the long and narrow units developers are building.

windowless bedrooms can waste 30+ sq ft, and linear kitchens still need circulation room to walk around (36+ sq ft) when you're cooking etc which impedes into the combo kitchen/LR/DR and limits the versatility of the room.
 
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Eug

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I hate small spaces with lots of rooms. I much prefer big open spaces. Yes, that space may be considered "wasted" by some, but it makes for a more pleasant experience IMO... that is if you can afford it.

For example, when I went looking for a house, I didn't even bother making an offer on any house with a dedicated dining room.
hmmm ... i'm really surprised to hear many here say that they consider 1,000 sq ft too small for 3 BR.
I'm considering converting 1,100 Sft. 2 Br + solarium/2 bath into 3 BR/2 bath.

The other rooms seem adequate sizes to me:
Living room/Dining room 10 ft W x 25 ft L
Kitchen 10 ft x 9 ft
Master bedroom 15 ft x 12 ft
Bedroom #2 11 ft x 10 ft
Bedroom #3 (current solarium) 11 ft x 9 ft (11ft before construction of closet)

There are other units within the building that have combined the solarium into the LR/DR resulting in very bright space with 21 ft of windows but I think it's completely unnecessary.

What do you think would be more desirable from end user and re-saleability perspectives ?

since we're talking about "Family Sized Condos", i would think an extra bedroom be more desirable/valuable ?!
One of the reasons I liked the 3 bedroom units in my condo townhouse complex was not because there were 3 bedrooms, but because the 3 bedrooms were all larger. My 2 bedroom was 1040 square feet (with some wasted hallway and stairway space), whereas the 3 bedroom units were 1400-1600. However, the cost was going to be high, which is why I stuck with the 2 bedroom. My guess is that for a well laid out single-floor condo, the place would have been about 900+ square feet, which means to add a third bedroom would have meant it would have been about 1000 square feet.

One of the reasons I moved out (besides getting sick of the downtown noise) is because I got sick of the cramped rooms. My master was something like 11x14 but it still felt very cramped. The 2nd bedroom was 9x10, which is tiny IMO. Even a 10x10ish third bedroom I mentioned for my hypothetical condo would feel quite cramped to me.

When I went looking for a detached home, I purposely looked for ones with fewer bedrooms but with more space in each bedroom. However, the reason is by that time I could afford the extra space, so I splurged on a large detached home with only 3 above-grade bedrooms and no dining room. Instead I have giant bedrooms and an oversized main room that functions as a living room / family room / dining room.

I realize that a lot of people cannot afford this and would value the extra private bedrooms, esp. in this crazily priced market, but the point is, 1000 square feet is indeed on the small for a 3-bedroom condo in my personal opinion. With my preferences, 1000 square feet is better suited for 2-bedroom, albeit a higher priced one for those can afford it. Actually, my sister has a 1800 square foot 2 bedroom condo and it's great. ;)
 

TheKingEast

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I hate small spaces with lots of rooms. I much prefer big open spaces. Yes, that space may be considered "wasted" by some, but it makes for a more pleasant experience IMO... that is if you can afford it.

For example, when I went looking for a house, I didn't even bother making an offer on any house with a dedicated dining room.


One of the reasons I liked the 3 bedroom units in my condo townhouse complex was not because there were 3 bedrooms, but because the 3 bedrooms were all larger. My 2 bedroom was 1040 square feet (with some wasted hallway and stairway space), whereas the 3 bedroom units were 1400-1600. However, the cost was going to be high, which is why I stuck with the 2 bedroom. My guess is that for a well laid out single-floor condo, the place would have been about 900+ square feet, which means to add a third bedroom would have meant it would have been about 1000 square feet.

One of the reasons I moved out (besides getting sick of the downtown noise) is because I got sick of the cramped rooms. My master was something like 11x14 but it still felt very cramped. The 2nd bedroom was 9x10, which is tiny IMO. Even a 10x10ish third bedroom I mentioned for my hypothetical condo would feel quite cramped to me.

When I went looking for a detached home, I purposely looked for ones with fewer bedrooms but with more space in each bedroom. However, the reason is by that time I could afford the extra space, so I splurged on a large detached home with only 3 above-grade bedrooms and no dining room. Instead I have giant bedrooms and an oversized main room that functions as a living room / family room / dining room.

I realize that a lot of people cannot afford this and would value the extra private bedrooms, esp. in this crazily priced market, but the point is, 1000 square feet is indeed on the small for a 3-bedroom condo in my personal opinion. With my preferences, 1000 square feet is better suited for 2-bedroom, albeit a higher priced one for those can afford it. Actually, my sister has a 1800 square foot 2 bedroom condo and it's great. ;)
10x9 would be considered average size for a master bedroom in a lot of these new builds. I've seen 2nd bedrooms at 8x8. Some smaller and it's no longer a rarity anymore.
 

kEiThZ

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If you can't fit a Queen bed, two side tables and a dresser in a bedroom, it's not a bedroom. Simple as that. These microcondos only work for singles/couples who don't have kids. They aren't real two bedrooms.
 

NorthYorkEd

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I happened to catch a few minutes of "Hot Property" on CP24 the other night. This show is just...terrible. But anyhooo...

As usual, Tribute was shilling their latest projects. Apparently, in an effort to appeal to buyers who are priced out of rotting, bug-infested, asbestos-laden, million-dollar junk piles, they are including some 3-bedroom condos in their downtown MAX project (81 Mutual St). Perfect for families! These "homes" are a whopping 855 square feet, and will only set you back + $800K. Like most new Toronto builds, I'm sure it will be built to the highest standards of quality and workmanship (yes, that was sarcasm).

What an insult. I think buyers need to start rejecting this trend of cramming people into the smallest, most cramped living spaces that the human spirit can endure, and asking them to take on a knee-wobbling amount of debt to service it. If real buyers (and not phantom speculators with bottomless cash) are actually paying this much for this little, it scares me much more than potential rate hikes and more strict borrowing rules.

Anyone else thinking about packing up and heading elsewhere? :)
 

Ex-Montreal Girl

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I happened to catch a few minutes of "Hot Property" on CP24 the other night. This show is just...terrible. But anyhooo...

As usual, Tribute was shilling their latest projects. Apparently, in an effort to appeal to buyers who are priced out of rotting, bug-infested, asbestos-laden, million-dollar junk piles, they are including some 3-bedroom condos in their downtown MAX project (81 Mutual St). Perfect for families! These "homes" are a whopping 855 square feet, and will only set you back + $800K. Like most new Toronto builds, I'm sure it will be built to the highest standards of quality and workmanship (yes, that was sarcasm).

What an insult. I think buyers need to start rejecting this trend of cramming people into the smallest, most cramped living spaces that the human spirit can endure, and asking them to take on a knee-wobbling amount of debt to service it. If real buyers (and not phantom speculators with bottomless cash) are actually paying this much for this little, it scares me much more than potential rate hikes and more strict borrowing rules.

Anyone else thinking about packing up and heading elsewhere? :)
Not only that but the builder seems to be emphasizing its rental potential to Ryerson students because, hey, who doesn't want to live and/or raise kids surrounded by partying students?
 

NorthYorkEd

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Not only that but the builder seems to be emphasizing its rental potential to Ryerson students because, hey, who doesn't want to live and/or raise kids surrounded by partying students?
Exactly. Tells us that they are actually looking for speculators/investors and not people interested in "homes".
 

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