So how does one choose to buy a new condo? Lanterra's condos are not the cheapest... Murano is definitely not something I'd call cheap. Lumiere being built nearby is even more expensive, and while mostly everyone on here likes the design, who knows how it will do as a place to live. Is buying a 3 to 5 year old condo the best option?
A few thoughts.
To start with, keep your eyes and ears open. Read ' New Homes and Condos' section in The Saturday Star. Most of the write-ups there are 'advertorials'. However, you do pick up bits and pieces here and there.
In the past, a few developers -- don't remember the names now -- had taken an option to purchase a piece of land and started selling condos without getting city/other necessary approvals. When the necessary approvals -- height was issue in one case -- did not come through, they just refunded purchaser's deposits -- 9 months/ 1 year later. Purchasers lost an opportunity to purchase a unit somewhere else. In the meantime, prices had up every where. One would never want to deal with these developers.
A few builders have earned a well deserved reputation for quality/after sales service. Tridel and Minto are 2 such developers. Minto always has quality a cut above the others. I live in RoCP developed by Canderel. Their after sales service was excellent. When I went for PDI, Canderel representative told me that someone had already inspected the unit and had noticed a few deficiencies that will be taken care of ASAP. My painter had noticed uneven floor of the living room. I did not. When it was pointed out to Canderel, they took care of it, even though it meant that engineered wood floor had to taken apart and re-laid -- unlike a post that I read on another thread, where developer was adament that minor unevenness of the floor is the result of natural process when concrete cures and that nothing will be done about it. Any other problems brought to the attention customer service was taken care of -- in a few cases, almost immediately.
Customer service, on their own, offered to help install any new light fixtures that we might wish to install in our unit -- free of charge. Never heard of any othe developer offering this service.
Having said that, there were some problems in the beginning. During the interim occupancy period, at one time, elevators to the top 7/8 floors, mainly sub-penthouse and penthouse flloors, did not work for a few days.Residents had to walk up and down above a certain level. At another time, for a day or two, elevators for the lower ffloors did not work. We have walk up and down. A few units on the upper floors had extensive damange from burst pipes. These problems were well taken care to the satisfaction of the unit owners.
In big projects, problems will come up. It is how the problems are dealt with. That's important.
As I have said at the beginning, keep your eyes and ears open.
Sorry for this long post. Hopefully, this will help you somewhat.