Spot a Bad Condo With These Tips
Wednesday Oct 16th, 2019
Are you currently in the throes of buying a condo in Toronto?
It’s a big step—and a gigantic financial investment. You would want to be walking on eggshells with the cost of an average condo in Toronto going up to $558,000 and more. Here are a few secrets to spotting a bad condo and raising the red flag.
Bad Online Reviews
Nothing helps you gauge the suitability of a condo or the type of investment it is more than the experience of the people who are currently residing in the area or have lived in the condo you are interested in. It is always preferable to get a first-hand review from those who have personally experienced the area, rather than believe those whose job it is to sell you the condo. Check out Toronto Condo Team reviews for condos across Toronto and garner insider news for various condos.
While this shouldn’t affect your decision alone, but as a rule of thumb, the presence of Airbnb rentals within the building directly translates into a bad condo. Well, mostly. Condos that have flexible Airbnb policies generally see less than content residents. Well no surprises there, since people who are only coming in to stay for a few nights can hardly be expected to be concerned about the property. This means that you would inevitably be dealing with destructive, drunk, boisterous, and messy neighbors from time to time.
Before you buy into a condo, be sure to check the security of the unit as well as the building. How easy is it for someone to get access to the building. Can someone sneak into your unit by alternative means, like the windows and balcony? Does the security staff seem capable of holding off trespassers? If you don’t see the security staff stopping and inquiring guests, if the door is not properly locked, or if you think that anybody can access the condo, chances of accidents are high in that condo.
The Appearance And Condition Of Elevators
Your condo quality can often be judged by the appearance of its elevators alone. Vandalized, scratched, and dilapidated elevators reveal a weak condo management team. Especially, buildings with elevators that look like they could really use some serious maintenance, should raise a red flag.
Less Competent Craftsmanship
A lot of small details reflect on the lower quality craftmanship of the condo, such as cracks in room corners, dry wall or the ceiling, ill-fitting doors, creaking or buckled floorboards, or gaps between laminate in the floor.
Bad Floor Plans
We see a lot of condos everyday that make us question who could have approved the floor plan in the first place? Have you ever walked into a condo that has windowless bedrooms, irregular corners where nothing fits, wardrobes that are not easily accessible, or ones that have squandered half of the square footage on long corridors? Yes; we too have seen our fair share of downright preposterous condos.
Too Much Noise
If noisy neighborhoods are not your cup of tea, try visiting a condo in the evening at a time when most of your potential neighbors have come home. Is the smell of their cooking wafting into your potential unit? Can you hear them through the walls? If so, the isolation between the units is less than par. Generally, units that sit close to the elevator get more noise. See if you can hear the elevator coming and the buzz of people going in and out in your unit.
While you will see a lot of condos that are famed for the panoramic views they offer, many condos have units facing a wall or offering a less than pleasant view. When visiting a potential unit, be sure to check out the views from all windows. What do you see; a thriving city life, a picturesque lake, majestic skyscrapers, or grey concrete? It may also be that your unit is offering a great view for now, but once the construction on the adjacent building gets wrapped up, you will find yourself facing walls as well. This is why it is better to inquire into your city’s construction plans in advance.
Long Elevator Waiting Times
One other reason why you should be visiting the unit in the evening when most people will be returning home is that you can gauge the elevator waiting times. Weekends are also a great time to visit the condo. Typically, most condos reserve one elevator for move-outs and move-ins over the weekend, so you can get a feel for how the elevator situation will be with only a few available elevators.
Pool/Gym Separate From The Building
While having a pool/gym for residents is in itself an amenity, there are some condos where the gym or the pool is not directly connected to the condo building. This poses problems in colder seasons.
Crowded Gym/Swimming Pool
Yet another benefit of visiting a condo during the post-work hours is that it can give you a good idea of the usage of different amenities and how crowded they tend to get in your preferred time. Are all of the machines busy, with a long waiting time for each, leaving no room for you to exercise until late in the night?
Amenities Under Repair
Do you see a lot of repair signs everywhere you go; the jacuzzi, pool, gym? This indicates an inefficient condo management that is not in a rush to fix things up.
Not Much Available Parking
Some condos only have a cramped parking space, leaving you pressed for choice. You could come home late one day and find the parking packed. Not to mention, imagine the damages to your vehicle in such tight parking spots. On a different note, also notice the distance between the elevator and the parking area. Imagine having to walk the distance every day, especially on grocery days.
If you want to check whether a particular condo exudes the right party vibes, try visiting later in the evening on a Friday or Saturday. While neighbor-friendly parties and dinners are great, wild frat parties that run on till dawn can wreak havoc on your peace. So, unless you want to be stepping on beer cans in the elevator in the morning or tossing and turning all night, you better find yourself a new building.