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Condos aren't just for young

Jeanhy Shim, National Post

Published: Saturday, October 14, 2006

When many people think about condominiums, they think about young people living in small, loft-style one-bedroom suites in downtown Toronto. First-time buyers have certainly been the driving force behind new condominium sales over the past several years, and condominiums continue to play an important role in enabling young people to become home owners.

However, many people overlook the fact that condominiums also play an important role later in life -- when the children have left home, when there is more time to travel, when the driveway becomes difficult to shovel or when the task of going upstairs becomes increasingly arduous. So-called empty nesters are showing an increased interest in the condominium market in Toronto, and for good reason, as there are so many advantages to condominium living, such as:

- Convenient maintenance-free living -- no snow to shovel, no windows to clean and no annual house repairs to undertake;

- Security and freedom -- 24-hour concierge service means there is always someone to call in an emergency or you can travel the world for months without worry about your home;

- Single-floor living -- no stairs to climb to your bedroom and no stairs to go down to the laundry room;

- Great amenities and social activities -- numerous sports and recreational amenities and activities for residents;

- Latest suite features and finishes -- all the suite finishes, chosen from the latest styles, reflect your own taste and lifestyle;

- Warranty protection -- all newly constructed condominiums are covered by Tarion, the new-home warranty program that ensures high standards of building quality and excellence.

Most important, new condominium buildings mean empty nesters can stay in their own neighbourhoods, close to longtime friends or favourite restaurants, shops and local haunts, even though they no longer need to live in their larger family homes.

According to Urbanation, there are more than 70 new condominium projects currently on the market in such well-established and popular residential neighbourhoods as Yorkville, Forest Hill, Mount Pleasant Village, Lawrence Park, St. Lawrence Market, Harbourfront, the Annex, the Beach, High Park, the Kingsway, Bayview Village, York Mills, Don Mills, Downsview, Clarkson, Port Credit, Thornhill, Richmond Hill, Maple, Woodbridge and Oakville offering large suites with traditional layouts designed specifically with the down-sizing empty-nest buyer in mind.

Developers know that downsizing from a family home does not mean downsizing expectations, so suite layouts today are efficient, with no wasted space, making a 1,500-square-foot two-bedroom suite feel just as functional as a 2,000 sq. ft. home.

By nature, people don't seem to like change, but change is much easier to handle when there are choices. The ability to choose where you live is among the most important choices one has. Unfortunately, it often takes a health crisis or emergency to prompt us to realize that the stairs in the old family home are no longer manageable or the yard is getting too big to maintain.

So, the next time you pass by a new condominium development near your home (or near your parent's home), drop in (or take your parents) to have a look. Chances are, you all will be pleasantly surprised to learn that you not only love the location, the quality finishes and the large layouts, but that you (or your parents) would also not really miss going up and down stairs or mowing the lawn!

Posted on Monday, October 16, 2006 at 09:39PM by Registered CommenterElaine in | Comments2 Comments

Reader Comments (2)

As a young man I'm loving this "condominiums" thing. At least, I can't have that fear of a home which is the greatest reason why I ceased to marry for last 5 years.
June 28, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMcgill
They didn't mention it in the article, but it's primarily the "single" first time buyers that are moving the market the most... many couples wouldn't be able to fit in some of the less than 500 sqft condos that many of the developers have been building! Home ownership as a means of forced savings really does help individuals in "having a place in the world" and when combined with someone else who has done the same, double the benefit!

Just thought I'd point that out since you mentioned "ceasing to marry for the last 5 years!"
July 5, 2007 | Registered CommenterElaine

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