Before you invest in a condo of your own you've got to know the basics of being a condo owner. Having a condo is often much more affordable and takes a lot of pressure off of the house owner as someone else is responsible for the maintenance and repairs of the building, this also means you are living stress-free that bad things may happen to the place you are living in. Condos have amazing enhanced security features that are unique to the condo itself and they're thought of as units in different high-rise residential buildings but they can also be townhouses, duplexes, triplexes and single detached houses. When buying a condo for yourself you have three choices; you can buy a brand new condo, a resale condo or complete a condo conversion yourself.
When you own a condo, you have paid for a unit. The unit is yours as you share the ownership of the common elements and assets of the building but you have a limited boundary in which you own. Before you buy a condo it is best to find out units boundaries as you could be responsible for window washing or repairing the townhouse's bricks. This should be stated in the contract you are given so make sure this is read thoroughly. As well as paying for your individual unit and the portion of the shared common property there are condo monthly fees that cover the estimated cost of any future maintenance and repairs the condo may need. It is required by law that condo owners (in certain provinces and territories) pay money for a fund study, and beware that it is not common at all to get refunds to unit owners. So be careful when you are working out the common expenses that you haven't overly estimated the expenses.
Condo corporations are actually legal entities if you become a condo owner you and all the other owners can be sued for matter which all of you are liable. In addition, you and all of the other owners have the right to sue for damages to the common property if it occurs. If you are buying a condo in Vancouver you must take this into consideration as well as other pointers.
The pros and cons of condo ownership
As a potential condo owner, you need to know all the pros and cons of owning your own condo. Although there are many things that can be exciting and new when purchasing your first condo, there are many things you must consider before handing over the money it costs to buy it. After all, you want a quality home for you and everyone else you're housing and you don't want any hidden costs months down the line. You need to evaluate whether or not the condo life suits your lifestyle, financial situation and personality.
There are inevitably fewer maintenance and repair responsibilities which mean you can save a lot of money on repairing the things that need it. A con of this though is that you will then not be able to decide when maintenance and repairs get done. This could change the way you look at buying a condo as it is often better to own more and pay a little more than vice versa as you have more control over your property when complications occur.
Owning a condo means you have access to on-site amenities such as a swimming pool, or sauna which you may not have been able to afford otherwise. With this in mind, the rent or price of your condo is enhanced and you may have to then be paying for amenities you never or rarely use yourself. Before you make the big step in purchasing your own condo, think about a number of times you're going to use the amenities that condos offer.
In condos, there are enhanced security features in the condo units which mean you'll have peace of mind whilst you're away travelling or on holiday knowing that your neighbours are close by. However, there is often less privacy in some condo units and possibly more noise, dependant on the complex you choose. There is also the idea of having a regular financial situation if you are a new property owner you may never have had regular bills or money being withdrawn out of your account every month or so. You must make sure you have enough money to cover your bills, fees and the condo itself.
Luckily with condo ownership the monthly maintenance and condo fees are very predictable which means it's easy to know your budget every month. With this in mind, the downfall of owning a condo is that there is a possibility of special assessment charges for unexpected repairs.
Buying a condo
The three choices you have as a potential condo owner are simple but the differences between them are quite big. Buying a new condo may mean you have a to wait a few months before you can move in. This is because developers put new condos up for sale before their construction has been completed or even begun. This type of condo buying has its advantages as you can ask for a set floor plan if you don't like the original and you are able to make it your own by planning the layout yourself. Looking at the length of the project is always a good idea, if you want to move in, in a month (for example) you need to make sure the project will be done by then and you don't want to be disappointed. If you contact the developer they should be able to give you details about the property and its management who essentially holds the key responsibility for the day-to-day running of your newly built condo. When buying a brand new condo you've got to be prepared to pay occupancy fees to the developer, this will cover the period between the time you take occupancy of your unit to the time you take ownership of it (once it is all registered in your name etc.)
Resale condos are regularly up for sale as have many advantages over just new buys, you have the luxury of seeing what you're buying before you buy it. This makes everything a lot clearer for the buying process. There are no hidden fees and you are able to find out exactly how much space you'll have, what the layout is like and where the common elements of the condo are. Although the resale condos are often older it means you get a little character to your new home, if that's something you look for in a home than a resale condo might be more for you. In addition to this, with resale condos, you often don't have to wait for the building process to happen. You may be able to pay and move in, in a shorter amount of time rather than having to wait for anything.
Checklists, tips and FAQ's
Below is a list of things you must be able to check off the checklist whilst buying a new condo;
Check off these items on your checklist if you are buying a resale condo;
What do my condo fees cover?
Your monthly condo fees pay your portion of the cost to maintain and repair the common property. These costs may cover:
What happens if I don't pay my condo fees?
Condo fees aren't optional nor are they negotiable, if you can't afford the fees then, unfortunately, this means you can't afford the condo. If you do withhold your condo fees it may end in suspension of voting rights as a consequence and in some jurisdictions, you are not allowed to vote if you are over 30 days behind in your payments.
Can I rent out my condo?
Mostly this is allowed however, it is advised that the owners consulate this with the complex itself as they all have different terms and conditions. It is also advised to find out from the property manager what percentage of the building is owner-occupied.
Listings of condos in Vancouver
We at Dream Living offer many services as we are a Vancouver real estate company. From buying a townhouse in Kitsilano to an apartment in Yaletown. The listings on our site are endless.
802 150 E Cordova Street
Retailing at just under $750,00 this gorgeous property is a two bedroom, two bathroom condo located in Gastown. This 2016 built beauty has an interior designed by award winning Evoke International Design and is within walking distance to Yaletown, Chinatown and the Skytrain stations. See more about this property here.
302 53 W Hastings Street
Built in 2008 this 9-year-old property has one bedroom and one bathroom but includes a sleek kitchen with stainless steel backsplash and integrated appliances. It's just a stone's throw away from restaurants, cafes and boutiques in the heart of Gastown. Retailing at $575,000 this is one of the cheaper condos we offer and it is just simply beautiful to look at. Check out more about this property here.
303 1180 Homer Street
The McMaster building was completely rebuilt in 2007 and with the renovations can amazing properties such as this two bed, two bath apartment. This 1,328 square foot red brick property is perfect for those who love to live the life of luxury. It comes with one parking space and only costs around $1,660,000. Have a closer look at it here.
Over the last 50 years Yaletown has been through a lot of changes. Yaletown an area of Downtown Vancouver that was formerly heavily industrial, warehouses and rail yard dominated the streets since the early 1800’s. After Expo 86 (the first world’s fair with the theme of ‘Transportation and Communication – a World in Motion’) the former industrial land became a whole area that was ripe for development. Most of the original housing from the 19th century has no longer survived but several of the older buildings from the industrial days still exist and are in good working condition to this day. The two most significant industrial streets were Mainland and Hamilton Street, although the buildings are no longer in use many of them have been converted into loft style apartments and offices with bars and restaurants on the ground level.
Yaletown has the fastest-growing residential downtown in North America at nearly 40,000 people moving to downtown within the last 15 years. Most of Yaletown’s residents are younger professionals that are between the ages of 20 and 40 due to the amount of offices and office space that Yaletown has to offer.
Other residents include wealthy penthouse owners and a small amount of younger families with professional working parents. The price of living spaces in Yaletown is always increasing, the original idea for the city was the fact that it was cheap yet professional but as the population has grown – the prices have slowly started the rise. The people of Yaletown have very similar interests as they all share a love for yoga, gyms and easy access to Yaletown’s best gourmet food and hip nightlife. Yaletown is ideal for young, working families to start a life in a very popular area of North America with the promise of beautiful parks (Coopers Park and Helmcken Park to name the best…) and great, significant landmarks that make Yaletown unique from other neighbouring cities.
From visiting award-winning restaurants to going to the seasonal weekly farmers market, there is an endless list of interesting things to get involved with if you live in the Yaletown area. The engine 374 museum at the Roundhouse is also very popular with the locals as it’s the steam engine that built Canada, period. Condos to penthouses, there is something for everyone in Yaletown.
If you’re looking for things to do in Yaletown why not check out a bicycle tour of the area? Or even try an afternoon in the Jennifer Kostuik Gallery on Homer Street. There are endless places to eat too, locals recommend places such as Yaletown Brewing Company who specialise in seasonal beers on tap and traditional standard, pub food. What makes this place extra special is the famous patio view from the top of the building of Yaletown, a stunning place to eat and have a drink with friends. Other recommendations include, The Flying Pig located on Hamilton Street. They cook lots of fish and meat just to perfection and have an average 4.5 stars on Trip Advisor. Hurricane Grill offer anything from perfectly cooked steak to chicken wings and tacos. Located on the Yaletown waterfront, this gorgeous grill restaurant is great for people who love good food.
Events are always taking place throughout Yaletown, from big-time artists like Ed Sheeran and Lady Gaga to the Honda celebration of light. Every summer in Yaletown there are many festivals and exciting things to do, September brings Bike the Night presented by MEC and lots more. It’s home to attractions such as the BC Place Stadium, the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, home of the Vancouver Canucks and the Vancouver Art Gallery. The famous OPUS hotel is also on the list of things you definitely have to do and places you must stay during your visit in Yaletown. In 2016, it was named one of the top 100 hotels to stay in by the readers of Conde Nast Travellers magazine. Art events are extremely popular with the wide variety of locals and tourists who pass through Yaletown. In the Contemporary Art Gallery there are two main exhibitions including ‘A Sublime Vernacular: The Landscape Paintings of Levine Flexhaug’ offering the first overview of the extraordinary work of Levine Flexhaug. In addition, the ‘Gordon Bennett: Be Polite’ exhibition is also on until late September about the rich layers of Australian and Western art history and politics.
Moving on from events and art in the heart of Yaletown, there are so many great buildings on offer in the town. Marinaside Crescent is a highly desired neighbourhood for people who are looking to buy a condo in yaletown. Right on the waterfront of Yaletown, the views this street has to offer is just unreal. The neighbourhood is full of beautiful buildings from The Concord to Quaywest 1 and 2. Currently listed are properties and most are newly listed which means they will be snatched up fast. New listings in Yaletown are:
605 1383 Marinaside Crescent has 2 beds and 2 bathrooms. Built in 1998 and selling for $4.5 million this stunning loft in The Columbus has a cosy fireplace and a relaxed, chill vibe. The Lutron lighting, with integrated speakers and translucent glass awaits you. There is outdoor area with plenty of space for friends and family to have drinks and enjoy themselves. The complex has a in suite laundry, exercise centre and pool, it is available to use whenever you want.
2005 1228 Marinaside Crescent is 964 square foot of pure heaven. Built in 1997, which makes it slightly older than the one discussed above. This condo retails at just under $1.3 million. It comes with an open-plan living and dining area whilst also having 2 big bedrooms and 2 modern, stylish bathrooms. The kitchen area is ideally located at the front of the condo with the bedrooms and living area overlooking the views of Yaletown. For those who like an office with a view, this property is for you. Professionals and families are openly welcomed into this beautiful home to enjoy all its amenities which include a pool (and jacuzzi) and many shops nearby.
1807 1077 Marinaside Crescent is selling for just under $900,000 and was built in 2000. This 1 bed, 1 bath property isn’t as open plan as the other condos talked about above. This is very much a closed off property, if you like floor to ceiling windows, granite counters and gas fireplaces then this is definitely for you. Amenities include a complex bike room, sauna and steam room and a beautiful garden. If the views you’ll get from this property don’t sell it then nothing will! There’s also a big office if you’re a professional and great storage spaces that will mean you have plenty to show but also plenty to keep away.
3207 1199 Marinaside Crescent is an open-plan living area that is simply stunning. This 1 bed, 1 bath is perfect for couples or young families that don’t need much space, want to put their own furniture in their home or even just like having their own space that doesn’t cost too much. Retailing at $930,000, this property is one of the cheaper on Marinaside Crescent as it’s unfurnished but is perfect if you love having your own twist on properties. This complex has a great outdoor space that residents can book and have BBQ gatherings or parties. It’s just a short walk to Urban Fare and only a block away from the Canada line.
2201 1328 Marinaside Crescent is bigger than all the other condos discussed above and this one would probably more likely be classed as an apartment as it has 3 bedrooms and 4 baths. It retails at $13 million and is over 3,000 square feet of property. Built in 2003 with its own dining room and separate kitchen, this is a perfect living space for a small family wanting to move to the heart of Yaletown. Amenities include a private triple garage with a storage room and one parking shared with a double garage. There is also a swirl pool and hot tub on the complex for those days you just want to chill out and relax.
Ready to buy a unique apartment in Yaletown? Get in touch with us!
Yaletown is forever growing through popularity and everyone loving their way of life.
Earlier this year the cities Mister Ice Cream Parlour introduced new black ‘coconut ash’ flavoured ice cream to
the store which also comes with a black waffle cone. If that doesn’t make you want to see what else Yaletown has to offer then you must be crazy! Other great flavours from the parlour include double Oreo, avocado and crème brûlée.
Even more exciting is the opening of a Mexican-inspired ‘Fayuca’ which opened in April. The restaurant is located on Hamilton Street and is a north pacific twist on a Mexican eatery. The idea was to create a great atmosphere where people can enjoy good food and have a drink or two with their friends and family. The kitchen is ran by Dave Byron who was formerly in the Joey Restaurant Group and as it’s a Scott Cohen joint, the eatery has a 20-seat bar. Everything from lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch to just having a good time. The restaurant has been a hit with all the locals who didn’t hesitate to try out all the best plates on the menu. Specialities including potato dumplings, braised beef cheeks and grilled cauliflower. You can check out more of the menu here.
Yaletown is a lovely, busy place to live with so much to do and so many places to eat from. The place is filled with high-rise buildings and pretty parks that you’ll never get bored of the scenery. View the sea from your condo window or even just from the shore itself, the possibilities are endless and Yaletown is just waiting for you to arrive…
Although they originally dated back to the 1900’s, lofts only became popular as a living space in the late 60’s.
The popularity began in the SoHo district of New York City, and since then everyone who is creative and artistic has wanted one for themselves. Exposed brick, open-spaces and high ceilings are just some of the individual qualities that make these types of properties attractive to buyers. In addition, the driving force for creating loft spaces in different urban areas is positively viewed as it can increase the value of properties in general. Lofts can also help to improve the quality of living for individuals who buy these properties. Many people claim that lofts can evoke a connection with history and timelessness where any imagination can be provoked with the open space a loft provides.
Different to average apartments and condos, lofts offer the availability of living in the city, with wide-open spaces whilst not paying ridiculous prices. Lofts have also been part of the postmodernism movement in architecture in the last decade meaning that the dynamic of living spaces has changed a lot.
There are two forms of lofts; hard lofts and soft lofts. Hard lofts are conversations of older/commercial style buildings that are no longer in use such as schools, churches, warehouses and even factories. They normally include exposed brick and industrial style type windows. Whereas soft lofts are newer buildings that are built incorporated with having the characteristics of a hard loft (such as those above.) These are a lot more popular in built up areas as have a softer edge to them, sometimes having carpets and a more home-style feel.
The benefits of living and working in lofts are endless. Besides it being stylish and chic, lofts have great natural light meaning artists and other creatives love working in that kind of environment. When owning a loft, you have complete control over enclosing the areas that you want without any restrictions or designing it so it is as open-plan as you want. They can also feel extra luxurious unlike other homes and other traditional apartments. With lofts, you get separate entrances and exits which means if it is your workplace, customers don’t have to see every aspect of your working environment – just what you want them too. It’s also an affordable office space for work, great idea if you work from home or don’t want to rent out an expensive office in the city.
There are famous loft buildings all over Vancouver, one of the main ones is the Murchies Building in the heart of Yaletown. The building is newly refurbished with bright, spacious living areas and a large bedroom. These one-beds are all a short walk away from a Choices Market and Starbucks. What makes the Murchies building so unique is that all the lofts come with fully stocked kitchens and flat screen TV’s in the bedroom and living area. Another building that may be able to suit those loft lovers is located at the edge of Gastown and Vancouver’s newest multi-media industrial hub. Koret lofts are fully furnished with many amenities including a dishwasher, microwave and even a maid service. A good thing about the Koret lofts on offer is that they are in the heart of the city’s best bars, restaurants and shops. It’s the space every creative needs.
The Metropolis building is an art deco style high-rise in Yaletown. Almost all the 28 level suites in this beauty are 2 level lofts which are all stylish and modern. Located in Downtown and Yaletown Vancouver these Vancouver lofts are unique in their own way as they come fully furnished with amenities for its residents such as an exercise centre on the ground floor. It’s just minutes away from Emery Barnes city park making it perfect for those who love city life in Vancouver. Like this is the McMaster building (previously a warehouse/office building) these unique lofts offer modern, sophisticated living for all those wanting to live in the Townline area. Air conditioning and stainless-steel Miele appliances make these lofts irresistible to anyone who visits. The 2007 building has everything you would need from a contemporary build with 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and lots of storage lockers.
We at Dream Living, have many lofts like these beautiful buildings that are available to buy right now from as little as $548,000. From condos in Downtown to lofts in the heart of Vancouver. Here are some of the amazing deals we have right now;
408 1549 Kitchener Street ($688,000) has 2 beds and 1 bath. There is a master bedroom loft with a walk-in closet, a flex space, and an open den. This particular suite includes designer colours, maple-wood floors, and antique doors (with the original door knobs). It’s just 2 blocks away from the amazing restaurants, gourmet markets and cafes of Commercial Drive. Read more about this property here.
605 1228 Homer Street ($1,249,000) is a beautiful, bright living space with 2 beds and 1 bath space. The open plan kitchen along with the Jacuzzi bathtub makes this property simply unique. There is more than enough storage and a great outdoor area for entertaining which includes a private balcony. Read more about this property here.
50 133 Keefer Street ($4,688,000) offers a beautiful penthouse with your very own rooftop glass-bottomed pool. The brand-new loft space has a fully-fitted kitchen with Irish white oak hardwood floors and silent electric blinds. It has 2 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms which makes this one of the biggest, and newest lofts on the market. Read more about this property here.