Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Lemme Splain you .... Older Condo Developments

Buying Preconstruction is commiting to a goal and a dream. New Condominiums are selling Imagination and Hope. Developers Selling Sizzle, Builders selling the new lifestyle where you will enjoy the multi purpose recreation facilities, affluent portico and vestibules, guests will be wowed and greeted in the lobbies, interact with your new neighbours that all share your lifestyle and vision of affluence on the roof top lounge.

These spectacular presentations are made at sales centers with furnished and staged suites, scale size models, draperies and lavish upgrades; showing you what might be; VIP openings with celebrities, wine and cheese soirees with music. They may have interactive video that permits you to stroll through the building in a virtually rendered tour, they have design centers ready for you to select and match your trims items, you leave giddy with the options presented in CD - DVD format, floor plans, renderings, colour and material swatches.

You can drive the neighbourhood and examine the community that you will be living in and how far things are from where you will be living in three or four years time.

[Lets add a few details, every crane you see is a condo building site that has achieved ecomomic viability to build, each unit has ordered has 15 - 20% downpayment, with a contractual closing date. After you own it, you can rent or sell or live]

After the building has been sold out; Who speaks for the complex?

Who monitors the negative press? Who posts on the bulletin boards that have negative comments from a very few people [relative to the purchasing population] regarding the developer, builders or complex. Who answers the complaints or has a voice in the final trim colours of the hallway broadloom and paint combinations. When units appear for resale post closing does the Condominium Management Board provide updated information about the complex, recreational facilities, floor plans, amenities?

No. And maybe a few of the older building boards should take a very close look at this very issue.

There are many buildings that immediately spring to mind with large three bedroom suites, no sizzle, security guard at the front desk, indoor pool and an underground garage repair. This buildings maintenence fees are high compared to other buildings but not when compared on a per square foot basis when looking at actual suites. Lemme explain.

Let us imagine a brand new 780 square foot suite at Square One or Humber Bay Shore with all sorts of yummy guest suites, party room, theater, exercise equipment, salt water pool, whirlpool and amenities. Sounds wonderful but it needs to be looked after. The proposed maintenance fee is just that Proposed. It will change after the first annual budget, once the NEW condominium board has been installed and taken possession of the building. Let us assume that the monthly fee is $450. When compared with the 1,400 square foot unit with $1,100 in maintenance fees it is not so absurd. There are a number of buildings like this that are of similar value to purchase almost double the size unit inside but alas the maintenance fee is also multiplied.

But who is marketing the building; maintaining its online panache, catering to their pool of owners to add value? Who is responsible to inform the public that this build has no crime, stable population, rent-ability, responsibility in management and prudent financial stewardship. Who promotes the community led Euchre Wednesdays, Cloverdale Mall Mondays for shopping excursions or the publication of internal newsletters?

One Condo Board has taken this by storm and has even submitted [itself] for Condominium of the year This page > includes a link to the article in the CCI about Palace Place winning this quarter's competition for 'Condo of the Year".

The Condominium Community was profiled in one of my previous blogs available here.

Once the building has been registered, New Board of Directors installed, a number of different committees need to be formed within the Board itself; they should be directed to deal with issues like Seniors Living, Quality of Life, Building Presentation and perception. Maybe a committee to plan Winter exterior decorations is timely. Has there been a meet and greet your new neighbours event in your building?

I organized this very event in my condo and was delighted with the response and participation.

Your condo board should be conscious of image and maintaining a web presence post move in and occupancy. It will help maintain and support your buildings value. What would you like to see from your condo board?

Add your comments.

This note was left for me by a resident at Palace Place ended with ... BTW, I don't know of any other real estate [agent] in the GTA that has made such extensive use of technology to market their services. If you have occasion to list a suite in Palace Place, I will be glad to do what I can to help. You would be a good benchmark for other agents marketing Palace Place.

Thank you for the note of approval.

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