6 Condo Layout Options to Consider

Condo layout

Breaking down what makes a good layout is hard. People have different ideas of what is desirable and what is worth losing space over. Let’s take six difficult layout choices and find which work best for you:

1. The bathroom
Shower, tub, or both?
Since housing prices are going up, many families are opting for a more suburban location, where bath tubs are more common, compared to the city core. The lifestyle of an urban apartment/condo dweller tends to be more fast paced, without time for a tub. Plus, most condo buildings have pools or a sauna included.


2. The living room
Box-style or unique layout?
Angled and curved rooms may look dramatic but are a nightmare for furniture placement, leading to wasted space. This may, in some cases, lose the appeal of a buyer when you go to resell.


3. Window placement
Where should the sunlight go: Bedroom, bathroom, or living space?
The location of windows in a unit can make or break a space. It’s always more attractive to have windows in all of the bedrooms, as natural light increases the resale value of a unit. However, most units see the majority of use in the living room. So, when choosing a layout look for window space that lets sunlight into as many rooms as possible.

4. Condo width
A wide or narrow unit?
Both styles have benefits. A narrow unit tends to keep the washer/dryer noise away from conversation areas and the bathroom out-of-view from the living room/kitchen seating. In contrast, a wide unit offers more window space and caters to those who enjoy an open concept design.

5. Building floor plan  
Where on the floor should my unit be located?
One aspect that is often overlooked when choosing a unit is its location within the building floor plan. A unit within close proximity to the elevators can prove to be very frustrating, as noise levels tend to be high. Many purchasers have been disappointed to learn that, once they have moved into their condo, they are constantly bothered by the sound of the garbage falling down a nearby chute. Always ask your REALTOR® to show you the unit location within the entire floor plan.


6. Storage space
Big closet or little closet?
An efficient developer will ensure that there are no hollow walls and, wherever possible, will use built-in wall storage as a space saver. Walk-in closets are great but not worth sacrificing the precious space from an already cramped bedroom. Keeping the master bedroom as big as possible helps for resale value.

5 Budget-Friendly Curb Appeal Upgrades

Curb appeal paint door


Home sellers often ask if there is anything they should do as far as staging is concerned. Similarly, first time homebuyers, perhaps stretched for funds after their first big investment, want tips on making that new house a home. Similar rules of thumb apply, so let’s focus on developing the exterior beauty, roll up our sleeves and step outside:

  1. Tackle big issues first.
    That spot along the side of the house or garage where you keep leftover lumber, drainage pipes, or an old basketball net – get rid of it. If you haven’t touched it in over two years, discard it.

    If you have an old shed that is an eyesore to you – you know, the one you hope will grow legs and walk away – trust me when I say potential buyers have 20/20 vision and will zero in on any negatives.

  1. Get into those gardens!
    Dig up weeds, turnover the dirt, put nice clean edges in, and rake that garden! Trim, move, or get rid of unruly shrubs and perennials. Friends and family may be willing to donate some of their flowering perennials to your project. Also, big chain hardware stores sell their hanging baskets of annuals at half price or less. Strategically planted groupings easily add instant punches of colour to the yard.

  2. Remove outdoor knick-knacks.
    Curb Appeal GardenBuyers are on a mission. In the first minute of taking in the curb appeal of your property, they are going to know if they will even consider purchasing this property. Give the rest of your home a fighting chance! You may love the garden gnome, but don’t distract buyers from their mission with personal items.

    You want potential buyers to visualize themselves relaxing in the yard (with a nice iced tea). As REALTORS®, we want to hear the buyers say things like: “Wouldn’t our patio set look amazing here?” or “Oh honey, the kids would love this yard!”

  1. Shingles.
    If those shingles are showing wear and tear it makes it that much harder to sell your home. In fact, depending on the level of wear of the shingles, this can make your home almost undesirable since worn shingles are often related to other issues within the property. Some roofing companies offer financing through major banks, which can make things much easier on the pre-sale expenses.
  2. Paint the front door!
    Front doors painted with POW colours make people want to enter! Red! Periwinkle blue! Black! Yellow! Go for it! You’re moving anyway, so you don’t have to love it. Just make sure your REALTOR® updates the photos to show off the new colour!

    While you’re out there, ask your friends to help and have a painting party! Touch up all window frames and wooden fences.

A bit of elbow grease and creativity go a very long way in showing prospective buyers your lovely home. So, here’s to saving money and selling your home for the best possible price!

4 Considerations When Buying an Investment Property

Investment property for rent


Purchasing real estate has been a profitable option for investors for a very long time. Many investors have made hundreds of thousands of dollars (in some cases millions) by purchasing properties, building equity, and then selling for a profit. 

Here are four key considerations when deciding to invest in housing:

1) Affordability
Purchasing a property and renting it out to cover the mortgage may seem like an attractive opportunity, but as the old saying goes “don’t bite off more than you can chew.” One of the most common ways to lose money in an investment property is to fail to rent the property out and then not being able to afford the monthly payments. Try to budget so you can afford to pay the mortgage on a monthly basis even if you can’t rent it out (due to some unforeseen circumstance).

2) Location
Location is one of the most important points to consider when purchasing a property for investment purposes. Look for nearby rent-drivers, such as colleges/universities, public transportation, highways, and other attractions. Of course, the better the location is, the more expensive the property will be.

3) Condition of the property
Don’t let the cosmetics of a prospective property put you off. Put on your investor hat and look at everything with a dollars-and-cents point of view. Ask yourself, “What can I do to improve this place?” or, “How will adding this or fixing that impact the value of the property?” Plus, if a property meets most of your criteria but isn’t the prettiest looking home on the street, you may be able to get it for a lower price.

4) Do your research
Study the market, consistently review the stats and look at the properties available in your target area. You never know when the right property at the right price will present itself.