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Condos: buy new or pre-owned


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#21 sebberry

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Posted 30 May 2010 - 04:55 PM

you'll be far happier in a concrete building.


This I mostly agree with.

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#22 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 30 May 2010 - 04:58 PM

Both of you (^^ and ^^^) are missing the point that a place in Oak Bay will fetch far more dollars than a condo downtown fronting the Trans Canada Highway and adjacent to the biggest nightclub/bar in BC.

There is a saying about "Location, location".

#23 LittleMagellan

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Posted 30 May 2010 - 05:05 PM

I must say I agree with a point here. How do you compare a 1970's wood frame condo in Oak Bay, or anywhere within the Greater Victoria region to a brand new, Concrete building, with brand new appliances, brand new finishing, state of the art wiring and electronic set up, in many cases other amenities such as pools, media rooms, in some cases green intiatives, state of the art sound proofing and insulation and fire proofing etc etc etc. I'm sorry I've been around the block long enough to know if I was to shell out a few of my own bucks I would not be buying a wood frame condo for any price, especially from the 1970s when I could spend a little bit more and wind up with a brand new state of the art concrete condo.

If you aren't comfortable with purchasing on a presale, as has been indicated there are numerous deals to be had on recent developments such as Bayview, the Falls, I'm sure Aria still has some available as well. Or wait until Chard has completed the 834 if you are dead set on that building.

My advice is don't take these penny pinching price comparisons, you simply cannot compare a wood frame condo to a concrete structure condo, don't let pretty renovations on wood frame, for a few bucks less sway, you'll be far happier in a concrete building.


Well it's not that I don't want to purchase on a pre-sale, I just wasn't familiar with the reputation of the two companies building the two places I was looking at. And it's not that I'm dead set on the 834 either, it's just that the unit I'm looking at there is in the right price range for me ($250-), and has lots of windows :-D. The only problem is that it's going to be done end of 2011, so I just heard. A little too late for me. The longest I was willing to wait was beginning of 2011. I want to avoid renting if I can.

#24 Guest_Marcat_*

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Posted 30 May 2010 - 05:14 PM

Well it's not that I don't want to purchase on a pre-sale, I just wasn't familiar with the reputation of the two companies building the two places I was looking at. And it's not that I'm dead set on the 834 either, it's just that the unit I'm looking at there is in the right price range for me ($250-), and has lots of windows :-D. The only problem is that it's going to be done end of 2011, so I just heard. A little too late for me. The longest I was willing to wait was beginning of 2011. I want to avoid renting if I can.


Well if you can find a way to wait on the 834, you'll be happy with your purchase as David Chard and his firm have a strong track record in developing in Victoria, as well as other locales, if you take a look at his website, you'll see some other local projects he has built and a little bit of his "resume" so to speak. He's a developer with a conscious so to speak. If not, perhaps look into some of his other completed projects to see if anything is available in your price range.

I realize you don't want to rent, but in terms of purchasing a new quality condo, renting a few months, or pushing your move back if possible may be your best option.

#25 LittleMagellan

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Posted 30 May 2010 - 05:19 PM

Well, it wouldn't be renting a few months, more like a year and a half. I move out beginning of July. Unfortunately pushing back the move isn't an option. We'll see, I go out to Victoria probably the second or third week of June to look around, so I have some time to make a decision. Closing just has to be 2 years from my move date.

#26 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 30 May 2010 - 05:38 PM

Well, it wouldn't be renting a few months, more like a year and a half. I move out beginning of July. Unfortunately pushing back the move isn't an option. We'll see, I go out to Victoria probably the second or third week of June to look around, so I have some time to make a decision. Closing just has to be 2 years from my move date.


Consider your options carefully. Remember, when you buy, if your mortgage payment is $1200, only $100 or a little less in the first few years is going to the principle. So that is the same as wasting $1100/mo. on rent. What I am saying is that don't consider rent of $1200/mo. equal to a mortgage at $1200/mo, with the mortgage so much more so as money well-spent. Consider the diffreence of $200/mo. so a year renting only costs you $2400.

#27 LittleMagellan

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Posted 30 May 2010 - 05:47 PM

Consider your options carefully. Remember, when you buy, if your mortgage payment is $1200, only $100 or a little less in the first few years is going to the principle. So that is the same as wasting $1100/mo. on rent. What I am saying is that don't consider rent of $1200/mo. equal to a mortgage at $1200/mo, with the mortgage so much more so as money well-spent. Consider the diffreence of $200/mo. so a year renting only costs you $2400.


OK that was worded a little awkwardly... Are you saying that if I end up renting for a year while I am also paying the mortgage, I'm in wasting almost double than if I had just rented? (I do realize that most of my mortgage payment is going to interest). If that's what you were saying, I realize if I am paying for a place that isn't finished yet, and have to rent at the same time, then I am not really an further ahead by buying. Unless I can find a REALLY cheap place to rent from (or live in a tent), and pay to keep most of my stuff in storage (I don't have a lot of things anyway).

#28 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 30 May 2010 - 06:00 PM

OK that was worded a little awkwardly... Are you saying that if I end up renting for a year while I am also paying the mortgage, I'm in wasting almost double than if I had just rented? (I do realize that most of my mortgage payment is going to interest). If that's what you were saying, I realize if I am paying for a place that isn't finished yet, and have to rent at the same time, then I am not really an further ahead by buying. Unless I can find a REALLY cheap place to rent from (or live in a tent), and pay to keep most of my stuff in storage (I don't have a lot of things anyway).


$1200 mortgage = $100 principle payment.

$1200 rent = 0$ payment on any property.

So your "cost" of renting over owning is only $1200/yr. Do not buy prematurely because you want to save a year worth of rent ($1200 x 12 = 14,400), unless you carefully consider that that year of rent only costs you $1200 over and above buying really.

#29 Builder_Bob

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Posted 30 May 2010 - 06:14 PM

Falls = Nice

#30 yodsaker

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Posted 30 May 2010 - 06:42 PM

Not comparing to The Falls but rather to show what could be done with an older condo. Keep in mind that some people may only have 275K rather than 399K.
What floor and what building was The Falls unit in?

#31 sebberry

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Posted 30 May 2010 - 07:11 PM

Both of you (^^ and ^^^) are missing the point that a place in Oak Bay will fetch far more dollars than a condo downtown fronting the Trans Canada Highway and adjacent to the biggest nightclub/bar in BC.

There is a saying about "Location, location".


You're saying noisier, less peaceful places should be worth more? :confused:

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#32 MarkoJ

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Posted 30 May 2010 - 07:17 PM

Not comparing to The Falls but rather to show what could be done with an older condo. Keep in mind that some people may only have 275K rather than 399K.
What floor and what building was The Falls unit in?


4th floor, 1 parking spot. It was originally listed for $529,000 and dropped to $399,000 and sold for full price.

I agree with you in that you can do a lot with an older condo for cheap. You can get high quality laminate for $3 sq/ft. So for $2,000 you can change the entire look of the condo.

However, right now there is a large oversupply of high-end condos and prices are dropping, if you have the extra change there is much more value.

The developers of the Falls and the Bayview weren't think too much when they built these places. Seriously, heat pumps in every unit at cost of approx 20-25k/unit. How many times a year do you need A/C in Victoria? They went for the high-end of the market, and got burned.

#33 Barra

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Posted 31 May 2010 - 11:02 AM

The region also has an increasing number of small condo conversions. Older houses converted to 4 or 5 units. Personally, I would not choose to buy in to one of these. With that few owners, everybody needs to be on the strata council. The level of understanding of the Strata Act could be precarious. If you are one of the few people in the building who can read the Act and understands how to properly run a meeting, you will constantly be running around making sure decisions are properly made, and making yourself unpopular in the process.

If you are considering buying in such a project - read the strata council minutes, bylaws and rules very carefully and ask to meet the strata president before you commit.
Pieta VanDyke

#34 Szeven

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Posted 31 May 2010 - 11:19 AM

$1200 mortgage = $100 principle payment.

$1200 rent = 0$ payment on any property.

So your "cost" of renting over owning is only $1200/yr. Do not buy prematurely because you want to save a year worth of rent ($1200 x 12 = 14,400), unless you carefully consider that that year of rent only costs you $1200 over and above buying really.


Plus you cant forget you have to pay $100-$250 strata, $100/mo in taxes, do all the upkeep and maintenance if things break, and are liable for a large debt. So a $1200 mortgage payment is really like $1100 interest, +300-400 in owner expenses. Not to mention you paid $800 conveyance, transfer taxes, maybe GST if new etc, so you need $3000 in appreciation yearly to break even.

If your condo is worth $300,000, thats only 1% a year, but what happens in 5 years when you go to sell it and upgrade/downgrade/change city? Hopefully you have chosen a mortgage term that fits with your wanting to sell, or else you might have to pay a penalty. Then, you list for $320,000, and the fancy pants realtor takes 6/3. You sell for $320,000, and you pocket 307,400.

Housing costs money, and its up to you to pick whether to speculate, or do it as cheaply as possible. Sometimes those can be the same property, sometimes they cant.

#35 LittleMagellan

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 02:53 PM

Hey guys, I've starting looking at places in Colwood and Langford as well, seeing as things are more affordable there. Having grown up in smack downtown Ottawa, I am kind of weary of suburbs (I don't know if weary is the right word... I guess generally not fond of them). What are your thoughts on these communities? How do they fair as far as 'burbs go?

There's a condo listed in Reflections for $259,000... and some in a place called Doma (I couldn't find any discussion on this development)... and besides the pool issue at Reflections, what are your opinions on these places?

Thanks.
P.S. I DON'T want to use my car (another reason why I want to buy downtown). And from what I have read, as typical burbs go, it seems that these two places aren't designed for alternative forms of commuting. How easy is it to bike/walk from Langford and Colwood to Esquimalt and downtown Victoria?

#36 gumgum

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 03:07 PM

If want you a lifestyle similar to d/t Ottawa, stay away from Langford/ Colwood. It would take you hours to walk and maybe 45 minutes? to bike. It's close to the equivalent of living in Kanata or Orleans as far as commute and type of city.

I grew up in Ottawa. If there's a neighbourhood that appeals to you in Ottawa, I will do my best to advise you a Victoria equivalent.

#37 LittleMagellan

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 03:12 PM

Eww. I quite despise Kanata and Orleans.

I grew up in a town house in Lower-Town, across the river from Vanier/New Edinburgh, close to De La Salle high school if you know where that is. I quite like that area, nice neighbours (generally), and everything you need (Bridgehead, grocery store, etc.) is in walking distance, and it is also no more than 20 mins walk downtown. Sandy Hill's also nice, but quite expensive. I also like the Glebe location-wise, but again quite expensive.

Thanks for the help.


If want you a lifestyle similar to d/t Ottawa, stay away from Langford/ Colwood. It would take you hours to walk and maybe 45 minutes? to bike. It's close to the equivalent of living in Kanata or Orleans as far as commute and type of city.

I grew up in Ottawa. If there's a neighbourhood that appeals to you in Ottawa, I will do my best to advise you a Victoria equivalent.



#38 gumgum

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 03:34 PM

While there are no precise equivalent neighbourhoods, I will do my best.

Lower Town is a difficult one. I would say anywhere in Harris Green, Vic West, James Bay, even Fernwood and Quadra/ Hillside. They are all different, but offer loose simlarities to Lower town and Sandy Hill.

Glebe is easily Fairfield, but with a giant park and the ocean next door- and minus the snobbery. Glebe is also a little bit Fernwood.

What's your budget and type of property you are looking for?

#39 gumgum

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 03:36 PM

Downtown is a good option too btw.

#40 LittleMagellan

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 03:45 PM

Agreed, the Glebe is definitely snobby. So is Rockliffe. Thanks for the info. I'll check out those areas when I'm there next week.

Budget is $265,000. Something fairly new is preferable, and small. 1 Bdr, and small (400-700 sqft).

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