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I rented out some of those townhouses on John Garland. There are a few problems with them I think. The area is pretty seedy. The condo board made a rule that investors couldn't use them as rooming houses for the college down the street, the maintenance fees are amazingly high and finally my conclusion from all this is that the condo board does not know what they are doing and desperately need to be removed.

It really isn't a bad play for a couple to decide to live there for a few years until things straighten out, even becoming involved with the condo board to make change happen.

Another building with prices this low had units for sale a few years back at Kennedy and Eglinton. The prices have since rebounded to more than double.
 

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Yikes. That first one looks like a low income area. Probably has tons of kids around, lots of people coming and going, crime, all sorts of foot traffic, probably has a parking lot full of junk cars. Could have been a drug den. What does the inside look like? Same question for the other place.

Check the crime stats for these buildings. Google their street addresses on news sites to see if the police have received a lot of calls to these buildings/areas. I can just hear the constant whail of sirens in that first site lol.

Too many questions. Need to go in person and view the insides and my guess is based on the prices and photos posted here, you'll be wasting your money. I'm already running based on what little info is presented above.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm going to visit them anyway just to give me some experience. I will ask to take pictures. I will provide you with a report. Some kind of news investigation report, I guess. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Please do! Will be interested to see if Berube and I hit or missed the mark on these. There's gotta be a reason they're priced the way they are.
These are comments that will assure I follow up on that. If you have any questions you feel I should ask the seller and real estate agent, please let me know.
 

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When buying a condo you need a copy of the reserve fund study, the rules and regs of that particular condo, plus in the case of that condo at John Garland, I'd also knock on doors to see what other owners have to say.

Maintenance fees at that place are over 700 a month which is absolutely ridiculous.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
When buying a condo you need a copy of the reserve fund study, the rules and regs of that particular condo, plus in the case of that condo at John Garland, I'd also knock on doors to see what other owners have to say.

Maintenance fees at that place are over 700 a month which is absolutely ridiculous.
700? Why does the flyer say 453 a year?
 

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Not sure Taxsaver... it can depend on the size of the unit. It usually goes by square foot and you pay a poportional amount of the common elements.

Also I am remembering a listing I saw quite a while back so my memory may be mistaken. At the time I noticed because I found it shocking :eek:

Still people write up the MLS listings so it could have been an error or yours could have an error. Point is that is one of the things that have to be checked.

If memory serves me correctly though there are no amenities to speak of at that complex so even $453 is a lot. Sometimes there is a extra amount tacked onto it for a period of time to pay for something specific, like a new parking lot or another capital expense that has not been budgeted for.

http://www.realtor.ca/propertyDetails.aspx?propertyId=9272898 Wow I'm smarter than I thought. Just thought I would take a look and there it was. So something to look out for.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Not sure Taxsaver... it can depend on the size of the unit. It usually goes by square foot and you pay a poportional amount of the common elements.

Also I am remembering a listing I saw quite a while back so my memory may be mistaken. At the time I noticed because I found it shocking :eek:

Still people write up the MLS listings so it could have been an error or yours could have an error. Point is that is one of the things that have to be checked.

If memory serves me correctly though there are no amenities to speak of at that complex so even $453 is a lot. Sometimes there is a extra amount tacked onto it for a period of time to pay for something specific, like a new parking lot or another capital expense that has not been budgeted for.

http://www.realtor.ca/propertyDetails.aspx?propertyId=9272898 Wow I'm smarter than I thought. Just thought I would take a look and there it was. So something to look out for.
I don't really care about amnities. Or should I?:confused:

The $453 is only $37 a month, so I don't mind that too much.

The other property on the same street, which you posted the link, has a much higher condo fees, $455 a month. How about its "Special Assessment; 291.24 Per Month For 13 Years". What does that mean?
 

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I'm convinced it is 453 per month on your place not 37$ per month.

A special assessment is one of the reasons I hate condos so much. Lets say they want to change the parking lot or some other repair that needs to be done they just finance it and then the owner has to pay what they call a "special assessment" It's an extra charge....
 

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I don't really care about amnities. Or should I?:confused:

The $453 is only $37 a month, so I don't mind that too much.

The other property on the same street, which you posted the link, has a much higher condo fees, $455 a month. How about its "Special Assessment; 291.24 Per Month For 13 Years". What does that mean?
There is no such thing as $37 a month condo fees in Toronto for a unit like this. C'mon. This is not 1965.

You don't care if they plow the driveway in the winter? You don't care if they cut the grass and clear away the garbage off the grass after the snow melts in the spring? What about that huge pothole in your parking lot? You're okay with that?
 

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That's maintenance.... Royal

Amenities are things like pool, workout room, party room, visitor suites, putting green, yoga room even security.

And some townhouses have a rec center shared for use of the residents. The point is that that could explain a bit of why maintenance fees are so high. All these amenities cost money to operate and staff etc. In these kinds of complexes if you are not getting any amenities, where is the money going? Where did it go in the past? Etc....
 

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So for the townhouse, when you include taxes, (monthly) maintenance fees and the special fee, you're paying $10,654.88 per year. That's approximately 19% of the purchase price you'd pay yearly in fees. I don't know the rent in that area, but you better be able to charge a lot to cover those fees (which don't include insurance, mortgage, internal maintenance etc).

It doesn't seem like a fixer-upper since you can won't be able to charge too much if the rest of the units are junk.
 

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In these kinds of complexes if you are not getting any amenities, where is the money going? Where did it go in the past? Etc....
Berubeland is spot on here. If the money is not going towards expensive elevators, pools etc, that means there is something fundamentally wrong with the complex and the monies are going to repairs.

The $291/mo for 13 years special assessment means something broke, and instead of charging the $45k it takes to repair whatever is wrong, they are spreading payments over 13 years.

Maybe go for a peak, and see how the realtor describes the place, but stay away. There are some major problems here costing $400-$700/month.

I own a multi-level condo and the biggest portion of our expenses is gas, water, and electricity (in the common areas), and the caretaker salary, and insurance. These amount alone amount to 60% of the fee. Maintenance & repairs another 25%. Looking at the pictures and the fact they are essentially row houses; water, gas and maintenance probably doesn't cost very much - maybe $200-300 at most. So the rest of that fee is going to fund major repairs.

Make sure to also get a copy of the condo's latest reserve fund study. This will outline the major expenses for the Corp. over then next 10+ years and you should be able to see large planned expenditures and one possible source of the bleeding.
 

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Terrific comments here by Sampson and Berube, just terrific.

I would add too that older condos are inherently flawed in that the fees keep going up up up as the bldgs continue to age and need more and more repairs. Think of a tower where the expensive elevator maintenance costs keep racking up, roof needs work etc. That's why the condo should build up a reserve fund when the building is new, so they have the money in hand by the time these major expendures arise.

For these reasons, I bought a fairly NEW condo, less than 3 years old so that while the fees were going to the reserve fund they were NOT going to major structural repairs and I could enjoy the relative calm of a newer bldg.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I realize that buying cheap could become costy. Like buying a used car that will require repairs after repairs after repairs. I'm writing down all your points. If I don't get answers, I will ask why I can't get them. I will write down what they say so I have a complete report for you to analyze.

I think I should buy something in a building where someone knows is living.
 

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I realize that buying cheap could become costy. Like buying a used car that will require repairs after repairs after repairs. I'm writing down all your points. If I don't get answers, I will ask why I can't get them. I will write down what they say so I have a complete report for you to analyze.

I think I should buy something in a building where someone knows is living.
I noticed that both this townhouse and the other one that was posted both are being sold "as is, where is". Which would concern me.

But, as my parents always said, there is no problem going to meet with the broker, you'll learn something new and that information will inform all future decisions (and if you post it here, will inform us too!)
 
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