Real Estate

80-Story Aura Condo @ Yonge/Gerrard could be out of water for at least 7 weeks.

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80-Story Aura Condo @ Yonge/Gerrard could be out of water for at least 7 weeks.

Wow: Aura condo residents in disbelief after being told their water could be out for seven weeks

All because a booster pump failed. Aura is Canada’s tallest residential condominium with 2,000 residents. You'd think the condo developer would have designed a backup pump into such a massive building. However, this is the problem I've always thought with condos. People never pay any attention to the structure and systems of the building when they buy. It's mostly just "How many square feet am I getting for how much" and "What's the location?". Therefore the developers spend as little money as possible in that respect and just meet the minimum requirements of the building code so they do not get into trouble and that's it. They sell based on sizzle and cool marketing. Then the unit holders are left to deal with whatever mess happens later as is happening now at this condo.

I bet there are going to be a lot renters that are going to withhold rent, some lawsuits flying, etc. You can't even flush the toilet, never mind wash your dishes, take a shower, etc.
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Without water for 7 weeks? That can't be right.

I heard about this but it's due to a broken water main from construction likely of a nearby condo. Not sure if it's entirely the builder's fault yet but this story is bizarre.
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JayLove06 wrote: Without water for 7 weeks? That can't be right.

I heard about this but it's due to a broken water main from construction likely of a nearby condo. Not sure if it's entirely the builder's fault yet but this story is bizarre.
Yes.
But why would some special over priced pumps fail if the water main has a temporary issue?
Only thing I can think of is they ran dry and motor/pump failed.
But there's no protection for this on such expensive "custom" "specialty" pumps they spent so much money on?!

City is not liable for shitty pump designs on the builders part.
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This is what happens when a city has grown too fast for its own good and our condos are built like crap.

Kind of funny, kind of sad.
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CondoMan98 wrote: This is what happens when a city has grown too fast for its own good and our condos are built like crap.
sad but true. The quality of construction is pathetic for what they charge. But the building code is also crap and I don't even think it's really enforced that much so there's that. I own/owned units that I know for a fact are not up to code. Luckily we have Tarion where builders can police themselves. That isn't a massive conflict of interest, right?
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sidshock wrote: Yes.
But why would some special over priced pumps fail if the water main has a temporary issue?
Only thing I can think of is they ran dry and motor/pump failed.
But there's no protection for this on such expensive "custom" "specialty" pumps they spent so much money on?!

City is not liable for shitty pump designs on the builders part.
I find this to be difficult to believe, apartment and condo buildings are designed to have backup standby pumps, even in large commercial buildings as well. How do I know? I design them. It is a duplex pump setup controlled from the controller that will cycle between the pumps. All critical systems have backups, this is a stupid design.
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JayLove06 wrote: sad but true. The quality of construction is pathetic for what they charge. But the building code is also crap and I don't even think it's really enforced that much so there's that. I own/owned units that I know for a fact are not up to code. Luckily we have Tarion where builders can police themselves. That isn't a massive conflict of interest, right?
This is why I am not sure I want to be a condo investor forever. Like sure the going is good right now, but what happens when all of these newer condos downtown are old and start falling apart and reserve funds get sucked dry? Don't get me wrong, I am a real estate bull, but the issues with Toronto condo quality is another issue entirely that makes me wonder sometimes...
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CondoMan98 wrote: This is why I am not sure I want to be a condo investor forever. Like sure the going is good right now, but what happens when all of these newer condos downtown are old and start falling apart and reserve funds get sucked dry? Don't get me wrong, I am a real estate bull, but the issues with Toronto condo quality is another issue entirely that makes me wonder sometimes...
Eventually you become DetachedMan98.

While detached can have a ton of issues also, at least many of them you are in control of the fix and contingency plans. The reality in a condo meltup like this, even these types of stories will have zero impact on demand. Late to the market Investors just think they will flip before any issues arise. And this allows for shoddy construction and builders with poor reputations can sell for just as much as ones with good. Akin to Mattamy Himes in detached.
"It is in times of great fear or greed that the most opportunity exists."
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Seeing the quality of new condos I am beginning to appreciate the older buildings more and more.
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CondoMan98 wrote: This is why I am not sure I want to be a condo investor forever. Like sure the going is good right now, but what happens when all of these newer condos downtown are old and start falling apart and reserve funds get sucked dry? Don't get me wrong, I am a real estate bull, but the issues with Toronto condo quality is another issue entirely that makes me wonder sometimes...
I don’t think you should keep a condo longer than 10 or so years of age as an investor. I’m selling my 1st purchase from 10 years ago. Yes I want to use the money for other things but the age of the building and the crap construction made it a simple decision.

I’d be weary of the all glass condos.
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JayLove06 wrote: I don’t think you should keep a condo longer than 10 or so years of age as an investor. I’m selling my 1st purchase from 10 years ago. Yes I want to use the money for other things but the age of the building and the crap construction made it a simple decision.

I’d be weary of the all glass condos.
I appreciate all of your posts and insights. My oldest condo is only 3 years old at this point, so I don't feel the pressure to start moving money around. But longer term, I am thinking of eventually diversifying out of condos if these crazy prices persist, but not completely. I think I will always keep my downtown condos, but the North York ones will be on the chopping block first.
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CondoMan98 wrote: This is why I am not sure I want to be a condo investor forever. Like sure the going is good right now, but what happens when all of these newer condos downtown are old and start falling apart and reserve funds get sucked dry? Don't get me wrong, I am a real estate bull, but the issues with Toronto condo quality is another issue entirely that makes me wonder sometimes...
Totally agree. One of the biggest time bombs in condos is failing window seals which will require full replacement of the window. The cost of that for a single condo is absolutely horrendous given most condo towers built before the recent building code change (mandating I believe a 40% max window coverage) could have facades that are almost entirely glass and we are talking about replacing windows high in the sky. The windows are not designed to last 50 years, more like 25 or less. People forget to consider that when they buy a condo.
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senasena wrote: Seeing the quality of new condos I am beginning to appreciate the older buildings more and more.
I have always figured buying an old condo is the best investment if you are going to buy one. Spend the money you save over buying a brand new precon slickly marketed one on renovating the interior of it. There is zero incentive for a condo builder these days to build a condo better than the next developer because buyers don't weigh what they cannot see and so do not figure that into their purchasing decision. Even with detached homes, no one will pay you more because you have cast iron downspouts (or ABS clad in loaded vinyl) to reduce toilet flushing noise, because you installed a gravity based water circulation or a pump so that you get instant hotter water at the tap when you wash you face in the morning, because you have better insulation so your heating bills are lower, installed a hepa filter based air circulation system for cleaner air, HRV to also save on heating costs, a better furnace that is typically installed, 5/8" drywall instead of 1/2" and perhaps sound insulation to reduce noise between rooms, and so on. It's more "how many bedrooms, what location and how many closets does it have and, wow look at those double sinks in the bathrooms!" etc.
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eonibm wrote: I have always figured buying an old condo is the best investment if you are going to buy one. Spend the money you save over buying a brand new precon slickly marketed one on renovating the interior of it. There is zero incentive for a condo builder these days to build a condo better than the next developer because buyers don't weigh what they cannot see and so do not figure that into their purchasing decision. Even with detached homes, no one will pay you more because you have cast iron downspouts (or ABS clad in loaded vinyl) to reduce toilet flushing noise, because you installed a gravity based water circulation or a pump so that you get instant hotter water at the tap when you wash you face in the morning, because you have better insulation so your heating bills are lower, installed a hepa filter based air circulation system for cleaner air, HRV to also save on heating costs, a better furnace that is typically installed, 5/8" drywall instead of 1/2" and perhaps sound insulation to reduce noise between rooms, and so on. It's more "how many bedrooms, what location and how many closets does it have and, wow look at those double sinks in the bathrooms!" etc.
All depends on what you're looking for. If you're an end user then sure, look for an older building in a good area and larger units, and low amount of renters....which reduces the likelyhood that you'll be sharing a wall with a partier.

On the downside there are some possible issues with older buildings (throwing aesthetics aside). 8ft ceilings (for a tall guy this is a big problem). Maintenance fees. They can be debilitating in an older building especially for bigger units. Well over $1K/month.

That said, I'd rather take my chances with an older building than a brand new glass box with 90% absentee owners and stocked to the brim with tiny 1 bedroom units. I don't care how nice the building is.

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