Real Estate

Life in a downtown condo during Covid... has your opinion of condo living changed?

  • Last Updated:
  • May 16th, 2020 3:51 pm
[OP]
Jr. Member
Jun 1, 2019
187 posts
217 upvotes

Life in a downtown condo during Covid... has your opinion of condo living changed?

Hi all

My wife and I live in Niagara and pre-Covid we had contemplated that our retirement (10+ years from now) might look like a condo in downtown Toronto (where we used to live) and Snowbirding. Covid has us totally re-evaluating this, and being thankful for quarantine time in a semi-rural, large single family home with our own amenities (gym, land, hottub, etc), instead of a condo. As Realtors we are also curious regarding future trends. Covid, and the increased ability to work-from-home (not having to live close to downtown Toronto to work for a downtown Toronto company), seems to me to encourage somewhat of an outwards push from the downtown Toronto core, and even out of Toronto altogether. Thoughts?
Full Service Realtor
Niagara / Hamilton-Burlington
22 replies
Newbie
Jun 6, 2018
95 posts
41 upvotes
Most people tend to look at the bottom dollar. So as I see it, this pandemic has taught companies that they don't need to have every employee traveling in on a daily basis. What will this translate into? Smaller buildings for businesses? Employee pay going up or down? Time will tell!
But in the realestate market, there will be more demand for in house work space or in condos, shared work space in the common elements.
But as far as living in a condo, pandemic or not, house subdivision or condo, we live in a community. We are to a point vulnerable to the problem behaviour of other people. It is when society pulls together to stop/not allow the problem behaviour that communities shine.
Newbie
Sep 11, 2017
14 posts
17 upvotes
I don’t live in a condo but my view on my housing situation has changed because of this pandemic. I do not want to have a mortgage any longer at all, when this is all said and done I plan on selling and moving 20-30 minutes farther from work for to buy a place cash.

Piece of mind not having money going out in times like this is priceless. I’ll take the longer commute and potentially lower price appreciation in a farther area to do so. The crazy part about this is I’m in a pretty comfortable spot with lots of equity, reasonable job security and a fair reserve fund. I can’t imagine how some people feel right now.

Sorry I know you asked about condos specifically. I hope you don’t mind my 2c
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Dec 20, 2004
5367 posts
1574 upvotes
Toronto
Of course there is no point to living in a vibrant, urban area at the moment. Everything that makes urban life good is closed - restaurants, cultural sites, bars and clubs, museums, sports, etc etc - all closed.

Condos will take a big hit because of this.

BUT, human beings are social creatures, and we need community - now more than ever. Once this whole pandemic is over we will likely see more socializing than we have in our entire lifetimes, and all of this activity will center around urban areas (as usual). So while urban life will be put on pause, once this is all over I expect it to come back stronger than ever.
Deal Addict
Nov 24, 2013
1265 posts
658 upvotes
Toronto
For retirement, I would rent rather than buy a condo. You don't want to be dealing with condo issues -neighbours, noise, maintenance - when you should be enjoying retirement
.
Deal Fanatic
Jul 3, 2011
5776 posts
2939 upvotes
Thornhill
lpin14 wrote: For retirement, I would rent rather than buy a condo. You don't want to be dealing with condo issues -neighbours, noise, maintenance - when you should be enjoying retirement
.
That would depend on your landlord. If it's a purpose built building, sure, it's a small worry that the building owner will attempt to turn the units in condos. If though you're in a condo, you are at the mercy of a landlord whether they decide they want the unit for personal use or choose to sell it to someone who wants it for personal use. The older people get, the more stability they want.
Deal Fanatic
Apr 5, 2016
5055 posts
3586 upvotes
Calgary/Vancouver
lpin14 wrote: For retirement, I would rent rather than buy a condo. You don't want to be dealing with condo issues -neighbours, noise, maintenance - when you should be enjoying retirement
.
Also helps your executors who don't have to deal with a property when you eventually pass away. Estate sales of properties are cash cow for everyone involved. I seen estate properties erode like 20-30% away due to realtor fees, lawyer fees, probate fees, prepayment penalties if still with mortgage and these charges are often maximized as everyone wants their piece of the pie. This is then exacerbated by the fact a lot of the beneficiaries will not want to wait to sell at a decent price, so they often take low ball offers. They want the money as soon as possible to spend.
Current Fido and Rogers customer.
Ex Koodo customer.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Mar 23, 2003
4359 posts
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Hamilton
Tailwind72 wrote: Hi all

My wife and I live in Niagara and pre-Covid we had contemplated that our retirement (10+ years from now) might look like a condo in downtown Toronto (where we used to live) and Snowbirding. Covid has us totally re-evaluating this, and being thankful for quarantine time in a semi-rural, large single family home with our own amenities (gym, land, hottub, etc), instead of a condo. As Realtors we are also curious regarding future trends. Covid, and the increased ability to work-from-home (not having to live close to downtown Toronto to work for a downtown Toronto company), seems to me to encourage somewhat of an outwards push from the downtown Toronto core, and even out of Toronto altogether. Thoughts?

So for retirement you are planning to live in a condo in the middle of one of the most busy citiy and area of it?

Hmmm.
Dealing with a bunch of young outgoing (read. Loud and obnoxious) crowd and renters to boot.

I think you should have a go at renting in the condo you'd like to retire before commiting to buy. But to each their own.
Now if your retirement is at 35 or so years old. Awesome. That's not a bad idea.
But 55+. Busy downtown condo. Def test run that scenario first.
Deal Addict
Mar 2, 2017
1150 posts
2133 upvotes
Toronto
I think a lot of people will take this opportunity and not congregate downtown to save money and better quality of life as remote work becomes acceptable. I believe this is happening quietly as people have more certainty that they no longer need to go into the downtown office.

It's not so much that downtown condo life is horrible, but condo life can be done much better in less dense yet vibrant areas of Toronto or pockets within the GTA where you still have downtown like amenities, great food options, and best of all it's cleaner, less dense, more park space, and you aren't waiting 15 minutes for an elevator at rush hour.

That said, this is a small group of people, I think majority will put this behind us and stay status quo.

I was at a few downtown condos this week, some have limited elevators to 2 people per ride, yet they don't require everyone to wear masks. It's a mess.
Realtor, Investor, CPA
Deal Guru
Feb 29, 2008
13925 posts
10195 upvotes
People are still going to buy what thry can afford and that’s condos. The entry point of the market. Maybe those who have the option to buy a house over a condo will now be picking houses, but remember, downtown is where all the action happens and that will appeal to younger buyers. I think the higher priced, high end condo market may be impacted.

People keep forgetting houses are expensive, even in the burbs.
Deal Guru
Feb 9, 2009
10836 posts
9234 upvotes
Humans tend to forget things after a while.

Once this all boils over people will be back to old habits. We’ll see slight changes with maybe some more people working from home and more wearing masks in public but otherwise largely we will be back to our regular old routines
Deal Addict
Nov 24, 2013
1265 posts
658 upvotes
Toronto
licenced wrote: That would depend on your landlord. If it's a purpose built building, sure, it's a small worry that the building owner will attempt to turn the units in condos. If though you're in a condo, you are at the mercy of a landlord whether they decide they want the unit for personal use or choose to sell it to someone who wants it for personal use. The older people get, the more stability they want.
I get it, but it cuts both ways. The renter can up and leave if they don't like the place or want to try a different neighborhood after a while.

Most landlords run a rental business. If a landlord decides to go the personal use route, it's because of two reasons:
1. You're a problem tenant
2. Genuine need,but I feel this doesn't happen so often. I know quite a few landlords that have condos for rent and these properties are not considered to be personal residences.

Being asked to move out is always a risk if you rent.
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User avatar
Dec 13, 2016
3696 posts
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Tailwind72 wrote: Hi all

My wife and I live in Niagara and pre-Covid we had contemplated that our retirement (10+ years from now) might look like a condo in downtown Toronto (where we used to live) and Snowbirding. Covid has us totally re-evaluating this, and being thankful for quarantine time in a semi-rural, large single family home with our own amenities (gym, land, hottub, etc), instead of a condo. As Realtors we are also curious regarding future trends. Covid, and the increased ability to work-from-home (not having to live close to downtown Toronto to work for a downtown Toronto company), seems to me to encourage somewhat of an outwards push from the downtown Toronto core, and even out of Toronto altogether. Thoughts?
Thoughts?

Nonsense.

1 Hour after lockdown

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/wisconsin- ... -evbMFeaIw
Deal Addict
Aug 21, 2007
4878 posts
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gave up on rfd for g…
I do and only wish I had a balcony. But I realize how little space I really need. I've got just under 1000 sq ft. Probably really only need 750.
Left rfd
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Mar 31, 2008
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Toronto
sidshock wrote: So for retirement you are planning to live in a condo in the middle of one of the most busy citiy and area of it?

Hmmm.
Dealing with a bunch of young outgoing (read. Loud and obnoxious) crowd and renters to boot.

I think you should have a go at renting in the condo you'd like to retire before commiting to buy. But to each their own.
Now if your retirement is at 35 or so years old. Awesome. That's not a bad idea.
But 55+. Busy downtown condo. Def test run that scenario first.
There's alot of pockets downtown where it's not party central like you're thinking (not in the financial/entertainment core). There's actually lush trees, generally quiet streets. Great to walk around, easy access to all the stuff that makes downtown good. They used to live there so have a familiarity. But I think it will be a long long time before stuff like plays, restaurants will make a comeback. Just look at S. Korea, 0 cases, then 1 guy goes to some clubs and it's started again.
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Mar 31, 2008
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Toronto
lpin14 wrote: I get it, but it cuts both ways. The renter can up and leave if they don't like the place or want to try a different neighborhood after a while.

Most landlords run a rental business. If a landlord decides to go the personal use route, it's because of two reasons:
1. You're a problem tenant
2. Genuine need,but I feel this doesn't happen so often. I know quite a few landlords that have condos for rent and these properties are not considered to be personal residences.

Being asked to move out is always a risk if you rent.
3. Kick them out to get higher rent or use it as leverage for higher rent. But I guess that won't be an option for awhile.
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Jan 17, 2002
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Toronto
We are still planning on downsizing to a condo eventually in the retirement and empty nest timeframe (we don't want to maintain a house, hope to travel more often and longer), but maybe not downtown like we were thinking. We will probably stick to somewhere like we are now in one of the "yellow belt" areas of Toronto along the Bloor or Yonge line. I'm also thinking the homelessness, mental health and drug issues you see of more downtown will probably be worse in ten years, not better, Covid19 will be awful in that regard.
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Mar 31, 2008
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frogger wrote: We are still planning on downsizing to a condo eventually in the retirement and empty nest timeframe (we don't want to maintain a house, hope to travel more often and longer), but maybe not downtown like we were thinking. We will probably stick to somewhere like we are now in one of the "yellow belt" areas of Toronto along the Bloor or Yonge line. I'm also thinking the homelessness, mental health and drug issues you see of more downtown will probably be worse in ten years, not better, Covid19 will be awful in that regard.
I'm guessing some people refer to 'downtown' Toronto as up to maybe St. Clair bordered by Ossington (but instead of a square, it's more of an angled line up Yonge/St. Clair,) to Broadview/Pape in the East.

Whereas people who are very aware of the city have a stricter 'core' definition (Liberty Village to West side Up to Christie/Bloor to Sherbourne Bloor).
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Mar 23, 2003
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at1212b wrote: There's alot of pockets downtown where it's not party central like you're thinking (not in the financial/entertainment core). There's actually lush trees, generally quiet streets. Great to walk around, easy access to all the stuff that makes downtown good. They used to live there so have a familiarity. But I think it will be a long long time before stuff like plays, restaurants will make a comeback. Just look at S. Korea, 0 cases, then 1 guy goes to some clubs and it's started again.
I used to love downtown and living downtown.
Now that I'm older, I like being close to it. Easy to visit (still in Toronto) just not at the centre of it.
Have a friend that lives near Spadina and king.
Nice condo / area. But I don't think I'd wanna live in her building.
Main floor house / bungalow. Easy parking.
That's for me :)

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