I’ve been thinking of making a move for some time, and the “perfect” property just came onto the market.
The building literally backs onto where I currently live, so I wouldn’t exactly be moving out of the area!
Despite the fact that I sell people houses and condos for a living, I just can’t answer this question for myself: “Is it time?”
Good gawd, y’all, I absolutely LOVE living in the St. Lawrence Market!
Not actually “in” the market itself, because that would be strange….and it would smell like fish…
But in case you haven’t noticed the “St. Lawrence Market” has become a term that also describes a neighbourhood roughly bordered by Parliament, Richmond, Church, and Front Street, and I enjoy living right in the epicentre of it all.
I would never move out of this area….”never-ever-ever-ever-ever” as said by a five-year-old child during a tempter-tantrum…
But if I did find the right property, I would consider relocating within it the neighbourhood.
Not too long ago, I posted a blog about a very unique unit at Mozo Lofts across the street from my building. The unit was about 1000 square feet and had a 1300 square foot terrace. If you read my blog often enough, you know that I love terraces.
I passed on that unit and its $600,000 price tag, and since then I’ve been having daydreams about living in that magnificent condo (once I renovate, of course) with all the toys that an immature 30-year-old desires.
My Dad told me that I was being “irrational” when I said that I wanted a huge “sick” condo where I could buy a Street Fighter II arcade version like this:
I probably wouldn’t have much time to play with it, but at least I would know that I own a condo that comfortably fits an arcade game console.
My Dad told me that we was surprised by my actions, since everything I do financially is well thought out and with every dollar and cent in mind. It wasn’t like me to get emotional and delusional about something as important as one’s primary residence and largest asset.
He’s right, and ultimately I know if I make a move, it has to be the right move. The unit at Mozo was overpriced and needed a ton of work, and it wouldn’t have been a good “investment.”
Yesterday, a unit came up for sale at 383 Adelaide Street east, also known as “Liberty Lofts.”
I emailed this new listing to three of my clients who are looking for a hard loft in the St. Lawrence Market area, and then to a brand new client of mine: me.
Liberty Lofts should have been called “The Razor Lofts” in my opinion, since that name sounds sharp and has something to do with the history of the building.
In 1937, this beautiful red-brick building was constructed and used by Gillette to manufacture razors, long before we’d ever heard the term “Mach Three Turbo.”
In 1990, the building was converted to residential units and “Liberty Lofts” condominium was born.
The unit I am looking at is priced at $499,000, and they are reviewing offers next week.
Whether or not they receive multiple offers is of little concern to me. I could care less if I pay $499,000 or $525,000; it might cost me an extra hundred dollars per month in my mortgage.
But this condo is definitely a rare find, and that is what intrigues me.
I can’t show photos of the unit since that would constitute unauthorized advertising, but I’m sure you are all creative enough to picture the following…
The unit is 1100 square feet with one bedroom, a den, and two bathrooms.
It is a two-storey unit with an open concept living-dining room and a kitchen on the main floor, and a master bedroom and den on the second floor.
The ceilings are 12-feet on the main floor, and an incredible 14-feet on the second floor.
The unit is a very traditional hard-loft with beautiful yellow-brick walls, timber support beams running vertical from floor-to-ceiling as well as horizontally across the entire ceiling on the main floor, and there are massive picture windows.
The parking space is owned which can only be said by a handful of residents in the building.
But the icing on the cake for me is the 300 square foot terrace on the second floor that would be a slight step down from my current 440 square foot terrace, but would enable me to BBQ and keep my thumb green.
The current owner paid $420,000 for the condo over three years ago, so at $499,000 he would be seeing a less-than-average appreciation in value.
I paid $277,500 for my current condominium, and if I sold it today, I think I would bring in about $325,000 – $340,000.
I owe about $195,000 on the condo.
Assuming I paid $500,000 for the condo at Liberty Lofts, and used $130,000 as a downpayment, I would have a monthly mortgage payment of about $1620. I currently pay about $1200 where I live now.
The maintenance fees for the penthouse at Liberty Lofts aren’t easy to swallow – $719.70 per month including all utilities, which at $0.65 per square foot is on the higher end.
I currently pay $350 per month for maintenance fees.
Factor in the extra $420 per month for my mortgage and the extra $370 per month for my maintenance fees, and my cost of living increases by almost $800.
So now I ask: Is it worth it?
Will I be “happier” at the new, larger condo?
This is what my Dad asked me. “Do you think living in a larger condo will make you a happier person?”
Ummmmm……yes, question mark?
There has been about a $50,000 capital appreciation in my principal residence but I haven’t realized that gain yet. By selling my current condo, I’d be able to use this in addition to my original downpayment, and I would be putting down more than 25% on the new place.
That alone tells me that I can afford it.
But what about the monthly carrying costs?
How am I going to like writing those $720 cheques for my maintenance fees in a building with zero amenities to speak of? Not that I would use them anyways…
To be perfectly honest, I have no clue what I want to do.
I’m very content living in my 585 square foot condo with a 440 square foot terrace, but it’s small and I’m outgrowing it.
I spend seven days per week showing clients these beautiful condos and then I return home to my cramped 1-bedroom unit.
I’m really struggling with this one, and writing about it helps to put things into perspective. This blog isn’t just for all you people reading it, you know. It’s also an outlet for my thoughts, feelings, opinions, and often my rants…
Well, I have a week to think about it, and in the meantime, I have to show the unit to three perspective clients!
Talk about not getting emotionally involved…