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April 10, 2012
By Barbara Lawlor
During your search for a new condominium, there is so much to think about. You want the perfect building for your lifestyle needs, and in the Toronto area, there is something for just about everyone. Location always tops the list in importance, and we encourage buyers to consider this factor from many ways.
For example, it’s important to take your work commute into consideration in a realistic. Too often, people look at a map, draw lines on it and measure distances as the crow flies. This is not a good idea, because crows fly over the road twists and turns, traffic lights and other things you have to contend with. When you are considering specific buildings, be logical and do a little homework before you sign on the dotted line.
The best way to find out whether your commute is reasonable from a particular building is to start out from that location during rush hour and actually do the drive. Then drive back to that condo after work. You may be surprised at how long – or how short – the trip is. A condominium that is farther from your workplace may, in fact, be a quicker drive, depending on its proximity to major highways, GO Stations, etc. You may, for instance, find condominiums in areas such as Richmond Hill, Mississauga or Pickering that are an easier commute to Toronto than some located right in the city. Those who commute from the 905 areas may also find car-pooling an attractive solution, as then can then use the high-occupancy lanes on major highways.
Shift workers who commute outside of rush hour may have a completely different outlook on location. Again, do the commute during the times when you usually drive and see just how it is. There is always the viable alternative of taking public transit. For trips in and around Toronto, whether for work or pleasure, it may make a lot more sense for you to hop onto a bus or the subway.
It’s a great idea to look at the location of the condominium you’re considering in other ways as well. Start from the building and walk around. And what can you do without driving or even taking public transportation? Shop? Bank? Drop off dry cleaning? Think about the places you visit often, including the homes of family members and friends. Will those trips be a breeze? Are you taking night courses? How convenient will it be to travel to your school?
There are so many things in life affected by a condominium’s location. For empty-nesters who are approaching retirement years and downsizing, a condo that enables them to stay in the residential area they know and love can be a wonderful solution. For first-timers who do not own a car, a suite in a condominium on a subway line in the hub of the city is great. And living downtown is becoming increasingly popular for families who feel that the shorter commute means more time to spend with their children.
Then again, with entrepreneurship such a popular lifestyle today, there are many condo owners who work out of their homes - and let’s face it, no commute is the best commute of all! Today’s advanced technology has even sparked some employers to have employees work from home part of the week. This means that from a work/commute perspective, they have phenomenal choice when it comes to location.
Whatever your circumstances and preferences, a great condominium location is rightly at the top of your must-have list. Be optimistic and realistic, and you will make the right choices!
Other Articles by Barbara Lawlor:
Barbara Lawlor is president of Baker Real Estate Incorporated and an in-demand columnist and speaker. A member of the Baker team since 1993, she oversees the marketing and sales of condominium developments in the GTA and overseas. Keep current with The Baker Blog at blog.bakerrealestate.com