Location, Location…Personal Preference!
Location, location, location!
Sure, that might read like a bit of a condo real estate cliché at this point, but there’s a reason that mantra has guided the industry for decades now – and that’s because it’s true!
Just as with buying any type of property, location will always play a role in the desirability of a condo building. Not only is location one of the few things you can’t simply change about your condo, but there are also a few items specific to condo buildings that can impact whether the location of a building is an overall positive or negative. It’s a little tough to pick up and move your condo unit over just a neighbourhood or two the same way you can simply slap on a fresh coat of paint in that en suite!
That said, it’s important to note that location is typically an entirely subjective quality, just like many other real estate considerations. Therefore, each of the following points is very personal and may be seen as either a negative or positive depending on who you are and what you’re looking for in a condo building and its surrounding community. We’re not here to judge or yuck anybody’s yum, after all – only to draw attention to all the very real ways in which location can play a role in your experience as a condo owner.
Things to Keep in Mind When Considering the Location of Your Condo
Proximity to Transit
You want to be able to get where you’re going – but everybody goes about getting around differently! If you’re someone who relies on transit to make your way from place to place, finding a condo building near a bus stop or train station might be a non-negotiable. Conversely, if you prefer a quieter locale and don’t need to hop the bus or LRT to get around, you might like a condo situated away from most public transit corridors.
See what we meant about how all this location stuff comes down to personal preference?
Condo buildings that have transit nearby typically have increased traffic and population in the area. This may be to your liking – and it’s also worth noting that despite persistent narratives to the contrary, there are no stats that clearly link higher rates of crime with proximity to public transit hubs. Instead, LRT lines and bus stations are often associated with active neighbourhoods (think Kensington, Bridgeland, and Mission in Calgary) featuring rows of local stores, coffee shops, restaurants, and other amenities.
Depending on the type of lifestyle you’re looking to pursue, living near transit may provide you with the opportunity to easily enjoy and explore an active community without the need for owning a vehicle – or it might just bring a lot of unwanted hubbub and commotion. That’s for you to decide!
A Condo with a View
Of particular interest to many condo unit owners is the view out of their window. There’s something special about looking outside to be greeted by that big, wide-open Alberta sky: bright and blue and beautifully unobstructed. That said, just because you’ve got a view now doesn’t mean you always will – that vista can easily be interrupted if there is a new development set to be built in front of your view. Not only can this impact your enjoyment of your condo, but it could affect the value of your unit, too.
That said, if having an unobstructed view is crucial to your enjoyment of your condo, one thing you can do is consider a unit near an established school or city park. These sorts of spaces are rarely repurposed for other development initiatives and offer a sense of permanency concerning what you see outside your condo window. That said, planting roots near these sorts of spaces typically means deciding on the type of community members you’ll be living amongst, too. Schools and parks more often than not mean a higher concentration of families and kids – and depending on who you are, this may or may not be a positive contributor to your living situation!
Storage and Parking
Depending on where your prospective condo community is located, storage and parking may be plentiful, or it may come at a premium. If you find yourself eying a condo unit located in the far-flung suburbs, chances are you’ll have ample access to both. Consider a condo in the beating heart of a busy downtown core, though, and suddenly you might find yourself struggling to come across either parking or storage – or paying for the privilege of access.
Securing an Exit (and an Entrance)
Another essential location consideration is security, specifically for ingress and egress points. What you may want to consider over and above the building location is the type of security the condo building has. This critical detail will impact not just your physical security but your peace of mind as well. Don’t overlook internal security, either – as anyone who’s worked loss-prevention before will tell you, theft is just as likely (if not more likely!) to occur internally as it is externally.
While you may not be able to obtain a lot of this information before placing an offer on a condo unit, it is worth asking how the condo building mitigates the risk of crime. By knowing the answer to this question, you’ll better understand how location impacts your building’s security – and how your building’s security can play a very real role in the enjoyment of your condo unit.
At the end of the day, all of these details and considerations point to one overarching fact: that location is an innately personal decision that doesn’t have a “right” or “wrong” answer. So long as you’re comfortable and happy with the characteristics that come along with your condo’s location, that’s what matters. Live your best life and find the location that’s best for you!
Live your best life and find the location that’s right for you! Need a hand deciding whether a specific condo property is for you – or learning more about how you can increase your own condo unit’s value based on its location? Contact us at Catalyst Condo Management – we’ll be happy to chat you through the details!