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Toronto Real Estate Tips and Advice

Boutique Condos – Pluses and Minuses

When you begin to shop for a condo or apartment, this little key phrase will keep coming up, “Well it’s a boutique building”.  But what does that mean?  Depends on who you ask.

My take on a Boutique building is that is it a small, under 15 floors, building with few amenities.

There are a wide variety of them in the GTA/Toronto area.  Some are condominiums, some co-ownership buildings and some co-ops.  All with their own unique characteristics.

For instance, 97 Lawton in the Yonge and St. Clair neighbourhood.  It’s a little gem hidden away down a long drive.  It sits on the TTC tracks. Three sides of the build have amazing views.  The Eastern views look out at and over Mt Pleasant Cemetery.  I know, “I see dead people”. 

Living there is like being on Central Park West.  Amazing vistas of trees and watching the seasons change in teh tree canopy.  Yes, you do see the occasional burial procession.  But an amazing area. 

Pluses are the views, the location-close to shops, the TTC, downtown.  The Minuses- no balconies, unless you are one of 3 or 4 on the top floor with roof top patios.

The BIG minus – to watch for as prices increase – Condo maintenance fees.  In a Boutique building there are a limited number of owners and when things need to be maintained, fixed or replaced or costs of electricity, water, trash removal go up, so do your fees.  This increase in fees often effects re-sale value.

That’s not to say this building or others aren’t a great choice.  The allure of the boutique building is it is a small community, you generally know your neighbours.  You feel like you are in a very small town and the small town issues do pop-up on occasion. 

In a well managed and well run Boutique building, the pluses do outweigh the minuses. A great choice for many.

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