Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Go site-seeing!

September 11, 2009 - Toronto Sun-- Tom Lebour, President of the Toronto Real Estate Board...
As a GTA resident, chances are you’ve enjoyed visits to the city’s major landmarks. This summer though, you may want to skip those in favour of a different kind of sightseeing tour.Our city’s new condominium developments offer a glimpse into the height of luxury and modern design. And these steel and glass monoliths aren’t just breathtaking to behold from outside. In an effort to distinguish their projects in this burgeoning market, developers are in a seemingly limitless pursuit to offer the finest features and amenities.You’ll find stunning three storey lobbies that feature an awe-inspiring mix of glass, exotic wood and marble.For a mere $30 million, a luxury 9,000 square foot penthouse on the 55th floor of the Four Seasons Private Residences can be yours.Condos are not a one-room box with a view of the nearest brick wall. Today’s condominium developers are offering two and three bedroom units with panoramic views high atop the city.And when I say high, I mean really, really high. Due to an increased focus on urban intensification in recent years, GTA condos are growing taller, with the some of the highest reaching 65 storeys.Higher density living is of course, beneficial to the environment but again developers haven’t rested on their laurels when it comes to being green. Many have pursued the coveted LEED certification, involving an independent audit of a building’s sustainable characteristics. Condo owners have benefited by enjoying features like suite controls that allow them to monitor and limit energy usage, energy saving appliances and separate bicycle storage. As an alternative to owning a vehicle, many condo owners use the services of car sharing companies like AutoShare.Convenience is a huge factor in condominium living. Several downtown projects are mixed-use developments, with commercial space on the lower levels and in some cases hotels are integrated into the mix. This means that condo dwellers have the opportunity to enjoy the services of the finest luxury hotels like room service, housekeeping and laundry service. Even pet services and grocery delivery are available upon request.While such services aren’t yet widely available, standard features like security, entertainment and fitness facilities have all been taken up a notch. Lush rooftop gardens feature gas barbeques and fire pits. Fitness facilities include current pools and spas. Concierge and valet services are available around the clock. With libraries, theatres, billiard lounges, wireless Internet and more, you never have to leave the comfort of your building.It’s no wonder that a strong sense of community has sprung up around each new development. Developers celebrate the heritage and the location of their communities, each designed with an identity to appeal to specific lifestyles. Owners in fact, identify so strongly with their condo communities that specific groups on social networking sites like Facebook have developed around them.With all that today’s condo have to offer, it’s not surprising that condominium transactions now constitute almost one in every three homes that changes hands in the GTA and 60 per cent of resale transactions in central Toronto.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Just Listed! 233 Beecroft Rd. Suite 717

A Rare 2 Storey Loft Style Condo in a Fabulous “One of a Kind” Building in the Heart of North York. Very Bright & Clean with Floor to Ceiling Windows, Hardwood Floors, Lots of Storage, 2 Lockers, 1 Parking Spot. Open Concept Living with an Unobstructed North/West View. Call Jason to View!

A changing shade of grey...

September 04, 2009 -- Toronto Sun, Tom Lebour, President of the Toronto Real Estate Board...
More than most other descriptors, associations with the word ‘grey’ continue to evolve.In recent years for example, rather than being considered drab, grey has emerged as a chic new colour in interior design.Back in 1981 when 9.6 per cent of Canada’s population was age 65 years and older, ‘grey’ had connotations of a more sedate lifestyle.By the time of the last Census though, in 2006, the senior share of the population rose to 13.1 per cent and associations with the word ‘grey’ began to change. Today, 60 is regarded as the new 50.Toronto seniors incidentally, were tallied in the 2006 census to an even greater number, comprising 14 per cent on the population. Nearly 95 per cent of this group lives in private residences, with a diminishing number living in senior living centres.Given that seniors are more likely than other age groups to own their homes, it’s easy to see that they represent a key component of the Greater Toronto Area real estate market.As a result of low fertility rates, longer life expectancies and our aging baby boomer population, in a little more than 25 years from now, seniors will comprise almost 25 per cent of the national population.In recent years a special designation became available to Canadian REALTORS® to help them prepare for the emergence of our city’s senior population.Recognized throughout North America, Seniors Real Estate Specialists® have acquired unique expertise to counsel clients age 50-plus through major lifestyle transitions such as selling the family home, relocating and refinancing. They can also offer insight into trends in senior real estate transactions, and provide referrals to other professional who specialize senior clientele.Compared to generations before them, today’s seniors are a well-heeled group. Many are seasoned homeowners who prefer to spend their time free on routine property maintenance. Rather than choosing to live with their children or move into a retirement home, our aging population now has more options. Given that in most cases it makes more economic sense to make a purchase rather than rent, many seniors are now choosing condo living with design features and amenities that are catered to their needs.Suites include extra lighting, countertops with rounded edges and wide doorways to name just a few design specifics. Seniors’ condo communities now feature access to on-site healthcare professionals including physicians, nurses, nutritionists and massage therapists, allowing owners to remain at home and live life to its fullest. Resort-style luxury is the focus with spas, theatres, caf├ęs and gourmet restaurants included in the amenities. Cooking instructors, personal trainers and dog walkers are often also on hand. Condominium developments for seniors don’t just include standard fitness facilities anymore either; you’ll also find reading rooms, greenhouses and salons on the premises as well. With these attractive features it’s no wonder that condominium sales in the GTA have grown to constitute nearly one third of all transactions. As development in the GTA intensifies, our city’s seniors can look forward to even more condominium communities that cater to their interests. In most every way, grey now suggests a chic lifestyle in which quality is never compromised.