Archive for May, 2015

“The Residence on First”

Saturday, May 30th, 2015

P1190730by Peter Daoust, Broker. Remax Advantage Realty Limited Brokerage.

Visit to learn more about a student only rental highrise building soon to be finished out at the corner of First Street and Oxford Street East (625 First Street). Four and five bedroom/two bathroom units. It very much changes the look of this corner. Building features include a gym, theatre room, a cafe, a lounge/games room, parking and 24 hour security. Currently there is a presentation center above Carey’s Bar at 1569 Oxford Street East.P1210263

The size of these four and five bedroom units vary from 970 to 1235 sq ft. Fanshawe investors of condo units on Second and Third Street take note. “The Residence on First” is the new kid on the block!

“Waterdale Towns” coming soon at 2235 Blackwater Rd.

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015

P1190402by Peter Daoust, Broker. Remax Advantage Realty Ltd. Brokerage.

This now under construction, some units framed, “Ironstone” built project is located on the south side of Sunnydale Rd. E and just west of Adelaide St. N. Visit their website to see the new site plan – 44 two story units and 29 multi level units with sought after ravine views. A mix of three and four bedroom units. It’s the sloping terrain and elevation changes which will help to give this new complex a personality of it’s own.DSC_0001

(Picture as of Sept 17th,2015)

“Ironstone” is quickly making a name for itself as on of our towns busiest new condo builders.

“Amour Riverbend” More New Condos

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

By Peter Daoust, Broker Remax Advantage Realty Ltd. Brokerage. The far west end of London is one of the most expensive areas of town for new homes. If you check out the west end tab of our website you will see that condo prices in this area are a tad more expensive than other areas around the city.P1220368

“Forest Park Homes”a new name in town (the same company is now also developing a condo project known as “Central Park” in north east London) is soon to be breaking ground on a new condo project in “Riverbend” at the north east corner of “Westdel Bourne and Shore Road”. It’s a new 89 unit condo townhouse project to be know as “Amour Riverbend” with prices now starting in the $249,000 price range. Unit sizes will vary from 1299 sq ft to 1730 sq ft. This project is also next to the new”The St. Nicholas Catholic Elementary School”.

If you visit their website you will see the new site plan and their plans of four different four storey units or you can visit their sales trailer on the weekends. The access roads are partially in and the construction on these townhomes is soon to begin.

Are there enough buyers in the marketplace for all of the new condo projects now coming onstream? Well in this case we are talking about condos units starting in the $250,000 price range which admittedly will attract more interest than condos priced in higher price ranges. It’s the lower priced projects in upscale neighourhoods which will end up being popular. We are afterall talking about a neigbourhood where most homes are priced between $425,000 and $800,000.

London’s new condo landscape is very much changing. Builders are now opting to put up larger and higher density condo clusters.The $250,000 price range is now considered by many to be the “entry level” range thanks in part to what is happening with prices in many cities to the east of us. This is so much different than what we have witnessed only a few years ago. The builder”Rembrandt Homes” for example struggled for a couple of years trying to finish out their selling activities in a smaller project of more expensive one floor units at 2295 Kains Road immediately beside this new project. Our current low interest rate environment is helping to both to draw in new builders to our city and propel forward more new construction activity.

“Victoria on the River”

Sunday, May 17th, 2015

By Peter Daoust. Broker Remax Advantage Realty Ltd. Brokerage

What a classic name for a new area of our city and what a potentially pretty site. If your out cruising around some weekend follow the signs and visit the existing builders model new homes. Sifton is servicing this large site for houses and future multi family units (we hope that also includes condos) on the southern banks of The “Thames River” out in the countryside on Commissioners Road East just before it reaches Hamilton Road. New street names include “Sheffield Blvd.” and “Seven Oaks Ridge”. Most of us think of this area as being out of the city farmlands. The site enjoys a wonderful drop in elevation as it gets closer to the river and has the potential for future areas of expansion on both sides.

“Phase One” is partially serviced and 59 new single family homes are soon to be built on 36-55 foot lots. Check out the “Sifton” website and note all of the pockets of “future multi-family residential” on the colourful site plan.

We are a condo website and not a new home website. Our point in telling you about this is to help create an awareness for what is in the pipeline. South East London is an excellent location for busy people on the go who have a need to be close to the 401.  Your Condo World is happy to now report that more “multi family” development is soon to be on our “South East London” horizon!

High Condo Fees vs Special Assessments

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

by Peter Daoust, Broker. Remax Advantage Realty Ltd. Brokerage.

We live in changing times. London has a ton of lower end affordable condos, many of which have carrying costs of less than what it would typically cost to rent.

Consider this. A $100,000 mortgage at 2.89 percent with a 25 year amoritazation rate would carry for about $470.00 per month. With property taxes, condo fees and utility expenses the monthly carrying costs of a $110,000 condo with a ten thousand dollar down payment would be closer to the one thousand dollars a month mark. Consider also that a $110,000 dollar condo in London would probably cost in the $140,000 -$160,000 price range in cities like Waterloo, Orangeville or Barrie. London prices really are a bargain in comparison.

Now back to our heading, “High Condo Fees vs Special Assessments”. We are now witnessing in some of London’s entry level condos, condo fees jumping by $100.00 per month. Condo fees that were for example $230 per month have suddenly jumped to $330 per month, often to cover such issues as new shingles. The building at 1096 Jalna Blvd. is one example of this kind of a situation as is the complex at 1199 Hamilton Road. There are many more examples.

How is this different than what have might of happened in the past? Well back when interest rates were at 6 or 7 percent for example owning a condo for many people in this price range was so much more of a struggle. In those times it would be more likely to issue a special assessment of  perhaps fifty dollars per month for a four year period to cover the cost of the type of improvements we have being talking about.

It could be suggested that in these changing times there is less resistance to dramatically bumping up condo fees to take care of these pressing needs.

What sometimes is the consequence of such actions? Do these units suddenly become more difficult to sell and do investors who use these units for rental purposes suddenly start to lose interest in hanging onto their units or alteratively lose their desire to acquire more of them. The answer to these two questions is yes. What sometimes further exasperates this issue is that there is seldom any clear cut guidance given as to when in the future the direction of these condo fee increases might be reversed.

As a buyer would you rather pay a higher condo fee or a lower condo fee with a small additional monthly assessment?  There really isn’t a definititive answer to this question other than to note that in recent times there is a trend by property managers and boards to jump the fees. Many buyers might see this situation as an obstacle in their search to find that perfect unit and might move onto something else. The irony in this logic is that there are no gaurantees that other units with lower condo fees may someday face this very same issue.

What are my thoughts on this issue? Well, higher condo fees do make units in some complexes more difficult to sell, especially if there are similar comparables offered for sale in the immediate area. In a similar sort of way special assessments often make condo units more difficult to sell and often times a seller will agree to cover the cost of the special assessment on closing to get the deal done. This all makes for a debate which has equally weighted sides.

One final note. New cedar shakes are being installed on the condo cluster at 1040 Riverside Drive next to The Thames Valley Golf Coarse. That situation in itself could be a blog for another day.

Windsor Condos Built For Retirement Living.

Saturday, May 9th, 2015

By Peter Daoust, Broker Remax Advantage Realty Ltd. Brokerage.
Windsor Ontario, population of about 211,000 people has a popular style of one floor condos that London Ontario developers have never caught onto. The ones we are about to discuss are attractive, efficient and neighbourhood friendly. Each unit has the feel of being part of a much bigger community.

How is this accomplished?  Well it starts with the physical layout of the landscape. Streets are mapped in a grid fashion with row after row of condo clusters built side by side. Each unit faces the street and each unit enjoys a private driveway. If you want you can visit the Smiths two blocks over or bike to the Jones four blocks away. On the way you will most likely say hi to other neighbours you know. Imagine a thousand neighbours living in one floor condos much like yours with parks and bike paths surrounding the perimeters of this space.

Google if you wish street names like “Chateau”, “Luxury” and “Clover”. These are in North East Windsor, in an area known as “Tecumseh” near where “Lake Saint Clair” enters into the “Detroit River”.

Let’s talk a little about how this design layout is different. In London Ontario and in many other cities condos tend to be built in clusters of 25, 40, 60 or even more units.  In Windsor, the style we are talking about are row after row of 3,4,5,6 or 8 attached one floor units. From an initial land servicing perspective it could be suggested that much more of the blueprint of the area is lost to the construction of streets, curbs and sidewalks compared to other new sites where condos are built in more typical higher density clusterings.

There are a number of benefits to this type of a design. The biggest one is that builders do not have to commit to large sized projects which often times stretch their borrowing capacities and which typically take longer to get registered. This is important in an area where the economy is known to have its ups and downs. Builders instead can focus their energies on constructing clusterings of only a few units at a time, an activity which might also then better match the seasonal needs of the marketplace. With this type of a design layout the condo fees may also be less as the cost of the bulk of the snow plowing activities gets passed on to the city.

If you ever get a chance, visit this area of Windsor and check out this style of living that we are talking about. You may be surprised at what the $200,000 price range will buy you in one floor condo living.IMG_0833 Retirees are moving here from other areas in Ontario and also Quebec because of the climate, the affordable condo (and home) prices, the sports teams, the friendly people and because of the international airport across the boarder.

London condo builders take note. Check out why so many people are now wanting to live on Luxury or Clover!

“Central Park at Fanshawe Ridge”

Friday, May 8th, 2015

P1200638By Peter Daoust, Broker Remax Advantage Realty Inc. Brokerage.  “2031 Pennyroyal Street”. This new townhomes project of 42 two storey townhouse style units is soon to begin construction. It’s location is off of the east side of Highbury Ave.,north of Fanshawe Park Road East next to a newly constructed retainer pond and an existing creek. The builder is “Forest Park Ltd.” Twelve units will enjoy these rear retainer pond views and many units will have driveways coming in off of both Pennyroyal and Blackwell Boulevard. There are six different model styles.

These are being marketed as “vacant land”- (you own the land) “condos”. Currently sales are taking place out of an onsite trailer. As for pricings consider this. “Jacob’s Ridge” at 1010 Fanshawe Park Road East by Rembrandt Homes is not to far away as is another new townhouse project at “River Trail Gate” at 1924 Cedarhollow. Prices will have to be competitive.P1210153

New is always nice. Living on the edge of the city next to open areas has an appeal. Visit for a view of this site plan.



Central School Manor – St. Mary’s Ontario

Monday, May 4th, 2015

P1190053by Peter Daoust, Broker Remax Advantage Realty Ltd. Brokerage “A rare opportunity to own a piece of history in the making”. 189 Elizabeth Street in St. Mary’s. A 100 year old stone school conversion. 15 new suites ranging in size from 910 sq. ft – 1900 sq. ft and prices from about $260,000 to over $500,000. Exposed brick, 13 ft. ceilings, fireplaces ….. even two level designs.  “Live in Luxury – Own The History”. Visit for unit layouts and videos on meeting the developers. St. Mary’s is 42 kilometers away from London.