March 8, 2018 | The View
Let’s not kid ourselves. What you look at every day when you glance out the window(s) of your condo plays a very important role in what you paid for your condo and what you will sell it for down the road. The trick is to know what views are truly golden and what views are just pretty. So, if it’s a good view you need, here’s what to look for.
THE CALMNESS OF WATER
In Toronto, we don’t have views of the mountains as they do in Vancouver. We don’t have beachfront condos with the sound of the crashing ocean waves like they do in Miami. But maybe you’ve heard? We do have a pretty large lake. And if you are looking at waterfront condos, there will be very big differences in price points between condos with the exact same layout on the same floor with unobstructed views of the lake and condos on the other side with views of the Gardiner Expressway and the accompanying traffic, sounds and smells. Human instinct will guide you in the the right direction here. The choice will be obvious. And it’s worth the extra money to pick the lake-facing side, if it can be done. Not only will it make looking out your window much more pleasant and bright, it will make it much easier to sell. A unit with a balcony that is not high enough above the highway will give you that feeling of relaxing in traffic. Yes, it will be less expensive, but wow, it is much harder to sell. Be warned, though, that the lake side is not perfect. The down side is the noisy summer cruises. Sound does carry on the water. So, the views will be great and so will the light. But don’t expect to hear loons on the lake. Maybe a remix of 90s Greatest Dance Hits would be more likely. Outside of the obvious view of the lake, many agents will try to upsell the tiniest of lake views. These slivers of lake views will not make much of an impact. The lake view has to be significant for it to make a real difference to most buyers.
PRETTY SHAPES AND CITY SCAPES
A pretty view does not have to be made from nature. City views also makes for a big impression. You may have to be a bit more careful here though. City views change constantly. And if you buy between Spadina and Jarvis, there is a good chance some very large buildings may be going up around you to alter your view. So, when you are out looking at your city view, allow some time to soak up the city scape, bu make sure you look down to see any parking lots or derelict buildings that may be prime for a new condo. Even a few nice low rise building may be on the chopping block for larger condos to come. Hopefully, your realtor can let you know of any new building coming up in the area that could change your view. The view you start with may not be the view you end with. If you want to check here, you can see what condo’s are going to be built in Toronto in the short term. Of course, there may be many new condo developments that are approved long after you buy your condo.
LET THE LIGHT IN
Some views are not so much about what you are looking at, but how much sun is coming in. Note that a lot of sun may make your condo a little uncomfortable in the summer months, even with highly functioning AC. Generally humans like sun, though, like most other animals and plants. So, a sunny condo tends to be good thing. Morning sun is the best. It keeps your condo cooler in the evenings. Again, keep an eye out for future condo projects that will limit your sun.
If you don’t have sun, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. I have seen many condos that feel almost like living in a tree house. Very urban and noisy on one side, but on the other side, there are units that open up to the tree tops. The sun doesn’t get in, but you do feel like you are among foliage like a squirrel. The benefit of most trees is that the leaves do leave for about half the year. So, you do get some light. And in the summer months, the leaves keep you cooled off and allow for privacy.
Depending on what kind on condo dweller you are, your condo may not be about what you see, but what others can see. Some condo balconies are like live shows. If you step out on to your balcony, you are now visual fodder for about 1000 pair of eyes from other condo units and a few office towers. Some condo units, however, have the privacy that you can really just walk out on your balcony in your housecoat and slippers, big curlers in your hair, and no one will notice. So, the view won’t matter so much, but for re-sale, there will be those buyers who covet their privacy and will do any thing to keep it.
Everyone likes to look out at a pretty view. That’s why we climb mountains to the top. That’s why my clients like to see the rooftop patio. It’s why you invite all your friends over to our first condo, and are happy when they tell you they love the view. And I say go ahead, love that view! It is very likely that with time you will grow accustomed to the view and not really feel as captivated as you were originally from what your eyes see beyond the window pane. But it will still work to your advantage when it comes time to sell. So, be smart about a good view. Look around at what may be built below. And if the view is not so great, just keep in mind, it could be really good in other ways – lots of light. It’s super quiet. It’s private. A good view is not every thing. But I could certainly say, when it comes time to sell, it sure does help to create some pretty visuals for a stronger marketing package.