One difficult choice that buyers are faced with when shopping around for a Square One condo is the decision as to which floor of a condo to purchase a unit on. Although, I do not promise that this article will give you a straight answer as to which floor to select, it will make your purchase decision more clear as you will become more aware of the pro’s and con’s of high and low floors.
Low Floors in Condos
Let’s start off with the lower floors. Those who choose to live on low floors mainly do it for the safety and convenience. Typical responses vary from “I’m afraid of high floors” to “what if my kids were to fall off the balcony”. Lower floors are also better accessible for elderly people or people
in wheelchairs. Unlike with high floor condo units, the option to use the stairs or elevator is always there, which is also a plus. The other day, I had a customer joke that if a condo fire occurred, the fire truck’s ladder would only reach the seventh floor, so he advised me that he wouldn’t want to live higher than the seventh floor.
On the other hand, other people see low floors, particularly first level units, as invitations to burglars. They assume that the first level condos provide easy access for those looking to break into units.
It’s important to note that the chances of an extreme fire or a first-floor break-in are rare in a condo; however, this artificial threat perpetuates a real fear which influences the decision of many condo buyers.
High Floors in Condos
The most obvious advantage of owning a high floor condo unit is the beautiful view that it can offer. For many, having big floor to ceiling windows and a gorgeous “million dollar view” of the Toronto skyline is important when shopping for a Square One condo. It only makes sense that the higher you go in a building the more spectacular the view.
For those who wish to be high up, point out that it is a bit quieter from all the commotion that might be going on the street below. Also, they claim that the plumbing (ie. someone flushing their toilet or showering) can’t be heard as loudly as on a lower floor. Others say that they cannot hear their neighbours above them walking or moving furniture.
Some disadvantages for higher floors are that they have lower ceilings as compared to the lower floors. The wait for the elevator is much longer and noise from the AC or other machinery on the roof can be heard.
Are Floor Premiums Worth the Money?
With pre-construction condos in Mississauga, a $1000 floor premium is the industry standard. Meaning, new builders typically charge $1000 per floor, starting from the first floor or second floor. From my observations, the low floors and the high floors sell out first, leaving the floors in the middle to sell over a longer period of time.
With resale condos in Mississauga, the option to find a condo on the desired floor may not be as easy. Usually, there are only a few units available for sale in each condo and they may not necessarily be the number one floor choice of the buyer.
How do floor premiums translate into resale and market rental value? Through my close market analysis, I came to a hypothesis, that with newer condos people do justify paying the floor premium for a higher floor. They also do not experience difficulties regaining that money back should they sell their condo within a few years. However, as the condo gets older (and by older I mean 20+ years), the justification behind paying for a higher floor does seem to deteriorate, and people do seem to entertain a low floor condo unit with a lower price over a higher floor condo unit with a higher price.
Strangely enough, floor premiums have very little effect (if any) on the condo rental market in Mississauga. People who are planning to rent typically do not put a huge weight on the floor level on which they will be renting on. This might have something to do with the fact that they do not plan on staying there forever, as well as, the low vacancy rate on the Mississauga condo rental market.
In conclusion, it is important to know the advantages and disadvantages of high and low floors. Consider not only how you (the purchaser) can benefit from the selected floor, but how it will impact the future sale of your condo unit. Remember that if you are planning to buy a condo as an investment and want to rent the unit out, my advice is to not overpay for floor premiums. Hope this article gives you a clear insight in floor premiums found in Mississauga condos.
Photo credit: Jason
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