Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Condo Living

Condo living. Glamorous, sexy, urban, chic, professional, hip. Or so we’re lead to believe. But what you just bought – and have to pay for over the next few decades of your life – might not be all that it’s cracked up marketed to be.

Models sitting on barstools, drinking martinis in glam lobbies seem to be the vision – at least in the ads. Funny how no one ever spends any time in these swanky lobbies though. These vacant though well furnished rooms are home to empty beer bottles. Home to vomit and regrets are the sidewalks outside. The cherry on top is the yelling and swearing that drifts up the condo alleys into your unit on a Saturday night.

It didn’t take long for you to get settled in your new condo. It took even less time to realize that your neighbors are here for a good time – not a long time. Unlike you, they rent. Unfortunately that’s not all that’s different between you and them – their hours, cleanliness, food and guests aren’t exactly what you anticipated.  

Looking at your condo on paper is one thing, but finding comfort in within limited dimensions is another. At least you have the view, right? You paid a premium, but it’s totally worth it. Well – it was worth it, until last month when that crane that’s building a higher condo blocked it. Damn.

The balcony is still nice for a morning cup of coffee though. Quite relaxing, if you don’t mind the sound – or the smell – of the road beside you. It will calm your nerves before the inevitable wait for the streetcar. Not the first streetcar though – that one is always full. Perhaps you’ll get lucky this morning and squeeze onto the fifth streetcar.

It’s nice to own and not have to convince your landlord that your pet is well behaved and trained. Too bad that as more and more concrete is being laid and less and less green space is available means that you – and the many other dog owners in the building – have nowhere to take your dogs for a quick bathroom trip. The well-manicured “gardens” are now a public pet toilet, and angry signs are posted around the building.

Maintenance fees go hand in hand with condo living. You certainly can’t clean the smog and filth from the Gardiner off of your own windows. And someone has to clean that pool, wipe down the exercise equipment and kick those kids drinking on the public terrace back to their room – sorry, condo.

The worst part of all is the annual condo meeting. It’s then that you realize the condo board consists of people who you wouldn’t trust to babysit a hamster, yet their decisions affect your home and your net worth.

Condo living. The image is undeniable – one of success and prosperity. Too bad it’s only a mirage. For those who truly want wealth and prosperity, avoiding the condo life is a good place to start.



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