With move-in-ready starter homes typically selling for more than $300,000, young people on limited budgets need to consider all the options when it comes to finding an affordable first home.
One of those options is an apartment-style condominium.
However, two prerequisites must be satisfied before it’s judged to be worthy of consideration — it must be affordable and it must be livable.
Ute Vann of Royal LePage Dynamic Real Estate says she recently listed one of those rare condominiums.
"At 1,074 square feet, this is the largest unit design in the complex, and it’s priced under $240,000," she says of the two-bedroom, two-bath second-floor condo. "Thanks to an open-concept layout that features a split bedroom design, this unit has a house-like feel. It’s a bright, spacious and a joy to spend time in."
She adds the unit has also been beautifully updated both inside and out.
"First of all, the exterior was redone with Hardie board siding in the last three years, along with new windows and new sliding patio balcony doors. Inside, the suite is in immaculate condition, it’s beautifully finished and has a like-new feel to it."
While the tasteful finishes — a neutral earth tone colour palette, rich wide-plank maple hardwood flooring, tiled corner gas fireplace and cinnamon-stained maple shaker cabinets in the kitchen all combine to create a warm, welcoming great room — its open-concept layout is what gives the spacious unit such a livable feel.
Because the unit is nearly 1,100 sq. ft., there’s ample space in the great room for three distinct yet generous spaces — a peninsula kitchen with raised eating bar for two, an adjacent dining area that can easily hold a large table, and a huge living room.
All three spaces are spacious yet distinct, and flow between spaces is exceptional.
"The key thing to note is that there really aren’t any long hallways in the suite," Vann says.
"Not having much in the way of hallways opens up space. As a result, all the space in the suite is well-used. You never feel like you’re lacking space or style."
With its corner fireplace, the massive living room is the great room’s focal point, Vann says. "The corner gas fireplace has marble accents that frame it beautifully, it offers a nice touch of elegance. The sliding patio doors lead out to a huge, covered south-facing balcony with plenty of room for summer furniture and a barbecue."
Meanwhile, the bedrooms, which are located on either side of the great room, are virtual carbon copies.
"Both are a very comfortable size," she says. "The master suite is 11.25 ft. by 15.5 ft., with the second bedroom being nearly the same size. The second bedroom is perfect for a nursery or office and is just steps away from a four-piece bath down the hall off the foyer."
Vann says the master suite, which is set in its own private spot down a brief hallway to the left of the dining area, is a private, restful space.
"With its hardwood flooring, soft earth tone colours and all its space, it’s a true retreat. It comes with its own four-piece ensuite with tile floor and soaker tub and is located across the hall from a wonderful laundry/mudroom that has a door that takes you out to your parking spot by way of an enclosed back entrance."
Last but not least, the suite’s heating and cooling doesn’t come via electric baseboard heating and a noisy wall air conditioner.
"A furnace located in the storage room off the balcony provides forced air heating in the winter and central air conditioning in the summer," Vann says. "The owner’s average gas budget has been $40 a month, while electricity has cost $75 a month. It’s a very comfortable, energy-efficient suite year-round."
Factor in a healthy reserve fund ($353,300 as of April), access to an outdoor pool with clubhouse and barbecue area in the summer, and a pet-friendly building (two pets per unit limit) and you have a condominium that has plenty to offer.
"It’s affordable, spacious, has been tastefully updated and is in a wonderful area that’s very central and close to all kinds of amenities," Vann says. "If you’re looking for a spacious condo that offers quality, location and value, this beautiful unit could be what you’ve been looking for."
Year Built: 1984
Style: apartment-style condominium
Size: 1,074 sq. ft.
Contact: Ute Vann, Royal LePage Dynamic Real Estate, 204-989-5000
Open House: Sun., Oct. 6, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.