Friday, November 5, 2010


My current obsession is with co-ownerships. This is a type of building in Toronto that pre-dates condo legislation, so although they are similar to condos, they have some important differences. Apparently you can't get a regular mortgage through a big bank, but have to put 30% down and go through a trust company. This deters enough buyers that the prices for these units are much lower than a comparable condo.

From my point of view, the upside is that the buildings tend to be old - lovely art deco buildings, the best that Toronto has to offer!

Let's start with an example that isn't too old, just because it's a little bigger and it's easier to compare. Today there are three units available at 580 Christie, which is close to the trendy Wychwood Barns project, just south of St. Clair. They're all 1-bed, 1-bath, about 525 sq. ft., and asking $239,500, $249,900, and $258,800 (average: $242,733).

The two closest comparable buildings are at St. Clair and Bathurst (500 St. Clair W, asking $288,900, but only 400 square feet!) and Dupont and Bathurst (483 Dupont, asking $349,900, but over 600 square feet). I know it's questionable to average these two prices, but it works out to $319,400.

That's a difference of $76667, which apart from being quite an interesting number could mean the difference between a $1100 mortgage payment and a $1450 mortgage payment.

Next up... how do the maintenance fees compare?

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