6. Green Certification
We’ve all heard about “greenwashing” so be sure to look beyond the eco-friendly or green claims made by condo development companies. Make sure the developer you’re considering lives up to the high standard of environmental responsibility they’re promising by asking if the building meets LEED® standards.
LEED® certification provides independent, third-party verification that a building, home or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at achieving high performance in key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.
The benefits of buying and living in a green building are plentiful. Here are some of our homeowners’ favourites:
- Safeguarding the well-being of future generations by environmentally sustainable building design and performance in construction
- Cost savings generated by high performance equipment, lighting, windows and insulation to reduce energy and water consumption
- Better air quality by using zero or low emitting materials and ventilation systems designed to deliver fresh air directly to suites on a continuous basis
7. Customer Focus
Customer care is particularly important if you’re looking at buying a brand new condo right from the developer and it’s something that not every developer offers. Even if you’re buying from one of the top, highest-rated builders, it’s nice to know that if you have a question about the building or your suite, you have a trusted, caring team available to help you out at no extra charge or hassle.
Plus, builders that have customer care teams and processes in place will ensure that your home is in prime condition, meaning no details are left unfinished and everything is “hotel-ready” on your move-in day. Check the service promise that the builder adheres to and ask questions like “If something in my suite (my washing machine or air conditioning unit for example) needed maintenance, how long would it take for my maintenance request to be acknowledged?” The answer you want to hear is one business day. Anything longer than that may be a red flag that the service level may not be up to par.
As with any big purchase you make, it’s important to seek third-party validation. Awards are one way to evaluate a condo builder you’re considering buying from. While there are hundreds of different awards for condo developers awarded every year, the most prestigious and sought-after condo development awards are the BILD Awards. They recognize excellence and innovation in the design, construction, sales and marketing of new homes in the Greater Toronto Area and are presented by the Building Industry and Land Development Association. You can look at their website to see past winners.
9. Social Responsibility
As a society, we’re becoming more conscious and concerned about the causes we’re supporting when we make purchases. We want to support companies with philosophies that align with the values we hold close to ourselves and that are socially responsible. Take a look online to see the social causes and community programs that your developer participates in to see if they’re in-line with your own values.
10. Harmony of Lifestyle
When you’re buying a condo, you’re buying a home. You want to feel secure, comfortable and completely satisfied with your investment so that you can enjoy the lifestyle you’ve always envisioned for yourself. As with any sound investment, the level of attentiveness and high quality of service you receive from the company you’ve purchased from should never drop off once the transaction is complete. This holds true for your condo purchase.
When evaluating a condo builder, it’s wise to get clarification on which company will actually be managing the condo building post move-in and understand how credible they are and if they’re affiliated with the builder. If they are a sister company of the builder, you’re more likely to experience a consistent level of customer care as you do through the purchase process.
Taking steps to ensure that the building you’re buying has a solid management company that meets the highest standards of customer care, accountability and reliability in place will go a long way to enhancing the harmony of your lifestyle far beyond your move-in date.
As mentioned throughout this guide, the absolute best way to truly understand how a condo you’re considering ranks on the quality scale is to visit a sales centre or a completed building by the same developer.
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