A con­crete choice

Af­ford­able condo mixes in mod­ern el­e­ments to max­i­mize space

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES -

IF you’re a young pro­fes­sional just start­ing out – and look­ing for your first home – af­ford­abil­ity and value is a pri­or­ity. In most cases, a home pos­sess­ing those two at­tributes is a one-bed­room, apart­ment-style con­do­minium. Find the right one, and you stand to get a dwelling that checks in at some­where be­tween 600 and 700 square feet, ide­ally with up­dated fea­tures and newer ap­pli­ances (which elim­i­nates the need to shop for ap­pli­ances and have them de­liv­ered). Prob­lem is, not all con­do­mini­ums are cre­ated equal. Some build­ings are wood frame, while oth­ers are con­crete. While wood frame units might be more af­ford­able, they’re not nearly as quiet. But on oc­ca­sion, a solid, up­dated unit in a con­crete build­ing presents it­self at an af­ford­able price. Turns out, such a con­do­minium does ex­ist in the form of unit 11 at 620 Jefferson Av­enue in The Jefferson Con­do­mini­ums. “This unit was com­pletely ren­o­vated in 2011,” said Sut­ton Group – Kilkenny Real Es­tate’s Lynda Mackie. “It’s a suite that cre­ates a nice first im­pres­sion the mo­ment you set foot. Right away, you can see that it’s a bright unit, and that the fin­ishes, and fin­ish­ing ma­te­ri­als, are good qual­ity.” Although the build­ing was built way back in 1960, the unit in ques­tion — a one-bed­room suite that checks in at 650 sq. ft. — is any­thing but dated. It’s very con­tem­po­rary, and the fin­ish­ing ma­te­ri­als are some­what startling, con­sid­er­ing the unit is listed at $159,900. Take the foyer, for ex­am­ple. Rather than linoleum, it’s tan ce­ramic tile that stretches from the foyer, down the hall­way to the left, into the kitchen, and then, fi­nally into the four-piece bath at the end of the hall. Glance to the right — a liv­ing room that’s 18-feet long by 13-feet wide with taupe walls, white bev­elled base­boards and white bulk­heads stud­ded with pot lights – and you see another wel­come sight. “The orig­i­nal oak floors were re-stained and re­fin­ished – they ab­so­lutely gleam,” said Mackie. “Not only is the liv­ing room warm, but it’s also bright. There’s a huge (re­cessed) win­dow on its rear wall that lets in loads of nat­u­ral light.” She added that the liv­ing room’s gen­er­ous length yields another at­tribute. “There’s ac­tu­ally plenty of room to put a home of­fice at the end clos­est to the foyer. In some one-bed­room suites, you ba­si­cally have to jam a desk some­where. That’s not the case here — there’s plenty of room for a desk and other of­fice ac­ces­sories.” All that ex­tra space can be at­trib­uted to the fact the unit’s lay­out is ex­tremely ef­fi­cient. Case in point is the jog off the liv­ing room, a nine-foot by eight-foot din­ing room that’s ca­pa­ble of ac­com­mo­dat­ing a ta­ble for four. It also comes with a bonus, said Mackie. “It’s next to another large win­dow that lets even more light into the suite. That light also fil­ters into the gal­ley kitchen, which is only a step or two from the din­ing room.” Once again, you get more than you ex­pect (a nice prob­lem to have): the afore­men­tioned tile floor, a wealth of espresso maple cab­i­nets and two other con­tem­po­rary fea­tures. “You also get black gran­ite coun­ter­tops plus a taupe glass tile back­splash,” she said. “I es­pe­cially like the back­splash. In most cases, you just get a painted wall when a suite is ren­o­vated. Not here – you get the glass tile. It looks great, and re­ally sets off the cab­i­nets. You also get three newer (Gen­eral Elec­tric) ap­pli­ances (flat top stove, fridge and dish­washer).” The suite’s ef­fi­cient lay­out con­tin­ues down the hall­way that leads to the four-piece bath and master suite. To the left are two clos­ets — one for coats, another for stor­age. The bath­room, at the end of the hall­way, fea­tures a pedestal sink, re­fin­ished tub, low flush toi­let and tile floor. The tile was even ex­tended up the wall be­hind the sink and van­ity to add ex­tra style. To the right is the master suite, which mea­sures in at 11.2-feet by 10.7-feet – a sur­pris­ingly large space given the unit’s square footage. “Thanks to another large win­dow, it’s a bright space that with am­ple room for queen size bed and bed­room fur­ni­ture,” Mackie said. “It also comes with taupe car­pet­ing, mir­rored (dou­ble) closet and taupe walls with white base­boards.” Be­cause it’s a one-bed­room unit with­out a bal­cony, stor­age space could be a con­cern. That’s not the case what­so­ever. “The unit also comes with a stor­age locker, so stor­age space isn’t an is­sue,” she said. “The other great thing about this suite is that the condo fees are very rea­son­able. For $152.80 monthly, you get all util­i­ties in­cluded, along with one park­ing spot. That’s a real plus if you’re on a bud­get, and just start­ing out.”

Over­all, it’s dif­fi­cult to beat the value the suite of­fers, Mackie said. “It’s an af­ford­able, nicely ren­o­vated unit that presents a great al­ter­na­tive to rent­ing. With an op­por­tu­nity like this, I don’t know why you’d want to rent and throw money out the win­dow when you can own, and build eq­uity.”

A large win­dow in­jects loads of light into the liv­ing room, which is also il­lu­mi­nated by a col­lec­tion of pot­lights on bulk­heads around its


The 11.2-foot by 10.7-foot master suite is bright, warm and sur­pris­ingly spa­cious.

The taste­fully fin­ished main bath fea­tures a tan tile floor, tile tub sur­round and pedestal sink.

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