Condo ho­tel suites mean ex­tras like room ser­vice

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES - By Mar­i­lyn Wil­son

WHILE condo units are of­ten used as pri­mary homes, they can also be in­vest­ments or va­ca­tion spots. Let’s take a look at uses for the ex­tra condo, by which I mean a unit that is not your pri­mary res­i­dence, but rather one that has a sec­ondary func­tion. Cus­tom condo Many peo­ple move from larger homes to con­dos as a way of chang­ing their life­styles. Per­haps they in­tend to down­size or sim­ply want to forgo shov­el­ling snow. They may even want to travel more of­ten and keep a condo to make this an eas­ier feat. Buy­ers shop­ping in new de­vel­op­ments may choose to pur­chase two units and com­bine them to ex­pand their square footage. This is a pos­si­ble cus­tom up­grade when pur­chas­ing a condo in a fu­ture devel­op­ment — like opt­ing for gran­ite over linoleum, but on a larger scale. If you are look­ing at the pent­house, you can also find out if the de­vel­oper can in­crease the size ver­ti­cally in ad­di­tion to hor­i­zon­tally by in­creas­ing your ceil­ing height. Such are the ad­van­tages of pur­chas­ing a pre-con­struc­tion condo. Part-time condo A lot of peo­ple choose to move or travel more af­ter their chil­dren have left the roost. It’s a given that condo living can make trav­el­ling eas­ier as you may have a concierge to check on your unit and re­trieve your mail. You will also not have to clear a front path in ab­sen­tia. For th­ese rea­sons, condo living is es­pe­cially use­ful if you in­tend to spend win­ters in a warmer cli­mate. It en­ables you to keep a low-main­te­nance space where you can leave your things out and ready for your re­turn. Of course, some­one in this sit­u­a­tion can also pur­chase a time share; how­ever, this ne­ces­si­tates stor­ing things when out of town, adding ex­pense and has­sle. An­other op­tion is to pur­chase a room in a condo ho­tel suite. This means own­ing a ho­tel room that you your­self can use, usu­ally for a limited time through­out the year. Th­ese are not usu­ally of­fered as pri­mary res­i­dences, but have the added ad­van­tage of ho­tel ameni­ties, such as room ser­vice. Keep­ing a part-time condo can also be es­pe­cially use­ful if you plan on re­turn­ing to a des­ti­na­tion again and again. In a sense, it be­comes your “cottage” or sec­ond dwelling. For ex­am­ple, I have clients who re­cently moved abroad but are in­ter­ested in keep­ing a condo in Ottawa. This is sim­ply be­cause they know they will re­turn of­ten to visit friends here. This is also a popular choice for peo­ple who have chil­dren or grand­chil­dren in an­other city. When de­ter­min­ing if you should pur­chase a condo as a sec­ond res­i­dence, con­sider the costs of ho­tels and — if you plan to rent a car or bring your own — public park­ing. In­vest­ment condo Per­haps you are in­ter­ested in down­siz­ing at a later date or sim­ply want an in­vest­ment with a monthly pay­out (through rental in­come). If so, then the in­vest­ment condo may be a wise de­ci­sion for you. If you in­tend to move to a cer­tain city but have not spent a ton of time living there as a lo­cal, you might con­sider pur­chas­ing a sec­ond home there rather than go­ing all out with a pricey and dis­rup­tive move. To make a de­ci­sion this big, you may want to spend time living as a lo­cal be­fore you plan your move. Day-to-day life in any city is dif­fer­ent from vis­it­ing as a tourist. To make this more eq­ui­table in the short term, you can rent out the unit by week (as a va­ca­tion rental) or with a long-term lease. Nat­u­rally, you can also do this with a condo unit closer to home. One of my friends knows she and her hus­band will ul­ti­mately re­tire to Toronto. They are from there and one of their chil­dren is now en­rolled at the Uni­ver­sity of Toronto. As a re­sult, they de­cided to forgo pay­ing monthly rent for their son by in­stead pur­chas­ing their dream condo now and hav­ing him live there. Their son is there­fore living in a well-built condo in a safe neigh­bour­hood and his par­ents have a place to stay when they visit. For this fam­ily, pur­chas­ing their condo was a way of in­vest­ing in their fu­ture. Whether your condo is your pri­mary res­i­dence or a sec­ond home, it can bring you into an eas­ier, more con­ve­nient way of living or trav­el­ling. Map out the condo scene in Canada and be­yond us­ing th­ese cre­ative ways of in­cor­po­rat­ing the condo life­style into your life.

DAVID GRAY / POST­MEDIA NET­WORK INC.

The Mahina Surf condo com­plex in West Maui, with its ocean­side lo­ca­tion and un­ex­pected bonuses, such as

beach­front bar­be­cues and a salt­wa­ter pool, is ideal for fam­i­lies.

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