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Location a critical factor in buying real estate

Location a critical factor in buying real estate

When it comes to condominium investment, there are many factors to consider. The first and foremost is location. Once you have purchased a condominium suite, you can change the decor to alter your surroundings, but you are committed to the location you have selected. When shopping for a condo, look at the various addresses in different ways, depending on your needs and life circumstances.

As an example, if you have a family, you will need proximity to schools, and of course, the availability of medical facilities, shopping and entertainment venues will factor into your decision. A handy practice is to plug in the addresses you are considering on WalkScore.com, which will list the amenities within walking distance.

This website also rates accessibility to transit and the bike-ability of the location, which helps you look at condominium choices with your work commute in mind. Are major highways and public transit nearby? Ask yourself if you can get along without the expense of owning and maintaining a vehicle? If so, your affordability factor just rose. I suggest you try your work commute from various condos during rush hour and find out firsthand if it is reasonable.

Recently, Canadian Real Estate Watch summed up the three main elements to look for in real estate locations, whether you are an investor or plan on living in your investment. The first is access to public transit and the other two have to do with what is going on in the surrounding area. If you see major retailers investing in the neighbourhood, you know it shows a lot of growth potential. Find out what is being done with public infrastructure in the area and if weathered amenities are being redeveloped; both are good signs.

When I select locations for my developments, I take all of this into consideration. Dundas Square Gardens, at Dundas Street East and Jarvis Street, is situated near Ryerson University and the King Street campus of George Brown College.

It is just steps to the underground PATH system and TTC. The Yonge Park Plaza office condominiums at Yonge Street and York Mills Road draws from a local population of over 1 million. With direct TTC subway access via a tunnel from within the building, it is ideal for commuters. Most recently, we are developing The Rosedale on Bloor Street East at Sherbourne Street, which will be next to the TTC and close to the Don Valley Parkway, as well as world-renowned retailers.

For end-users and investors alike, focusing on quality of life and return-on-investment is imperative when shopping for a condo – and location is critical to both. For developers, land is a non-renewable resource, so as property availability becomes scarcer across the GTA, we have to pay more attention than ever before to finding locations that are ideal for new communities.

Steve Gupta is the chairman and CEO of The Gupta Group and president and CEO of Easton’s Group of Hotels. Gupta recently received his Doctor of Laws honoris causa from Ryerson University.Visit eastonsgroup.com