Halifax’s Condo Real Estate Specialists

January 2013

Condo Townhouse Reno – Part 2 Posted on Jan 30, 2013

Once the contractor had the measurements of the kitchen and bathroom he could work out the preliminary quote for the work to be done. David pointed out to them in advance that labour is a fairly fixed cost. It takes roughly the same amount of time to install the parts but things like they type of tile, counter tops, cabinets and fixtures can all affect the final cost dramatically. As a small, square example, tiles can range in price from less than $2.00 per square foot to over $20.00! When you are dealing in a couple hundred square feet of space to tile the price can increase quickly even with a small adjustment. The clients agreed to the rough quote, knowing that these were just ballpark figures and that they could fluctuate depending on the finishes chosen, so we just had to wait for closing day to get started.
I should like to point out at this point that you should never plan to move or begin construction on a new condo purchase on closing day. Closing day is the day that all of the paperwork and funds exchange hands, deeds are issued and keys couriered. Even if you have met with your lawyer ahead of time and the bank is all lined up, it still takes the better part of the day for the lawyer to release the keys. I have seen it before when a client didn’t listen when I explain this to them and they wind up frustrated with movers waiting around to get access to their new home. These clients understood the process and scheduled their contractor to begin the day after closing.
On closing day rather than handing the key over to the happy new condo owners to begin their move, I ran the key to the contractor so he could set about tearing the place apart the next morning. 🙂
The first thing to go was the kitchen interior wall and all cabinets. The client had found out that Habitat for Humanity would take the old cabinets for use in their Re-Store, those were set in the garage and they picked them up the next day. The appliances were no longer serviceable and had to be thrown away.

Kitchen wall with pass through/cabinet row removed.

Kitchen wall and cabinets removed. Most appliances removed. Crew’s gotta eat.
They then moved to the bathroom where there had been some water penetration through the grout behind the existing tile. In the end most of the gyproc had to go to be replaced with a newer technology, moisture resistant product. The vanity, tub and toilet had to go as well.

Bathroom tub, toilet and vanity removed as well as the existing tile and gyproc.

Sign up for updates, in my next post we will take a look as the kitchen and bathroom re-construction gets underway!

-Chris

Condo Townhouse Reno- Part 1 Posted on Jan 19, 2013

    I recently helped some clients make a purchase of a townhouse condo on Dresden Row in Halifax. The location is ideal for them as is the condo itself, they are both busy professionals who would prefer to spend their spare time enjoying dinners downtown and travelling rather than cleaning gutters and mowing lawns. Another asset for these clients is the single car garage and additional parking spot, this is ideal for them as they have a sports car that requires indoor parking and storage over the winter, and they have another car for day to day use.

Garage and Parking of the Dresden Row Townhouse in Downtown Halifax.
In purchasing this condo the clients made a great move, they saw and focused on the value in things that cannot be changed about the condo, things like the garage, the fact that it is an end unit and the layout. One of the drawbacks of this particular condo and a problem that people often encounter, is that it is older and in need of an update. Things like flooring needs replacing, kitchens and bathrooms that need updating are all things that can be changed and will bring increased value down the road, but can be a turnoff for people with less vision.

Original galley kitchen.

Original galley kitchen.
    We knew that they couldn’t move into the condo in the condition it was in, so I made arrangements to get back into the condo with a contractor once we had an agreement of purchase and sale in place. We met with David Bryant from Streamline Construction, David and his team have experience with interior renovations and have done a number of kitchens specifically. They have worked with everything from Ikea cabinet design and installs to custom cabinets and poured concrete counter-tops. Since the kitchen is the first thing we want to tackle, we got together with David in the space right away. It is important get on-site with your contractor to talk about concepts and allow them to take measurements to get the client a more accurate quote.

Original main bath vanity.

Original main bath shower.
   My clients had done their homework, they knew specifically what they wanted done with the space and had pictures from Pinterest to show their contractor. The pictures are a great help as it allows the contractor to know what kind of feel you want in the space and specifically what tile or fixtures you like, or what style cabinets you like. In this case, they had a particular bathroom sink and vanity that they had found online and David was able to find exactly the one they wanted which will really set the tone for their new bathroom.
 
In my next post we will get in to the demo of the old kitchen and bathroom! Check back or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter to follow the progress.
-Chris

2012 Halifax Condo Market – Year in Review Posted on Jan 10, 2013

The Halifax condo market saw a few new construction builds finish in 2012.  The Trillium  on South Park Street and the first building The Keelson, part of the mega project at Kings Wharf were both registered as condos in 2012.

The average price for a condo in 2012 was $248,596 up 4.3% from 2011.  The number of sales in 2012 was 735 a 3.9% drop compared to 2011.  The average days on market for a condo in 2012 was 99 days.

2013 is shaping up to be a great year for condos in HRM.  There are several new builds currently under construction.  Q Lofts, Craigmore Drive Condos, The Anchorage,  St Lawrence Place and Dockside.   Proposed condos St Joseph’s Square and The Quinn Condos are all set to possibly break ground this year.

We are forecasting a brisk 2013 with average price increasing by 3-5% and the number of sales to remain steady with 2012.

If you are thinking of buying, selling or purchasing a new construction condo we are here to assist.  Feel free to contact us anytime.  Thanks

Andrew & Chris

Condo Company

 

 

Halifax Condo Market Update – December 2012 Posted on Jan 03, 2013

Halifax Condo Market Update – December 2012.

Figure 1 – All data based on MLS® statistics for areas 1 – 40 which encompass all of HRM

Figure 2 – All data based on MLS® statistics for areas 1 – 40 which encompass all of HRM

Overview

Average Price – Average price for a condo in Halifax increased by 26% compared to December of 2011.

Number of Sales – The number of condo sales in HRM were down by 41% compared to December 2011. Again in December month as was the case in November we see a big decrease in the number of sales.  This can be attributed to the speculation in the market surrounding the announcement of the shipbuilding contract possibly being awarded to Halifax.

Be sure to check back next week when we will have a year over year condo market analysis

Andrew and Chris