24 September 2009

So Many Taller Buildings Building

Lately everywhere I go there is a huge condominium being built or some other kind of interesting new construction project. It makes me really happy whenever I see this as it is a visible reminder of the city's growth and intensification. I get very excited to think about a denser, more vertical Toronto, and each time I see the scaffolding of a tall building-in-progress I cheer it on to myself, "higher! higher!" Most of the time I note the name of the development so I can look it up on the internet and read about it. I can't wait to see how the city's skyline develops and (vertical) spaces are filled in by the countless new buildings growing up as we speak. It almost makes me feel like getting old won't be so bad if I get to see the results of all this development.

I read some good news that satisfies my hunger for tall buildings in the Star recently. "Toronto has about 105 buildings over 12 storeys going up in the city, gushed Mayor David Miller, beaming as he presides over what he appropriately calls a 'renaissance,'" Royson James reports; "We are building more tall buildings in this city than all other cities in Canada combined." Especially after visiting Manhattan recently for the first time, this is music to my ears.


  1. I'm a bit concerned though, Alexander, that all these new condos won't be anywhere near affordable for the average shithead such as myself. Do you know anything about it?

  2. I don't know much about it, but I think it's pretty reasonable that people like you and I who just got out of university can't afford to buy a house or condominium. If when we're early 30s none of us can even consider such an endeavour, then it's pretty crazy expensive, but I doubt that'll be the case. I want to start saving. And yeah it's bad and deleterious if condominiums are prohibitively expensive and thus somewhat exclusive, but, even then, I would still rather have rich people living vertically than horizontally (like in Forest Hill or whatever).

    I've been learning about the process of buying such a thing lately, and it's surprisingly not that insane. Like, after one makes a hefty downpayment, apparently one merely pays a relatively reasonable sum each month (mortgage) for a long time. Like, a rent-style amount until you've paid off the whole thing. So it seems the same as paying rent at that point except you're slowly gaining ownership of the space instead of just perpetually paying for renting. Maybe you already knew this process, but it's new to me.

  3. A downpayment is just like, a big chunk of money to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars, right?
    See if it's like that, where I have to pay and pay and pay to finally own the place after a long time, I'd rather just rent. Do you you know if you can sell your home if you haven't paid off the mortgage yet? That would be horrible, to be stuck to a place with option to leave other than bankruptcy or whatever.

    I sound like an immature twit. "Like..", "or whatever", "See, if it's like that..". This is why I am not ready to own a home. Language barriers to becoming adult.

  4. Yeah, apparently you can sell them without having yet paid off the whole thing, and this is common practice. Weird. So yeah, that makes it less scary.

    But I don't understand. If you have to "pay and pay and pay," wouldn't you rather own a place than never own the place?

  5. I don't know. Maybe not. It's nice to not have to worry about paying for repairs. When you own a house you're stuck with it until you sell it. And when I own things I get specially attached to them, maybe.
    I see these as negatives.

  6. I wish there were tiny condos that were only like, $120k. Then I would buy it!

    I also think it's vastly preferable to pay a mortgage and eventually own a place, than to throw money away on rent all the time. I'd actually much rather have the upper hand with making repair decisions rather than having to rely on sketchy landlords to take care of things. And even if you decide you don't like it and sell, at least then you'd get the money back that you had put towards it and can put all that towards a new place, right?

    Plus, it seems crazy that if I collected up all the money I've paid on rent over the past 7 years, it would be close to $100k already! If that had been put toward a mortgage, I could halfway own a (small) condo!

    The rub, though, is that it seems impossible to ever save up enough to make a substantial downpayment. Like, barring inheriting a crazy sum of money or something, I can't imagine how I would ever acquire tens of thousands to put down when I can scarcely afford to simultaneously pay for food and make payments on my student loan :(

  7. http://www.canequity.com/no_money_down_mortgage.stm