Buying a New Condo Based on the View can be Dissapointing

Rachel in Condo Buying, Legal

Buying a condo, especially pre-construction, can set you up for disappointment when your expectations aren’t met by what is delivered.  Recently, I have had several calls from concerned buyers with the same problem – the view they were expecting did not materialize.

Delving further, I realized that these home buyers had purchased their units, usually on a higher floor of a building, exclusively for the sake of the view.  Of course, not everyone’s expectations were the same.  I spoke to people who were anticipating a lake view, while still others wanted city scapes.  In all cases, what these buyers wound up with was a view of the glass surface of yet another building.  Many of these buyers felt betrayed, particularly because units on higher floors usually have heftier price tags – but the extra expense was justified because of the payoff, or so they thought.

Others before me have written again and again that buyers should be wary of the glossy sales office of the pre-construction condo.  The developer is selling an idea, a dream that has not yet come into fruition.  As much as the developer wants (and wants you) to believe in the skillfully rendered images they put forward, there is really very little control they could exercise over the development landscape.  If some other builder gets approval for a 30 floor building just south of your 12th floor unit downtown, chances are good that your highly anticipated lake view will be compromised.

If the only reason you are attracted to a particular unit is the view, you may want to consider that it will be very difficult to predict the future landscape of an ever-changing city.

Rachel Loizos is an associate lawyer at Sotos LLP in Toronto. She practices in the area of real estate law.
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