TORONTOREALTYBLOG.COM BY DAVID FLEMING Sales Representative
Living in a 585 square foot box often leaves room for few luxuries.
My 585 square foot box did not come with a locker when I purchased it four years ago, and thus I had to make some sacrifices along the way.
But the developer of my condominium had a few units left over and finally put them on the auction block. This is going to change my life!
Okay, maybe I”m being a bit facetious. I certainly hope that the ownership of a small metal cage in the underground parking garage of a condominium won’t change the way I spend my days!
But it sure makes life a bit easier, and cleaner too!
Before I moved into my current place of residence, I eliminated about 50% of all my worldly possessions.
My siblings and I put a dumpster in the driveway of our old childhood home that had served as “storage” for many years, and we literally cleaned house.
It was one of the most liberating experiences of my life!
Why did I need my paddle from Camp Kawabi in 1986?
Why did we have every ski jacket I ever owned since I was five?
Perhaps our house would have been perfect for an episode of “Hoarders,” but regardless, we filled an entire dumpster with ‘things’ we had been accumulating over a lifetime.
When you have the space to store things, you’d be surprised at what you decide not to throw away!
I still store a few things at my parents’ place, but only things I actually need.
Living in a 585 square foot condo means I have to only keep items that I need and use, and when things start to pile up, it’s time to clean house yet again!
One of the many selling features of my condo when I first viewed it was the abnormally large hall closet. It’s substantially larger than your average condominium locker, and thus I always felt that I didn’t need a condo locker along with my unit. Good thing – since my unit didn’t come with one.
When I bought my condo, I debated about whether or not to purchase a locker from the developer. The building was only one year old, and they had many unsold lockers that they were willing to part with for $2,500.
I decided to pass, and for the first little while I was okay with the decision.
But as the years went on, the amount of free space in my hall closet diminished rapidly. I built shelves to save some space, but the “stuff” kept growing.
Maybe it’s a guy thing, but my hall closet basically became my sports locker.
Hockey gear, two sets of golf clubs, skis, ski boots, baseball equipment (for my entire kids team!), three footballs and some pylons, tennis racquet, rollerblades, hiking equipment, and a host of other items filled my hall closet and made it tough for my guests to find room for their coats and shoes.
But as any man can attest to, the smell from the hockey gear is simply overwhelming.
From April to August, I keep my hockey bag in my mom’s basement. But for the other seven months of the year, it stays in my hall closet for all to see and smell.
And as any man knows, you must air out your equipment after a game or else it’ll stay wet during the week and grow moldy. So for seven days and seven nights in between games, my hall closet acts as a sealed bio-hazard zone, not to be tampered with.
The other day, my girlfriend took a whiff of the scarf she was wearing and said, “I can’t believe this. I have your hockey smell on my scarf!” It was true, she did. From simply putting her coat and scarf on a hanger in my closet, the items soaked up the stench and stayed with her wherever she went.
I knew it was time to do something about my storage situation.
I have long maintained that most buyers do not adjust for the ownership of a locker or lack thereof when evaluating the price of a condo.
Yes, we certainly adjust $20,000 – $40,000 for the presence of a parking spot, but I find that the cost of a locker is so nominal that it often goes ignored.
Case in point – if you had a $355,000 condo with a locker and a week later, the same unit was listed for $355,000 without one, many people might not change their opinion of value. Perhaps the floors are different, or there are newer appliances. There are many “little” things that can differentiate two condos, and a locker has fallen into that category.
If the unit is more expensive, say $800,000, then the locker becomes even less of an issue. With the average locker being worth around $3,500, how can you quibble over such a nominal cost when you might be negotiating to the tune of $50,000 for the unit itself?
One month ago, our condominium newsletter mentioned that the original developer, Camrost Felcorp, had a few lockers left and wanted to sell them.
I immediately received four emails from clients and residents asking me if it was a good investment decision to purchase a locker.
I said “no.”
If you paid $4,000 for a locker, and next week you decided to sell your condo, I don’t think you’d get $4,000 more for it this week than you would have last. In fact, I think you’d get the same.
Now, it depends on the unit, the price, and the market conditions. Most units in my building are selling in multiple offer situations, so the presence of a locker likely wouldn’t change the number of offers from six to seven, and if it did, it likely wouldn’t affect the price.
I decided to entertain the idea of purchasing a locker, even though I knew I likely wouldn’t recapture my money. It was a lifestyle decision, and I figured that if I’m in this condo for another two years, perhaps the money spent on the locker will be well worth the change in lifestyle.
I contacted the developer, and do you know what they wanted for a locker?
The average locker sells for between $3,000 – $5,000 on the resale market, and I figured I’d be willing to pay $4,000, but happy with $3,500. The developer was charging $2,500 back in 2006-07 when I bought, and although I regretted not buying now, I was willing to pay for the mistake.
So what would the locker cost me in the end?
SIGN ME UP!
Had I known they were only looking to recapture the same amount they were seeking 4-5 years ago, or even 7-8 years ago in pre-construction for that matter, I would have advised everybody in the building to purchase one!
Of course, that might have been a mistake, since I was told by the customer service rep at the developer’s office that I got the very last one!
I just spent the last two hours moving all my sports gear down into P4, and boxing up seasonal items like Christmas decorations that have no place in my condo for eleven months of the year.
For the first time in years, I can see the floor and the back wall of my hall closet.
And now my girlfriend doesn’t have to deal with the stench of my hockey gear.
That pleasure now goes to the residents who share lockers with me down in AREA 2 of P4…