If you are in the market for a condo, you will have noticed an abundance of possible amenities that vary according to the condo facility. All the extras seem like they could be great for your lifestyle (seriously, who wouldn’t want a spa or a cinema in their building?), but when push comes to shove, you might end up using them very rarely, if at all. And regardless if you use them or not, you are paying for them as part of your monthly condo fee. It’s up to you to determine what is essential and what you can pass on, when deciding which condo is right for you. Let’s take a look at a few of these swanky condo amenities:
5 Swanky Condo Amenities Buyers Swoon For But Rarely (or Never) Use
1. Swimming Pools and Hot Tubs
Let’s face it – while outdoor swimming pools might be more popular down south, they are not a very practical amenity here in Canada. It’s only warm enough for outdoor swimming for a few short months of the year, depending on where you live. An outdoor hot tub can be a nice amenity, but in reality, it may not get much more use than that outdoor swimming pool.
Indoor swimming pools are a bit more popular in Canada, but are also not used as often as buyers think they will use them. The fact of the matter is that unless you swim for fitness, you probably aren’t going to use this amenity very regularly.
2. Recreation and Spa Facilities
A fitness facility is one of the more used condo amenities. However, condo buyers are likely not going to use much more than the basics. The serious gym rats will already have their fitness studio of choice close by and many will prefer to go there. Condo recreation facilities that include extras like yoga studios, rock climbing walls and courts for tennis, basketball or racquetball sound exciting, but oftentimes condo residents won’t end up using them.
3. Rooftop Decks
Rooftop decks have certainly increased in popularity in recent years as residents were not able to go out as often as they would like during the pandemic. However, rooftop lounges are typically underused because, when given the option, residents prefer to go out with friends. Plus, they can get rather hot in the summertime. But there are usually a few residents who can be found on the rooftop deck regularly, one of which might be you!
4. Social Rooms and Clubhouses
A social room can be a handy amenity for the handful of times a year when you want to host a gathering for more than a few people – perhaps for your birthday or to watch the Stanley Cup. But most of the time, social rooms and clubhouses remain empty and unused, and the cost can be hard to justify for small gatherings. Residents prefer to use their own couch and television or laptop for watching their favourite streaming service, with their own kitchen close by for easy snack access.
5. Daycare and Pet Care Facilities
These amenities are tailored specifically for residents with children or pets, and are not going to be used outside of those circumstances. Childless residents may be attracted to daycare facilities, but a lot can change in a few years, and they may end up not needing them. The same goes for pet-tailored facilities – unless you are gone for long hours each day, you are not likely to use a pet-care facility very often. Residents are better off finding a condo with a daycare or pet care facility close by, for easy access if and when needed.
So, What is Actually Important for Buyers?
The most important thing for buyers to look for, hands down, is location. You want a condo that is in close proximity to your work, school, gym, grocery store, and any other places that you frequent. It is a perk when a condo includes a few businesses inside the building for easy access, but it is even more important to be close to shopping and attractions specific to your needs and likes.
The other feature that has risen in popularity in the past couple of years is green space. Condo-buyers often don’t use specific amenities that are outdoors, but they do appreciate having a place to go outdoors that is just a few steps from their door. A green space with chairs, an area for dogs to run around, and perhaps a couple of outdoor picnic tables create an outdoor sanctuary for residents.
The big takeaway is that, while they can be tempting, condo amenities are only worth the price tag if you are going to use them. Make sure you take a close look at your lifestyle and budget and then compare it to what the condo offers to make an informed decision. In the end, the most important things are location, proximity, and that you are happy with your condo purchase.