In my continuing series about strata property, Strata Mondays, I answer a different question about condos, townhouses and other strata property in Victoria, Sooke, and British Columbia. Make sure you subscribe via RSS or E-mail to get each new post!
Q. I was looking at a new condominium project and I noticed that the same floor plan was available on all four floors, but the top and ground level were more expensive. Top floor I understand, but why would somebody pay more for a ground level suite?
A. This is very common – all other things equal, the top and ground floors of a condominium building will typically see higher sale prices per square foot. Most people can understand why somebody would pay more for a top-floor condo. A better view, and no noisy neighbours from above are a couple of reasons. Top-floor condos also often have extra-high ceilings or even lofts, skylights, and so on.
But when many people think of ground-level suites, the immediate concern is always security. Being ground level, an undesirable doesn’t have to break in the front door or scale the outside of the building to break in. Some ground level suites are also somewhat below grade, so lack of light can be a concern.
However, there are also significant advantages to a ground level suite. You may see the term garden-level suite, which as the name suggests, emphasizes one of theses advantages. Ground or garden-level suites often come with extra large patios and sometimes even a fenced courtyard. Lack of outdoor space is one of the biggest drawbacks to condo living. It’s possible to have a thriving, lush, beautiful garden with a large patio perfect for entertaining with a ground-level suite. This also enables you to walk up to your home and enter through the patio door if you desire.
Another advantage is that being on the ground level, you won’t have any neighbours below you to disturb, so you can probably install hard surface flooring such as wood or tile. It’s not uncommon for strata councils to have by-laws in place to prohibit units above the ground floor from having hard surface floors, since noise is more easily transmitted to the unit below.
So, it’s for all these reasons that ground-level suites are often more expensive than similar-sized ones on the between floors in low-rise buildings. High-rise buildings would be a different story – with prices increasing as you go higher in the building.
If you have a question about strata property, or any other real estate matter, please e-mail me at Tim@TimAyres.ca. I can also be reached by phone at 250-885-0512
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