Quick Possession: A condo can be the perfect move

 Being backed by the full new home warranty is just one of the advantages of a quick possession condo. 

Selling their Ontario home was like winning the lottery for newly minted Albertans Stephanie and Allan Faulds. With average home prices of more than $1 million in that province, the equity they managed to pull out of their property meant the realtor and teacher could bump up their plans to semi-retire and live the good life in Calgary.


The couple needed something quick — a small house with a short possession date, they thought. Instead, and to their surprise, they purchased a brand new two-bedroom condominium in Auburn Rise by Logel Homes.


“We were never looking for a condo,” says Stephanie. “But we drove by, went in for a look and fell in love with the layout and size. We realized that when we fully retire and get away for the winter, it would be handy to lock the door and not worry about it.”


The Faulds’ story is typical of many downsizers, or rightsizers as Logel Homes prefers to call them. They sell their larger, single-family home so they can determine how much equity they have. They need to find something in short order and want something spacious, modern and turnkey. A quick possession condo in a building nearing completion is just the ticket.


“It’s hard to give numbers, but we’ve always offered a spec program because each customer has different needs. Our rightsizers typically want something within three months and so we’ve always retained quick possession units to accommodate them. They make up such a big portion of our homeowners,” says Reilly LePage, Logel sales and marketing manager.


The Faulds signed the papers in May and moved in Oct. 12. They purchased Logel’s Atwood floor plan, with 1,020 square feet, two bedrooms and two bathrooms. The second floor unit is next to the stairs so they can easily and quickly get outside. The interior finishes were chosen in advance. Stephanie knew what the colours would be but didn’t see the finished product until their walk through.


“I love decorating, so I was a little out of my comfort zone. Their interior designer chose things I never would have picked, but I absolutely love it,” she says. “Everything is brand new and not having to worry about fixing things for a number of years is very attractive.”


Multi-family builders like Logel begin construction on a building when they have a critical mass of buyers. As the building is constructed, unsold units must also be completed. In the past, Logel tried to leave some units at the drywall stage to allow for customer selections, but follow up finishing was too disruptive for residents.


“We make selections six to eight months in advance. Some things such as special light fixtures, faucets or tile can be changed about three months in advance,” LePage says. “We’re highly customizable, and we look at what our customers are purchasing and apply those common choices to our quick possession units.”


Avalon Master Builder, creator of Zen townhome developments throughout Calgary and area, also bases advance interior selections on popular customer requests. Warm neutrals, nothing too outrageous, are always safe, says Zen Riverstone area sales manager Matt House.


Buyers toying with the decision to purchase a resale condo with a convenient possession date, as opposed to a new construction condo with a similarly appealing possession date, should consider future needs, he says.


“One of the advantages of buying new, especially with a builder, is that you get the Alberta New Home Warranty with it. You get your first year on workmanship — if there’s any builder defect, we fix it. You get two years on delivery and distribution, meaning electrical and plumbing. Five years on the building envelope and 10 years on the structure,” says House. “If you buy something older, major issues come out of your pocket right away. Or something might happen five years down the road that might eat away at your equity.”

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