Whether it’s a new construction condo or a resale unit in an existing building, you should consider where the unit is within a building in relation to other building services, amenities and mechanical systems. Here are some lessons learned from true life client experiences and feedback as well as our own experience living downtown in several builds over the years.
Here are my top 10 things to consider when buying a condo. Ask yourself, “Self, in relation to the unit I’m considering…”
- Where is the garage door to the parking garage?
- Where is the trash chute?
- How close is the condo to the elevator?
- What is above me?
- What is below me?
- Where is my parking space and are there any obstacles in the parking space?
- Where are the amenities?
- Where is my storage locker and is it big enough for my lifestyle?
- Where are the trash room and the recycle collection area?
- Is there a roof terrace above me?
Interested in why these matter, keep reading here.
- Where is the garage door to the parking garage? You might want to check that the noise and vibration from the garage door opening and closing as well as the noise and shining lights from the cars, trucks, etc. going in and out of the garage are not an issue for your unit.
- Where is the trash chute? Although they are usually insulated, if your unit is next to the trash chute, you may hear it more often than you‘d like. Your neighbors going in and out of that room at all hours of the day could be a nuisance if the door opens and closes loudly.
- How close is the condo to the elevator? Can be a good thing if you don’t want to walk far, but if your unit is too close to the elevator lobby you might not only hear the elevator “bing-bing” when it comes to the floor, but the chatter of people coming and going can be loud in some buildings.
- What is above me? Is there a weight room, a common area, or amenity above you that might be loud?
- What is below me? Not only be aware of what is below you within the building but also outside. Is there a main entrance to the building where residents are coming home after a late night on the town being loud? Is there a loading dock or loading zone where you might smell exhaust or hear loud idling trucks?
- Where is my parking space and are there any obstacles in my parking space? Some condo owners have complained that their parking space is on the same level as the trash room. That stinks. Literally. Is your parking space near a building’s loud mechanical equipment, or an architectural beam or column that will limit the size of car you park there or limit your access to your car doors?
- Where are the amenities? Are any of the building’s amenities right next door to your unit? Will there be loud parties in the party room or tons of people coming and going from a gym? All of these can be loud within your unit if they are too close.
- Where is my storage locker and is it big enough for my lifestyle? How far is it from your car parking and does it have any obstacles such a building plumbing, structural columns the limit your access or the amount of storage space?
- Where is the trash room and recycle collection area? Usually in the garage, or behind a building, these can be noisy and stinky and dirty, so be aware of where they are in relation to the unit you are thinking about buying.
- Is there a roof terrace above me? Sometimes being on the top floor (penthouse) level is a dream and goal of many, but be aware of what’s up on that roof. A roof top deck or terrace will get used a lot by other residents so find out if other residents on the top floor have complained about noise, vibration etc. from either an amenity being up there or any of the building’s mechanical equipment.
By Marco Kronen with Seattle Condo Review: A guide to Seattle downtown condos.