Why buy a parking spot if you don’t have a car?


Dear David,

My wife and I have lived in our house since our kids were young. Now they’re grown, and we are retired. We’ve decided to purchase a new-construction condo that should be ready in about two years. It’s one of the largest units in the building, and is set right on the transit line. We’re doing lots of decluttering to adapt to the condo lifestyle, and we won’t be needing a car. We’re supposed to make a decision soon about parking spots and storage lockers. I don’t think we’ll need either, but my wife disagrees. What do you think?  – CAREFREE AND CAR FREE

DEAR CAREFREE: Your downsizing move may be two years away, but when you’re buying new, there are certain decisions your builder will need you to make right away. When you commit to the purchase, your builder may want you to pick out a kitchen package, flooring package or lighting package sooner rather than later, even though construction is still in its early stages.

At this point it sounds like there is parking and storage available. You might not anticipate needing locker space or having a car by the time you move, but even well laid plans can change. With decluttering well underway, it sounds like you’re working hard to prepare for the condo lifestyle. The switch from car ownership to transit can have a major impact on your day-to-day life, and it might be helpful to keep your options open if you can. 

I always talk to buyers about having an exit plan. At some point you will have to sell this condo, whether you buy another or perhaps enter assisted living. When it comes time to sell, a parking space and storage locker (or a lack thereof) can be a coveted feature or a hurdle, and you likely won’t be able to secure them when you move in two years from now. Amenities like these will typically sell out early, and builders are not obligated to provide them for everyone.

Because you’re purchasing one of the larger units in the building, I would absolutely consider buying a locker and at least one parking space if it’s in your budget. These features will offer flexibility as you adapt to condo life, and if you don’t end up using them, you can rent them out to someone else.

PRO TIP: When it comes to condominiums, amenities like a storage locker and parking a space are extensions of your real estate investment. Securing these amenities early will put you in a unique selling position, and lay the groundwork for potential passive income if you don’t end up using them yourself. I’ve never heard a condo owner complain about having too much parking or storage. Years from now, you’ll surely appreciate having an abundance of features and a solid exit plan. #Advice #AskDavid #TheNegotiator

David is a top-selling Broker in Kitchener-Waterloo Region. He works personally with you when selling or buying your home. Call or text today for your free home evaluation! 519-577-1212.