It was practicality and convenience that sold Kaylin MacKenzie on becoming a condo owner. After years of renting, she’d realized that finding a place she loved wasn’t easy. “When I started crunching the numbers I realized that renting a place I would really like was not going to cost that much less than owning a place,” she says. “Fortunately, I had some money saved for a down payment, so I figured why not buy and put that money towards myself, versus throwing it away every month?” With her target firmly planted on north end living, she found a spot that suits her life pretty perfectly.
A 680-square-foot, one-bedroom unit
“I was hard-and-fast on staying on the peninsula—going to Clayton Park or Bedford was absolutely not an option for me,” says MacKenzie. After renting downtown and in the west end, she settled on north. “Ultimately a lot of friends live in a five-block radius. I can walk to work, I can walk downtown, I can walk to the grocery. It was just a really convenient decision for me.”
The selling points
MacKenzie only really had a couple of must-haves on her shopping list, all of which she found in her current home: An outdoor space (check, private balcony and rooftop patio), parking, reasonable condo fees and building safety. “And resale value, how do I think this condo will fare five years from now?” she says, adding that she did market analysis with her realtor to ensure the most bang for her buck. “I think in five years when I do decide to sell, or three, there will still be high demand for this kind of unit. A mortgage is your savings account in a way, so you want to make sure your savings account is growing.”
“When you have too much stuff in a small space, it makes it look smaller—it’s almost overwhelming,” says MacKenzie, who spent serious time at KEW Furniture finding a few mid-century modern pieces that best fit her little layout. “I’m very minimalist because it’s such a small space and it’s very open-concept. So as little stuff and furniture as possible. Smaller couch, lower, thin profile shelf for my TV—it keeps things nice and open. I just keep it little, keep it basic, keep it modern.”