Tired of having the responsibilities of a house, Robert and Margaret McLeod, both in their late 50s, changed their life this year: they invested in freedom with the purchase of a 5th floor Kingston&Co home. With two dogs and a vacation property in Mexico, the first-time condo buyers have a simpler, more flexible life to look forward to. Here, we explore their decision to downsize and buying process.
What was your top priority when looking for a home?
MM: Making the move to a condo was an easy choice – we wanted lock-and-leave convenience, to be rid of maintenance (goodbye leaves, gutters, snow!), and leave more time for fun – but finding the right new home wasn’t so simple.
For four years, we’d been looking for the right fit. We knew we had something special when we found our Kingston&Co suite, which features terraces facing three directions – North, East and South. It’s going to be a great space for our two dogs.
RM: Being a bit of real estate hound, finding a well-respected builder and architect was of the utmost importance for me. Kingston&Co impressed me with the quality of Teeple’s design (concrete exterior, operable windows, etc.), the positive accolades Mazyar and the TAS team has accumulated, and the promise of the developing Kingston Road Village neighbourhood.
What are some elements of condo living you’re looking forward to?
MM: We’re hoping this is our last move, so we’re getting excited for many of them. Decreased housework, for one! I’ve also never owned a brand new home. I cook a lot so getting to choose a custom island was a big perk.
RM: Better access to the TTC. Walking distance to independent stores.
Were amenities important in your purchase decision?
RM: We see the neighbourhood as the best amenity of all. We’re really looking forward to enjoying the rooftop garden as well… it’s something you don’t see as often.
MM: Certainly, it’ll be lovely for quiet time during the day. I’m looking forward to starting an herb garden and meeting neighbours up there. And you can’t forget the pet wash – that’ll be a huge help.
RM: All that said, we’re happy the amenities are manageable and functional. We’re free of extreme spaces that can turn out to be costly down the line.
Tell us about your connection to the area.
MM: The community is very important to us. We’ve lived in the Beaches for over thirteen years and can’t imagine leaving. We go to the beach every day and love being by the lake.
From Kingston&Co, we’ll be just a stroll to the bustle of Queen East, the Kingston Rd shops, steps from meeting our friends at the dog park, and a quick jaunt to Prince Edward County for a weekend retreat.
RM: With the TTC, it’s quick and easy to get in and out of the downtown core. The amount of green space is amazing – I cycle on Taylor Creek Trail and Kay Gardiner Beltline Park, amongst others.
Did you have any concerns about adopting a condo lifestyle?
RM: 10 years ago, condo living was not on the table, but over time, as we travelled more, it became more and more appealing to be able to leave without a worry. Research and multiple model suite visits got us to where we are today.
MM: Hosting overnight visitors came to mind… but Kingston&Co has a guest suite that can be booked by residents. Problem solved.
What advice can you offer those considering downsizing?
RM: For us, preparing for a move from a 2600 square foot semi-detached to a 1025 square foot condo required a big purge. You’ll have to go through an extensive de-cluttering process but you’ll feel better off for it. It’ll be like a weight off your chest – you’ll have a lot less to deal with.
MM: It’s easier to de-clutter if you do a bit every day If you’re having trouble, limit yourself to a few boxes of memorabilia and photos.
What was the sales process like? What did you learn?
RM: There was absolutely no pressure. Paul and his team made us feel very comfortable – they listened to our needs, gave us valuable information, and were very helpful. Overall, professional but easy going – perfectly suited to the area.