Friday, 9 January 2015

GUEST BLOG - Cranbrooke Village

Raymond Chow, Cranbrooke Village Purchaser and Resident

Hello there! My name is Raymond, and I am a purchaser and resident at Options for Homes’s latest development, Cranbrooke Village, located in the Bathurst and Lawrence area of Toronto.

Thanks to Options for Homes, I was able to purchase my first home without being burdened by huge amounts of debt, or having to settle for a cramped living space.  I found in Cranbrooke Village what I was looking for in a home: an affordable building in a quiet neighbourhood without any of the extravagant amenities that I would never use, such as indoor swimming pools and movie rooms.  I believe Options has done all it can to minimize costs, short of compromising on the quality of the building’s construction. The area is well served by public transit with multiple bus routes and nearby subway lines. Highway 401 is also close by if I need to get out of the city. For groceries and other items, there is a supermarket and plaza within walking distance. The building itself is beautiful, and is of high quality construction. Watching Cranbrooke Village rise out of the ground and taking shape over the course of its development was very exciting.

I am really glad that I came across that subway advertisement for Cranbrooke Village and finding out about Options for Homes.  I admire their goal of getting people into home ownership and the work they put in to accomplishing this.  For this reason, I had no qualms about sharing my photos of the building during its construction. Some of these images were published in newsletters, incorporated into videos and featured on the web site!  During a visit to the Options office, I was asked by staff to autograph one of the printed photos, which I believe is now hanging in office somewhere. That really demonstrated to me how much these photographs were being enjoyed, and I was happy to oblige.

In addition to seeing the building’s progress with my own eyes, Options held periodic meetings for purchasers to get updates.  There, we had an open forum to ask questions and to have any concerns addressed. Having this frequent contact with the company was very reassuring to me.  Outside of the meetings, I knew I could ask questions via E-Mail or phone, and someone would respond within a reasonable amount of time, which they do.  There is quite a bit to learn and to understand when buying a pre-construction condo suite, and Options does a terrific job of guiding us through each step of the process.

During the initial information session while I looked over Cranbrooke Village’s floor plans, and listened to others asking questions, I never felt pestered by anyone to buy which was great.  Once I decided to put down my one hundred dollar deposit to reserve a suite, I had ten days to review all documents before I had to sign the actual purchase agreement. This is in addition to the ten-day cooling off period where I could still decide to rescind the agreement after I have signed, without penalty. That is almost three weeks for me to find something wrong or to just arbitrarily change my mind if I so desired. This gave me plenty of time to review the documentation myself, and build up the confidence to take the plunge and go for it. Today, here I am, sitting in the comfort of my own home sharing these words with you.

In the last decade, or so, I watched Toronto undergo an extraordinary transformation, particularly in its downtown areas. Condominiums sprung up everywhere. More and more people were living downtown, causing demand to grow, and home prices to escalate.  Finding affordable housing got increasingly difficult, not to mention frustrating. Today, I often wonder how younger generations and those in lower income brackets will be able to afford to get a place to call their own when faced with these exorbitant housing prices.  I think all levels of government need to take a long hard look at the Options model and start promoting it if they are serious about tackling housing issues in this city.

The Options model with its alternative mortgage is a bit quirky, no doubt about it.  As of yet, I do not think that I have been able to adequately explain the process to friends and family in my first attempts.  Perhaps the idea that a company is interested in helping you just seems too far-fetched.  Having gone through this process myself, I can say that it is not. When you do get it, you realize that this is a remarkable thing that Options is doing. If I know someone who is searching for a place to live, I will definitely be telling them about Options.  

Thank you Options for Homes! All the best to you in your future projects!

Disclaimer: The views & opinions expressed in any guest blog featured on our site are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions & views of the Options Group of Companies community as a whole.