Saturday, 4 December 2004

Movin' on up (To a high class apartment in the sky)

Or something like that. Well, maybe.

141 Lyon - more 'compact',
but nice
145 Marlee - bigger, slightly
nicer, but noisier?
Selena and I finally got out to look at some places today. Specifically we viewed four units in two fairly tall buildings. These are in the Marlee (Allen Road) and Roselawn (Eglington) area. We were, over all, pretty impressed actually, and seriously considering these now.

Stupidly I did not take any interior pictures, though I had my camera with me. But you can sort of see some idea of what they look like from this and this site. (Note: the pictures on these sites make the apartments look quite small to me. In real life they are much more spacious.)

The buildings look quite similar. They are owned by the same company, which owns a complex of about 5 buildings in that area. It is high density, but for the most part fairly neat high density (ie. not too junky, as such places sometimes are).

The first building (the one on the left, or above) despite being tall is actually fairly compact in area. Notice the small balconies. The superintendant was very nice (and apparently Russian, or some other slavic flavour). The first place we looked at on the fourth floor impressed us. It was only a one bedroom, but quite spacious feeling... and very bright! The windows are really big, even in the bedroom, reaching almost down to the floor. We then went up to the 19th floor to see the 2 bedroom, which had an identical layout, except a little hall on one side with two bedrooms instead of one.

vaughan.jpg We'd decided to take a look at the one bedrooms there just to see what they were like. The woman on the phone had told Selena they were fairly big. And after seeing them we are considering it. We are thinking that we may be able to make due with a larger one bedroom for another year, and then we could transfer into a 2 bedroom in the same building. This could save around $1600 bucks, which isn't something for us to sneeze at. On the other hand, the transfer could be a pain, and it'd be nice to settle in and have the "office" room we are wanting.

In the second building the balconies are much bigger, extending almost the entire length of the apartment. Somehow the apartments while of virtually identical layout seemed slightly bigger as well. We're not sure if this was an optical illusion, or not. Certainly the larger balcony is more spacious; and the living rooms going out onto the balcony were pretty much all glass on that side. Anyhow, we agreed the apartments in the second building were a bit nicer.

My big concern is the noise level. I tried to listen carefully in each apartment for traffic and other noise. It was very difficult though because the wind was absolutely fierce outside. It seemed to us that the second building with the nicer apartments was somehow louder. Was it the wind? It's strange because it's actually further away from the Allen; though it is right on Marlee which may not be as busy as Vaughan, but is still fairly busy (the apartments we viewed were all on the back side of the building however).

The other cute twist in the second building is that the 1 bedroom we saw there is actually of a "split level" design. You can sort of see this in some of the pictures above. Selena really liked this, and so may well be the one we go for if someone doesn't beat us to it. But, as I say, we are still considering the options (I even would like to go out and see a few more places before finally deciding---but who knows).

The buildings have a shared outdoor pool, open in the summer. Not the biggest pool, but it looks all right. You can see it in one of the pictures. There is also an nice moderately sized indoor pool attached to the second building, along with a health centre of some sort. You have to have a membership to use it though. We forgot to enquire as to the fees. And, as seen in one picture above, there is a cute little IGA actually attached to that building as well (there's also a No Frills a 10 minute walk away).

Interestingly, looking around the web, I found this old web page which advertises the rental rates for the buildings above. That web page was published March, 2002. The rates are much higher than now! (I should mention that the rates given even on the current web pages (with the pictures above) we found out are actually a bit higher than they are currently asking... seems the prices have been coming down rather a lot in the last few years.) Also the woman in the rental office in the second building told us they have a "1 month free" deal when you sign the 1 year lease; so that helps as well.

Selena brightens up the back 
of 145 Marlee with a smile in a
blustery day of apartment hunting.
That's another consideration. I wonder if the rates have bottomed out and are going to start going up again. If they are, it might be better to get the 2 bedroom now, rather than wait a year when the rates may be higher. But then again, maybe they'll continue to fall lower... I do not know. Of course there's also the matter of whether we can actually manage to afford the 2 bedroom: it's a bit more than we'd intended to put out.

It seems fortuitous (perhaps even serendipitous) that we seem to have stumbled upon such a nice place on our first time out. However our luck was much increased by all of the hard work Selena has done combing the internet and coming up with what looked like (and may have turned out to be) the nicest possibilities to check out first.

But we continue to weigh the options... (we did however pick up an application for these places which Selena has already mostly filled out... just in case... I guess).

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