I read this paragraph on a flyer that arrived at my door recently.
“Danny Danforth is an exciting new 10-storey Condominium coming soon to Danforth Ave and Woodbine Ave in Toronto’s east end. Moments from the Woodbine subway station, Main St subway station, Danforth GO station. And so much more that the area has to offer. Prices starting from the high $400s!”
Sounds like a good price?
Not only is it familiar… It is identical. (Except the price starting point has gone up by $150K.) Danny Danforth condominiums, as well as being the most ridiculous name of all time for a condo, is the exact replica to a project that was started 6 years ago in the exact same location. It’s the same exact build. It’s the same renderings. It’s the same plan and units. It’s in the same hole that it was started in years ago beside the hydro building and opposite of the car wash on the south side of Danforth in between Woodbine and Main.
Local residents, nearing the end of their tenure in their houses, or wanting to buy a piece of property for their growing children to benefit from, bought these condos very quickly. The allure was the neighbourhood, the proximity and at the time, it was a good place to park some investment money as the place got built.
I represented people who bought units, I know people who bought units and I bought a unit. I can actually SEE the unit I bought on the new flyer that came in the mail to my home a couple weeks ago. When the building of this condo began stalling, new owners were called by the company, DIAM DEVELOPMENTS, asking if they would consider paying more money for their units than had originally been agreed on. The construction was running into problems and the company needed more cash flow. Of course, people were outraged and shocked after having walked by dozens of times and dreaming of their new property taking shape. Most people whom I spoke to said no. I didn’t speak to everyone, but there was a Facebook group formed for the new owners.
The company, after months, perhaps years, of waffling around with cranes that did nothing, decided not to go ahead with the build. They gave people’s money back… WITH NO INTEREST! Let me repeat that. After years of holding onto the buyer’s investment money, DIAM DEVELOPMENTS folded and gave back the deposit money with NO INTEREST at all. Even though the agreement said they would be giving 6% interest back to the unit owners should something like this happen, they didn’t. Nothing… Not a penny… When people could have put their hard-earned money anywhere else (even the bank for God’s sake, would have given 2% interest).
They got nothing.
Now we flash forward to today and the exact same build in the exact same place comes up to buy, (with a waaaaay dumber name), at a much higher starting price point. What are people to think? Builders should not be allowed to do this. This is like stealing. No, this IS stealing. I often have clients say to me, “We want to buy pre construction.” I ALWAYS tell them not to. I say that I will broker a deal for you, but you will not be the one benefitting from this investment. The builders have it rigged. There was a time when pre-construction was beneficial to a buyer. There were no development charges or assignment fees that went back to the builder, but there is now. In this place lies the dilemma. The builder wants your money and they ask for it by promising future profit. Then, in the future, they want the profit instead of you. This is the crux of the matter.
Even today as I write this article, I am still smarting from the loss of my investment possibility. By the time we got our money back (MINUS ANY INTEREST), it was an entirely different price point to buy a condo.
I was fooled. Fool’s gold. The fool on the hill. Fool me once, shame on you… Fool me twice, shame on me. I say, do not fall for this fool’s errand. Whatever they tell you in their shiny showroom is very likely to not come to fruition. I know! Because I already bought that swampland. I call it out today because I see the pall it casts on my industry. I have seen the deflation on faces that thought they had saved for their retirement and then their hopes were washed away. I look at the flyer, at the VERY unit I bought and paid for in the hopes my son could start as an adult there, and I feel sickened. There should be better rules. This should not be allowed. The actual gall of this company to use the same building plans and pictures is offensive. There are neighbours here who are spitting with distaste at this outrageous turn of events.
Danny Danforth Condominiums… RUN, don’t walk, RUN from this money pit.
The very last line of the flyer I got in the mail says it all.
“We do not represent the builder. INFORMATION COULD CHANGE AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.”
Run my friends, RUN.