Sunday, February 22, 2009

Condo Hunt: Hawthorne

About two weeks after my family and I looked at Madison Villas, we went to the Hawthorne sales centre at the Walnut Grove neighbourhood in Langley, BC. I've been seeing the signs for the Hawthorne, as well as the buildings that are still being constructed, on my way home from work.

The show home is a 1-bedroom + den, 1-bathroom unit. At approximately 721 square feet, it is a very compact space; it is also bigger than the similar unit at Madison Villas. I like the dark wood - walnut, I think - used in the furniture. I also like that the bedroom and living room are big enough for solitary living (read: possible spinsterhood). The bench at the bedroom window was also a nice touch to the space. The stainless steel kitchen appliances and granite countertops are great, but both should be expected in newly built condominiums, right? Since it is a small unit, the home stager used the space well with minimal furniture and decor. The bedroom also has a decent-sized walk-in closet. The den is cute and could work as a tiny office or reading area; however, it is much too small for me. Worst comes to worst, I could probably make it work as a small reading area, and use the dining table for my writing/blogging. But a 7'4" by 6'0" den is too small for my needs. I'm also wary of visitors using the en suite bathroom and having access to the bedroom. I'm private that way. I haven't gotten the exact price from the realtor, but he said it's between $240,000 and $270,000, or between $332.87 and $374.48 per square unit.

He did show me the floor plan for a 2-bedroom + study, 2-bathroom unit. It is approximately 904 square feet, but is still smaller than its Madison Villas counterpart. I assume it also has a walk-in closet, stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, laminate hardwood floors, and all modern condo features. This unit is better for privacy purposes, because there are two bedrooms and two bathrooms. The other bedroom could be the office, while the space for the study could be occupied by bookcases for my tonnes of books. The only problem with this unit is the price: the second-floor suite is $334,900, or $370.46 per square unit. It is more expensive than the 2-bed + flex, 2-bath unit at Madison Villas by $97,000! I do understand why it's expensive - the Hawthorne is walking distance from transit, IGA supermarket, Shoppers Drug Mart, Starbucks, Tim Hortons, Royal Bank, Colossus Langley, et cetera - but I could have used that 97-grand to pay off the mortgage for the Madison Villa unit or to buy furniture.

*Sigh* Fantastic location, great square footage (for me, anyway), Marcon-quality, and Starline Windows-quality. Oh, did I mention that it's only five to 10 minutes away from work? It's only so darned expensive. I e-mailed the realtor regarding the unit similar to the show home, but he never got back to me.

Guess it's not meant to be.

*Sigh* Stay tuned for more condo-hunting trips.

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