Many new developments, especially in the downtown cores of major cities, are no longer including parking spaces or storage lockers to help make units more affordable.

The average parking space in a downtown apartment or condo building has a value of nearly $50,000. Therefore, if the unit does not include parking, the value should be around $50,000 less than a comparable unit with a parking space. Keep this in mind when comparing units.

If you do not need parking, and rely on transit, a unit without a parking space can save you significant money. However, keep in mind that the lack of a parking spot could impact your unit’s resale value.

Parking spot location matters – and can save you time

Most parking garages have several levels and are either located below ground or above ground. It’s never ideal to be near the entrance gate as it can be hard to get in and out of your spot, but you also do not want a space at the end of the parkade either.

Driving up and down five to ten levels of parking every time you leave or arrive home can quickly become an inconvenience and add several minutes to your commute before you even leave the building. Aim for somewhere in the middle – a reasonably-sized space in a good location that’s easy to pull in and out of. Ideally, there will be a wall on one or both sides of the parking space, meaning no unexpected “door dings” from your neighbours.

Do you know if your storage unit is secure?

Storage units tend to be valued at between $2,500 and $5,000. Some new buildings have storage rooms within the unit and may not offer a storage locker. This can be a pro or a con depending on your point of view. In-suite storage is convenient but takes away from valuable floor space, while storage lockers are great to keep things out of site and out of mind, but are often targets for thieves.

If the storage unit is in the parking garage or accessible from the building’s common areas, make sure the room is secure, ideally with a fob entry, which will allow building management to keep a record of who has accessed the room in case of an issue.

Time to declutter and downsize

Moving into your first apartment or condo is a great opportunity to downsize, declutter and get rid of unnecessary items you don’t use on a regular basis. Use the opportunity of your new home to get rid of any items you don’t need or are no longer using. Local charities would be thrilled to receive your donations, or you could sell items on Craigslist or Kijiji and earn some extra cash.