Significant number of Marilyn Monroe condo units being sold

Striking Marilyn Towers put Mississauga on the global map, and a big presence on the MLS. (Toronto Star)

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It’s a Mississauga landmark but the Marilyn Monroe towers have more than 100 units up for sale.

Residences in the Absolute World condo buildings are being off loaded due to high maintenance fees.

“From the price ranges of $230,000 for a 1-bedroom to $438,000, I’m getting 100 listings,” Local realtor Linda Pinizzotto told after quickly searching for available units online. “Wow.”

There is a total of 131 units for sale across all five buildings, a significant portion of which are in the iconic Marilyn towers.

The founder and president of the Condo Owners Association of Ontario said that the maintenance fees of some of the buildings near Hurontario Street and Burnhamthorpe Road were definitely higher than average.

Pinizzotto cited a unit at 90 Absolute with a value of $280,000 and maintenance fees running at $523. “That kind of makes me look at it and say, ‘Why?’” she said. “It’s not that old of a building for it to be that much.”

The skyscraper complex does have a 30,000 square foot recreation club, the cost of which is spread among all five of the buildings.

However, Pinizzotto said even with 5 percent inflation, that wouldn’t explain why a unit valued at $369,000 would have maintenance fees of $851.

As a result, these units are all being sold at the same time, in an unusual case of one complex flooding the marketplace. And the sellers are a mixture of tenants and owners, which points to maintenance fees being the main concern rather than price per square foot.

Pinizzotto said buyers currently looking to purchase a condominium should look to the resale market rather than projects still under development. “The price per square foot is much, much better to buy a larger unit for less money than a new construction market,” she said. “You can buy more for your money on the resale market.”

Pinizzotto said it’s also important to remember if someone is purchasing from a new construction project, they’re much more likely to have a dramatic increase in their maintenance fees in their second year of ownership. “It’s a very common thing to happen,” she said. “I’ve seen 55 per cent increase or 65 per cent increase in maintenance fees.”

A common reason why this happens is buyers simply don’t fully understand what they’re buying. “They don’t even know there’s a Condo Act and they certainly don’t look at the condo documents,” Pinizzotto said. “I’ve got a situation now where they didn’t know they owned the balcony, later on they have to repair it and were hit with a massive fee not knowing it was part of their ownership.”

Pinizzotto said that at least with resale units, whatever you see is what you buy.

Practicing due diligence, getting as much information as possible, including reports like status certificate, can also help protect buyers from making bad purchases. “You wouldn’t go out and buy a car and not anything about it,” she said. “So why do the same thing with a condo?”

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