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I also had an island put in my kitchen for less abut half the cost of the upgrades. It's worth it.
 
harwood is a must in my opinion and worth the money. We have that laminate hardwood look alike now and there is no comparison. If I was more knowledgeable when we bought the condo we are living in now would have taken the upgrade. The condo we are moving to has engineered hardwood everywhere except the bedrooms so we paid to have it in the bedrooms as well. As for other upgrades I think it comes down to individual taste. I really like the suggestion of finding out where your outlets and other electrical are...I need to look into that!
 
if you are upgrading from the builder, I would try to prioritize items that are impossible or difficult/expensive to change or add after construction.
I'm very happy that I splurged on electrical and lighting. I laid out my floor plan with my furniture and managed to locate extra electrical outlets and fixtures. Because the ceilings are exposed concrete some of these electrical boxes had to be cast-in-place into the floor slab during construction, something that's impossible to do later. I also added lots of pot lights and high quality track lighting which makes any interior look great -- most condo interiors do not provide have enough lighting to begin with.

Having gas cooking in the kitchen and a natural gas line on the balconies is also a great feature to have especially if you love to cook, however it is a very rare feature in condos and only a few developers do this.

Surprisingly, there are a few developers that still use popcorn/stippled ceilings. This is a real pain to remove later so if you can upgrade to smooth ceilings, it will be very worthwhile.

All of these upgrades are also dependant on your developer, as many developers will not entertain any changes/substitutions or customizations as it involves a lot more coordination, take longer to build, and a greater chance of screwing up, as units are built cookie-cutter style.
 
I don't think they are upgrades with best value, but I always look for electrical and networking outlets. WiFi has gotten a lot better, but I still prefer the option of going wired whenever possible. I guess I've been purchasing to live, where this matters more - if it's an investment unit then these outlets upgrades wouldn't be a consideration.

With respect to stipple ceilings, when I asked many many years ago for my current place, the cost was ridiculously high to smoothen it out. It was backwards, because their trades people would put the stipples on, *then* they would contract someone else to come in to undo the stippling. WTF? That's just crazy talk.
 
Conduits for electrical, as well as communication wirings, would provide better upgrades in the future.

Split receptacles would be fine, providing separate circuits on one receptacle box.
 
What is everyone's thoughts on the pot light fixtures for the shower/tub areas in a new condo? Is it worth the upgrade from developer or is it easy to add in later?
 
What is everyone's thoughts on the pot light fixtures for the shower/tub areas in a new condo? Is it worth the upgrade from developer or is it easy to add in later?

Pot lights are pretty simple to add in the future if there is a drop ceiling and existing electrical source nearby. I would pay the developer to do it and get it over with though, it's usually about a hundred bucks per pot.
 
That does seem excessive. We combined covering up horrid popcorn ceiling with installing pot lights. Two issues solved. We hired someone to do that.
 

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