Real estate prices are continuing to rise across Canada, which causes stress for many people who are planning to buy or rent a condo. The rise in urban and condo living can be attributed to people wanting to live downtown in an area with low-maintenance and where they have access to all their necessities. Here are some tips to consider before purchasing a condo:
Before You Start:
- Hire a professional real estate agent to assist you in the buying process.
- Hire a credible real estate lawyer.
- Explore the financial requirements that will determine how much your mortgage will be.
- Meet with your accountant to determine how much extra money will be required for closing costs, moving, land transfer tax, and lawyers’ fees.
On The Hunt:
- Consider different varieties of condo styles: low-rises, high-rises, with or without amenities, such as doormen, laundry or gym facilities.
- If you are purchasing a condo unit from a floor plan, which is quite common place, be sure that you are fully aware of all dimensions and understand the layout of your condo
- Inquire about the builder and developer of the condo you are interested in. Are the occupancy dates on track? Have they been for their condos in the past?
- Purchase the largest condo you can afford. Studios and one-bedrooms are difficult to re-sell.
- Visit the area the condo is located in at different times of the day and evening. This will help you decide if the area suits you and your lifestyle.
- Choose a pleasant view. This will not only make day-to-day life more appealing, but will help with the resale value in the future.
- Consider the southern exposure, though it provides light and warmth, it may be too hot in the summer.
- Avoid a condo unit that overlooks the garbage pick up area or entrance.
- Avoid a condo unit that overlooks incoming traffic.
- Avoid a condo unit that is beside or across from an elevator.
- Having a parking space is recommended. If you don’t drive a car, you can consider renting it out.
- Having a locker is recommended because there is usually not enough storage space in a condo.
Home Suite Home:
- Ask about visitor parking and how many spaces are available.
- If the condo you are interested in is a resale, examine the appliances and the wear and tear on the suite.
- Examine the condition of the condo. Pay attention to areas such as the aroma, lobby, and common areas such as hallways and stairwells.
- Find out who the occupants of the building are: whether most of them are owners or tenants. Owners are preferable.
- Find out the monthly condo maintenance fees and what they include and don’t include.
- What are the property taxes? Are they included in the maintenance fees?
- Talk to other owners and ask about their experience in the building.
Making an Offer:
- Visit the condo suite at least twice if possible before making your offer.
- Know what comparable suites in the building and in the area have sold for.
- When it comes to the offer price, listen and discuss it with your real estate agent.
- Once you are ready to make your offer, make it conditional that your lawyer is able to review the Condominium Documents and Status Certificate.
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