Buying a condo is a huge investment, whether it’s your first or any other time and that is why it’s important to know the tricks and tips when it comes to buying a condo. The real estate market has experienced a period of extensive growth and the growth is only likely to continue which is why, now is a great time to buy your own condo.
The Canadian real estate market is booming with new properties and property owners are happy. Although, in most Canadian cities buying a condo can be quite expensive, but it is completely worthwhile as property prices are only like to go up. The average prices of a condo in major cities like Toronto are at least $520,000 as of 2017 and in Vancouver, the average condo price is $650,000 as of 2017.
Buying a Condo is one of the most exciting times of your life and that is why this guide which contains 15 tips will help prepare you to make the most of the investment and get your hands on the hottest deal which you might have overlooked or not seen. As the market is really competitive, it is important to up your game with these 15 tips for buying a Condo.
- Location is everything
One of the most important things you need to look for when on a hunt for a condo just about anywhere in Canada or even abroad is the location. The neighborhood in which you live in makes a huge difference. It is worth every dollar waking up next to a beautiful view of the city or nature. This is why you need to do plenty of research about the location you look for and see if there are any future development plans in the area.
Most of us spend a lot of time commuting to and from work and this is why it is a great idea to look for condo which is nearer to work so as to not dread having to go to work during the winter. Many units go for sale at an affordable price due to new condo projects being built that would block the natural light and the view. Therefore, it is vital to learn about the location.
- Speak to the Locals of the Area (Neighbors)
When looking for a condo or going on condo tours, it is essential to speak with the locals of the area and the neighbors about the way of things at the condo such as parking, maintenance, the community, demographics and much more.
After all, you will be stuck with your neighbors and it is a bad idea to live next to a frat house, therefore always speak with the locals and neighbors to know just about every detail.
- Proximity to Schools and Work
Most of us have a family and kids are what make us happy. This is why it is important to find a condo which to close to your child’s school and near work, so that you can pick and drop your child during the work break. Proximity is critical when it comes to buying a condo. You could end up saving thousands of dollars from not having to commute as much as before.
- Floor & Size Plan
The floor and size plan of the condo are two things which one can’t afford to overlook. The floor one lives on means that they would have to wait for an elevator in case that there actually is an elevator or else they would have to climb the stairs.
The size plan of the condo has to be sufficient for you and your family, therefore, always see the size plan of a condo before even thinking about visiting a condo for a tour.
- Natural Lighting
Look for a condo that has windows in every room so as to take in as much natural lighting as possible. Save up on electricity costs by finding a condo that has natural lighting in every room. Natural lighting affects your mood, especially during the winter. Getting natural lighting in your room even for a few hours makes a huge difference. Therefore, look for a condo that has plenty of windows which let natural lighting enter the condo.
- Final Price
The price of the condo is the biggest consideration which one has to take into account. Buying a condo is one of the largest financial purchases which a person makes in their life therefore it is important to know the fees and final price that one would be paying. Consult with your financial advisor or mortgage advisor to find out just how much you would be paying to ensure that you cover the monthly costs and the mortgage.
Know about all the additional costs which will be involved when buying a condo such as closing costs, month utility fees, lawyer fees, levies, property taxes and insurance. However, if you end up buying an older condo then you need to be aware of the annual repair costs. Always keep all the financial documents that you have been given.
If you are buying pre-construction then be aware of all the additional costs involved with buying a condo. Inquire about all the upgrades and how much you would need to pay.
- Condo Maintenance Fees
Just about every condo has maintenance fees and that is why you need to know about the condo maintenance fees beforehand to calculate all the monthly costs you would be paying in order to buy a condo. Each and every cost that you will incur needs to be calculated and taken into account beforehand so as to ensure that you will be able to pay all the expenses or not.
Don’t look for a condo that requires low maintenance fees, instead look for a condo that requires owners to pay a reasonable fee and is able to justify the fees such as in the form of amenities like swimming pools, gyms and even a sauna. You could end up saving money instead of paying for an exclusive gym. Therefore, learn about the condo maintenance fees and on what the money is spent on.
- Condo Amenities
Now, coming to one of the most important points, that is the condo amenities. The condo amenities are something one has to look into such as if the condo is equipped with a swimming pool, gym and sports complex.
More and more condos these days have world class amenities, so if you want to live the good life then you need to look for a condo which has a range of amenities to offer its residents. Living in a condo which has various amenities means that your kids will always have a place to play and you will have a place to meet new people and enjoy life.
- Condo Craftsmanship / Finishing
Another thing you need to look for in a condo is the craftsmanship and finishing. When you buy a condo, you need to know if the condo will remain in good condition and will offer a great price if you ever think of selling it. Therefore, the condo craftsmanship and finishing helps ensure that the condo will stay in a good condition and you will end up paying less on annual repairs if any.
The craftsmanship of a condo gives it a unique feel, one which is unlike anything else. It is something which gives your home a personal touch.
- Equipment and Appliances
Buy a condo which has an excellent range of equipment and appliances. There are many high-end condos which are equipped with the latest appliances and give the condo a special touch that it needs. Check to ensure if the condo has brands like Bosch or Miele.
Also, have a look at the equipment of the condo such as the lighting, faucets, bathroom shower and bath tub etc.
- Condo Age
Now, when buying a condo, new does not necessarily mean better. There are many aspects which one has to look into besides just the age of the condo. However, older condos might have a lower purchase price but might require you to pay higher condo maintenance fees, besides just the old appearance of the condo. Know about the monthly condo fees that you have to pay before signing off on the contract.
Sometimes, older condos can provide you with the great space that you need or provide you with beautiful views throughout the day. Therefore, make sure to take everything into account before making the final decision of buying a condo.
- Development Programs in the Area
Never make the mistake of not learning about all the development programs in the area where you buy your condo as there are always new development programs in all major parts of the city and due to this you could end up experiencing loud noise due to the construction and have a hard time finding a proper route to work. New tracks are being developed for buses, trains and bicycles in every part of the city so make sure that you are not affected by these developments by living in a development area.
Development programs on an average take more than a year or two to complete and that is why it is important for you to find a condo in a location which is developed and would not undergo any further developments which would make living in the area difficult for you.
- Learn About the Demographics of the Condo Residents
The people who reside in the condo are just as important as the condo itself. You will be spending time at the many condo amenities and that is why it is important to know about the demographics of the condo residents. There is nothing wrong with learning about the demographics of the condo as you will be the one living in the condo for as long as you want and that is why you need to know about the demographics.
The easiest way to know about the demographics of the condo residents is by spending time at the condo and visiting some of the neighbors to get a feel of the demographic break-up. If you are a family with kids then you need to know about the type of residents who live in the condo as you do not want to listen to loud music being played.
- Rules for Guests
One of the most important things which people usually overlook, are the rules for guests such as for guest parking, entering the condo premises and even staying at the condo. You need to know if your boyfriend or girlfriend, or even family need special permission if they visit or stay in your condo.
Condos have their own specified rules when it comes to guests and that is why it is important to read all the rules beforehand instead of calling your guests at the last minute and knowing that they can’t park their car or stay at your place. Simply, just go to the maintenance hall of the condo and they will be happy to help you out with any queries regarding rules for guests. Buy a condo which has many options for guests so that the next time you have your partner spend the night, they will have a place for parking their car.
- Energy Efficient & Eco-Friendly
We live in a world where more and more people have started to realize the harmful effects of human activity and that is why if you care about the environment then you need to find a condo which is strictly energy efficient.
It will provide you with many benefits such as lower condo maintenance fees as energy-efficient led bulbs reduce overall electricity costs. Choose a condo which is energy efficient and eco-friendly as you want to live in a healthy environment which is filled with trees and green spaces.