If you’re thinking of buying a property in a metropolitan city like Toronto, and you like high-rise living, then a condo makes perfect sense. You have access to many facilities, the price is lower than a detached or semi-detached house and of course, your snow-shovelling days are in the past.
However, you want to make the best possible choice for you and the family while getting a good deal. Here are some tips as well as the steps you need to take to make the right decisions when buying a condo.
1. Use A Real Estate Agent
Working with a realtor may not be for everyone, but there are definitely some benefits of doing so. No matter how smart or savvy you may think you are, just remember that realtors do this day in and day out. They know things, people, processes and lots more, so when you think about it, it makes sense to use them.
Real estate agents know what questions to ask and they’ll know what it takes to make that winning bid. They’ll be able to have knowledge of the project and building as well as the surrounding area. You won’t have to worry about too many things as you look for that dream condo. In many instances, it’s the seller who pays the realtor’s fees.
2. Condo Fees
Remember that all those services and facilities aren’t free. You will be paying condo fees for them so you’ll need to consider this because it will affect your mortgage’s affordability. Consider investing in a Status Certificate as this tells you if there are any outstanding fees on the condo you’re interested in.
It also tells you what the fees are being spent on. When reviewing this, do so with legal help, not on your own. Property taxes may not be included in the fees, so make sure to get this important information.
If the condo you are interested in is in a good location (not all condos are), then it will be a good investment. That means it must have decent amenities and transportation. If the neighbourhood is popular, then that’s another reason it will be a sound investment. Also, where your condo is located within the building also plays a part.
If it’s facing a major road, then you can expect a fair amount of noise, which would not be ideal. If you don’t get much sunlight or if the view is not pleasant, then all of these factors can have a bearing on how much you will enjoy your condo.
4. Try To Meet The Building Staff
If possible, try to meet the staff and get a feel for them. If you like them, then it’s likely that living here will be a good thing. If you need anything or if something goes wrong, you can depend on them to help, so keep them on your side.
5. The Reserve Fund
Many won’t know this, but try to find out about the reserve fund. If it’s healthy, then this is likely to be a well-run place. If it’s low, it could mean the opposite. This fund is taken by the corporation from condo fees and is used for major problems. Your legal counsel can get this information from the Status Certificate.
Make sure to find out what your rights are as well. Check out the building’s condition (outside and inside) and make sure to research the condo corporation and the developer. Find out if other residents are owners or renters. With a little more information on things like this, you will be able to make an informed decision, one way or another.