Friday, 5 June 2015

Buying a Condo – Top 7 Things to consider as first time condo buyers

So you’ve decided to buy a condo – what an exciting time!  However there are a number of things to consider when buying a condo that you should consider before signing on the dotted line. 

1.  Generally when you buy something that isn’t yours you’ll want to change it up a bit to make it your own.  However in condos you need to know the ownership rules, and the modifications that you can or cannot do.  Sometimes you can’t just remove a wall, so considering worse case scenario as not able to do any major renovations, you need to think about if it is worth the investment.

2.  Condos are smaller than houses.  There aren’t many nooks or crannies to hide things away, or even much space to move around much.  Size is something that you need heavily consider when you are buying a condo.  Will all of your clothes fit into the closets?  Is the kitchen big enough?  These are all questions that you need to consider.  It doesn’t change, and there is no chance of it changing either. 

3.  One thing that differs with condos and houses are the condo fees.  These vary from condo to condo depending on the amenities offered, and age of the condo.  In older condos the condo fees are generally more expensive, as there is more upkeep to maintain.  But also make sure it is worth what you are paying as well, and that if you are paying for extras that you will make use of them.

As mentioned above – Amenities are something that every first time condo buyer needs to consider.  Amenities come in a smorgasbord of options, sometimes barebones, sometimes the full monty.  It really depends on what you prefer.  Keep in mind that you will be paying extra the more amenities that you have.

Noise and Neighbours, are something that house owners don’t really have to think about – however in a condo things are very different.  You can sometimes be surrounded with neighbours on either side of you plus above you.  It can be a big adjustment to start hearing others around you.  If your neighbours have an unusual schedule and decide to shower at 3am, sometimes you will hear that.  Or if you have rowdy neighbours who like to party, bass thumping may be an everyday thing that you need to get used to.    

Condo associations deal with all aspects of the condo.  It’s a good idea to check out the latest minutes of the meetings, or if possible attend one of the meetings to see what future plans are in the pipeline, or even complaints that tenants may have and how the association deals with them. 

The last thing to consider with buying anything, not just a condo, is the location.  It all comes down to location, location, location.  It’s a good idea to buy a condo in a developed, or developing area and not in an isolated area.  Location should also be considered when it comes to community surroundings and ease of access to different things such as shops, entertainment and schooling. 

Buying a condo isn’t an easy task.  It’s important to make sure you know what you want before you go into it.  It’s ok to change things up a bit, but having a base and working from that is the best way to ensure you get what you really want.  The Toronto condo market is varied and there are numerous options for you to choose from.  Let’s chat about what your needs and wants are and find something that makes you love the space you are in. 

Sherry Dabir is a real estate broker with HomeLife, and specializes in Pre Construction Condos within the GTA.  She is currently ranked in the top 5% in Canada and has exclusive VIP access to and experience with Pre Construction Condo projects.  Contact her today to learn more.

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