With seemingly endless options, purchasing a condo can be daunting; however, with the right guidance, it can be an exciting experience. We’ve rounded up ten tips to help guide you in the right direction before purchasing your next condominium.
More square feet does not mean more livability. Be mindful of the layout of the suite and assess the functionality of the floor plan – for example, long hallways mean more square feet, but can take away from functionality. A well-laid out 800 square foot condo can be more livable than a 900 square foot condo with wasted space.
Consider the residents of the building. A building that comprises of mostly renters could mean more parties, or the building could see faster wear and tear. In general, buildings with a majority of owner-occupiers are well taken care of.
Find out how much condominium fees are. Fewer amenities do not mean lower condominium fees. Large buildings with luxurious amenities, like a pool, hot tub, and fitness center, mean that the cost can be spread out over more residents. Smaller boutique buildings with fewer building amenities could have fees that are equally high.
Explore the neighbourhood. Consider neighbourhood amenities, the places you’ll visit regularly and proximity to work. Neighbourhoods change throughout the day, so be sure to visit at different times. Your neighbourhood is where you’ll want to spend the majority of your time, so it’s important to choose one that best suits your lifestyle.
Look at the strata management’s budget. Check the building’s budget for a surplus or a deficit. If the budget is at a deficit, you may be required to contribute money to the strata, which could be thousands of dollars. A surplus means there are extra funds to contribute to the maintenance or repairs to the building.
Rental or pet restrictions. If renting out the condo is a consideration, it may be a good idea to check rental restrictions. Some strata corporations restrict rental suites to a certain number or percentage. In addition, there can be restrictions on the number, weight, or type of pet in a building. If you have a pet (including reptiles), be sure to double-check for yourself.
Check out parking and storage lockers. Some condos don’t come with a parking stall or storage locker. If you need a parking stall or storage locker, ensure they come with the condo. Parking stalls can be sized for a small car or have a ventilation system hanging above. Take a look at the size of the parking stall and storage locker to make sure your car fits and the storage locker is large enough.
Look at how much other suites in the building have sold for. Looking at comparable suites will give a good idea of the value of the condo. Factors that can play a part in the price of a condo include square feet, direction, and floor level.
Determine your budget. Speak with your bank or a mortgage broker to determine how much you can afford. This will narrow down the type of home you’re looking for.
The best part – professional advice costs nothing for a buyer. The seller of a home pays a Realtor’s commission, so a buyer can seek professional advice at no cost.