Secret sauce to for hunting for a condo unit.

As real estate prices soar, many Canadians are rediscovering the joys of urban living and buying condos. Condo sales are at an all-time high, robust condo sales activity is driven largely by investors and first-time homebuyers who see condo ownership as a cheaper alternative to unaffordable low-rise units. Here is the my exhaustive list to keep in mind when starting your condo hunt.

  1. Be definitive about buying (i.e. you have decided you are going to buy a home)
  2. Get qualified for a mortgage. It is extremely vital that you know exactly what you can qualify to buy and what you’re comfortable borrowing.
  3. Get educated. This is difficult and time consuming. Either spend the time it takes to be an expert or hire one. I can offer you a crash course in your preferred real estate in a few hours. The best part is that it is free. Buyers don’t have to pay an agent a fee, the seller does. Hire a Real Estate agent who is an experienced, qualified, educated sales expert. Since you’ve already found my website you don’t need to look any further.
  4. Checkout variety of styles: low-rise, high-rise, with or without amenities such as doormen, pool, yoga, sauna or gym facilities. Generally speaking, better amenities higher the condo/maintenance fee.
  5. If you condo hunt is purely for investment, purchase the cheapest/smallest studio, the cheapest/smallest 1 bedroom, the cheapest/smallest 1 bedroom plus den, the cheapest/smallest 2 bedroom. As the generate the maximum ROI. One bedroom plus den is the popoluar choice, will be more easier to sell. If looking to live, pick the largest suite you can afford.
  6. Look at the neighbourhood review sites to find out demographies, schools, shopping, restaurants, malls and business centres in the neighbourhood. Does it have all the amenities that you’re looking for?
  7. Walk around the neighbourhood couple of times. Is this a place that you would like to drive home to every night?  Does this have all the “must haves” from your list.
  8. find out what common property elements are for your use only and what restrictions apply. For instance, restrictions may prevent you from parking a boat, RV or commercial vehicle in your parking spot or there may be restrictions on what you may place on your balcony.
  9. Three of the most common causes of annoyance to condominium owners are pets, people and parking — the “three Ps.” That’s why condos have rules and restrictions around them and other issues, such as noise and the number of people who may live in a unit. It’s essential that you review the condo’s rules, bylaws and declaration before you make an offer.
  10. Pick the protected and nice view. Your Realtor can certainly help here.
  11. Avoid a suite beside or across from the elevator.
  12. Avoid a layout that looks out over the garbage pick-up or chute room.
  13. Avoid a suite that above or near the garage entrance and parking as they are very noisy and inconvenient.
  14. Parking space and locker is highly recommended. Even if you don’t need one, you can always rent them.
  15. Find out the condo fee and property taxes and other monthly expenses and what exactly they include?
  16. Find out who the occupants of the building, talk to them and ask about their experience in the building.
  17. When you buy a new condominium, be prepared to pay occupancy fees — sometimes called “phantom rent” — to the developer. Occupancy fees cover the period between the time you take
    occupancy of your unit and the time you take ownership of it (once the unit is registered).
  18. When you are ready to make an offer, make it conditional on your lawyer reviewing the Condominium Documents and Status Certificate.
  19. Verify the unit’s floor area and boundaries whether they are correct.

Checkout my other posts related to condos, investments and be sure to join my list for real estate updates, top condo projects and valued tips for real estate investment. Feel free to contact me at 416 414 8888 for your real estate needs, for buying and selling.