Things to Know Before Buying a Condo

August 24, 2011

As a common sight across Canada, condominium buildings are quickly becoming the popular choice for those searching for a new home in this country. Great options for both the young, first-time homebuyer and those that are considering selling their house to relocate to a smaller, more manageable space, condos offer a highly affordable alternative to traditional homeownership.

But how do you know if condo living is right for you? Well, let’s take a look at the important factors to consider before signing on the dotted line and buying a condo in Canada.

The Condominium Rules and Regulations

Condominium buildings are ruled by a board who oversee all matters relating to administration of the building. This is one of the biggest differences between buying a condo and buying a house. When you buy a house, the land on which the house is built is yours. However, for those looking into buying a condo, it’s important to know that each building has its own set of regulations. For example, do you have a pet? Some buildings prohibit pet ownership and so would not allow you to bring your furry friend along should you decide to relocate.

In some buildings it’s also against the rules to renovate your own living space. So if you’re someone who enjoys the freedom to take on those challenging DIY projects, make sure you carefully review all documents that cover your rights as an owner of a condo in the building. Despite your skills as a handyman, some buildings do not allow you to use your tools in their property.

Condo Fees – The Hidden Expense!

When buying a condo, many people don’t consider all of the costs involved in the process. But they should. With a property of this type, you will have to pay a monthly fee called a “condo fee”. This condo fee pays for the maintenance of all common areas of the building. After all, the term “condominium” means shared ownership, so everyone has a responsibility to pay for the building’s upkeep.

In larger cities, these fees are often more expensive. Therefore, those that are looking at buying a condo in Toronto, for example, may wish to pay close attention to the condo fees being requested by the building managers before making their purchase decision.

Carefully Review All Aspects of the Location BEFORE you Buy

The condominium you choose is likely to be your home for the next few years at least.  You’ll want to spend that time in complete comfort, not worrying about safety concerns. If you’re considering moving to a new area that you’re unfamiliar with, it’s important to visit the surrounding location at least twice, once during the day and once at night before you enter into a deal with the Condo Manager. This will help you to get a feel for the area and see whether it’s the ideal location for you to live.

In researching the area around your chosen condominium building, you might also want to look for local amenities such as shopping malls, schools and hospitals, as these areas will be exceptionally important to your level of comfort during your time living in the condo building.

Research Carefully To Achieve That Property Deal of a Lifetime

If you review the previously mentioned advice, you will soon find the ideal home that meets all of your buying criteria. But remember though – the small print can often have LARGE consequences, so tread carefully and use all the tools available to you as a potential homebuyer. By taking the right steps, you can ensure that your condo buying experience is both simple and profitable.

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