Tip For Buying a Condo
Our Ottawa Condo Real Estate Agent Gives Tips For Buying a Condo
Nowadays many people are having preference for condos than private homes. The buying cost and maintenance cost of Condos is much lesser than the private homes. If you are planning to buy a condo here are some tips for buying a condo to consider:
Every real estate transaction involves a lot of money. With time, property prices have increased rapidly. Therefore, it’s vital to fix a budget and search accordingly. Price of condominiums depends on multiple factors. Buying an overpriced apartment is not a smart investment.
One needs to give significant importance to location. Purchasing an apartment far away from the main city causes a lot of problems in the future. One must thoroughly check the site before finalizing the deal. Buyers must consider proximity to hospitals, offices and other emergency services. They must give proper attention towards safety of the place.
Know the Complex Rules
With so many people living together, condo buildings have certain rules. Purchasers must know the rules and see if they are comfortable with it. A management comprising of members of the complex formulates the rules and regulations. There are rules on shared spaces and pets. Before moving in, one must ensure they are comfortable with the rules.
Enquire About Fees
In most complexes, associations levy fees for common expenses. Buyers must inquire about the expenses and know what exactly they are paying for. A well-run complex sets aside some money for carrying out structural repairs. One shouldn’t move into a condo where there is no association. It’s important for occupants to know how their money is being utilized.
Get Information About Maintenance
Before buying a condo, one must get complete information about the person responsible for maintenance. Normally, others do maintenance. However, sometimes owners need to pitch in. A complex without proper maintenance is aggravating to live. It also decreases its resale value.
Inspection is an important aspect that buyers must not ignore. One must properly inspect the complex and find out if there are any loopholes. It’s a good idea to take a surveyor during inspection. Surveyors will notice faults, which buyers may miss otherwise.
Contact Joanne Martin at Condo Curious for your condo search!
What to look for in a condo
So, you have decided that the condo lifestyle is for you. Where do you begin your search? How do you find the right one? There are so many options in Ottawa and the choices keep growing. My first recommendation is to find an agent that specializes in condo sales. Although there is no actual “condo specialist” designation, some agents are more active in the condo market and will have a better knowledge of buildings with their pros and cons. Most agents only sell a few condos a year so it is helpful to find one with a wider range of experience.
The first step is to determine the areas of interest and the price point. Are you looking for a specific neighbourhood or proximity to certain services? Keep in mind the condo fees when factoring a mortgage approval of budget. Condo fees vary greatly and so does the utilities that are covered in the fees. Some are all inclusive and include heat, hydro and water while others only cover management, building insurance and basic maintenance.
Next you will need to establish your criteria. The most common ones include:
- The size of the condo, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms
- Is parking required? Garage, covered or open?
- Type of building – year of construction, high or low rise, concrete or wood construction
- Amenities- pool, storage lockers, elevators, exercise room, party room, communal garden etc. Keep in mind that the more amenities there are, the higher the maintenance costs ( pool and elevator maintenance and replacement can be quite costly) so do you want to pay for something you will not use?
- Demographics of people living in the building
- Pet restrictions
- Renovation and hardwood floor restrictions
And lastly, you will need to consider the financial and legal standing of the condo corporation. Buying a condo is becoming a part owner of a business and you will need to be aware of any financial strains of legal issues pertaining to the condo. Your lawyer will review a status certificate before you firm up on your purchase which will have detailed information about budget, reserve fund, reserve fund study and lawsuits but it is helpful to be aware of such issues at the beginning of your search so that you do not waste time and efforts only to discover these facts later in the process. Again, an experienced condo specialist is often aware of such issues and can guide you through your search.