If you’d rather have a more compact space than a single family home and enjoy the perks that come with condo living, buying a condo could be a great move for you. Some cities in Canada are experiencing huge condo growth due to popular demand in big cities–many people enjoy living close to downtown.
So if you’re looking to buy a condo, it’s worthwhile taking a look at our top 10 tips. That way you’re equipped with information and tips that can help make your condo buying a success!
1. Go through the same preparation process as a home buyer
If you want, you can ready my extensive ‘first time homebuyer guide,’ (insert link there) to help you understand the process of buying. Even though you’ll be buying a condo and not a home, much of the process is the same and it will help you to be better informed about how the buying process works.
2. Check out the Condo Association
One important thing you’ll want to check while searching for a condo is the Condo Corporation. These can vary in what they’ll provide to owners and how they handle repairs and maintenance on site. You’ll want to be very upfront with them in finding out what they offer to you and how much you’ll have to pay. Some Condo Corporations have reputations of being shady, so talk to the person in charge to assess what this corporaton is really like. You’ll have to take all your problems to them, so it’s important to get acquainted now.
3. Learn about neighbors and the area
If you can, visit the condo at least two times before buying and try to make them at different times of day. Many places that are calm and quiet during the day can be raucous and noisy at night and you wouldn’t want to buy before finding out that this place has loud neighbors. Also, what is the area like at night? Would you feel safe walking around by yourself? The more you learn about an area, the better suited you’ll be to live there full time.
4. What about storage and parking?
Ask about the parking and storage situation at the condo. Does it come with a reserved parking spot? Where can guests park? Does the condo have a storage locker or garage or do you have to pay extra for those? How much storage space is there? Also, try to look for decent storage space inside the condo itself. It may not be a home, but a condo with a large bedroom closet and hallway closets can be a big help.
5. How’s the view from up there?
Moving into a condo on the top floor can be a pain during moving, but you’ll be glad when you realize that your ceilings are higher and you don’t have to listen to anyone walking around above you. In fact, you’ll experience fewer noises from others in a higher apartment. You’re also more likely to have a nice view, keep your belongings safe, and stay out of people’s way on the top floor.
6. What’s the maintenance schedule like?
As a potential owner of this apartment, you deserve to know the maintenance schedules in advance. How often is the grass cut? How frequently are the carpets cleaned in the common areas and stairwells? Also, will you have to pay fees for patio resurfacing or replacing roof tiles? Ask in advance so you can more accurately compare different places before buying.
7. Think about resale
You’ll probably view a lot of different condos during your home search. Maybe you only want a one bedroom or a studio for yourself, but what if you decide to rent it out? Or, what if you decide to get roommates or want to sell the place in the future? A more spacious apartment with included amenities will sell faster than a small space. Try to get a place that has a great view–that will help you enjoy it more during the time you’re there and also have great resale value when it comes time to sell.
8. How’s the wear and tear on the common area?
People want to come home to a nice-looking place. It doesn’t matter how nice your condo is if the hallways and common areas are dirty-looking and worn. Also, does it smell like cigarette smoke? Avoid places that smell because it will likely bea major turn-off for your friends and for potential buyers when it comes time to sell..
9. You will pay for property taxes
You may not own the land that your condo is on, but you are responsible for paying property taxes. Some places include these in the maintenance fees, so you’ll want to find out how much those are and how to pay them.
10. Tenants or owner?
This is an important one to keep in mind. If you plan on living in the condo, you’ll want to find out if the building is occupied by mostly other owners or if it’s mostly tenants. Owners would be preferable, since tenants have a tendency to be louder and tougher to get along with (no shade here, just facts).
Condo living isn’t for everyone, but if you find the right place at the right price, it can be a very enjoyable experience. If you’re looking for a condo in the Ottawa area, please allow me to assist you in finding the condo of your dreams.
I hope you found this list helpful. If you know anyone else looking to buy a condo, kindly share this top 10 list with them!