With this checklist, you can be prepared; everything runs smoothly when you buy your first condo. It is wise to work with a reputable real estate agent as they know the ins and outs of this type of investment and walk you through the benefits of owning a condo. They know the current prices and the best deals. They can also share information with you when new listings that fit your criteria are available. This checklist can help you feel confident you are on track.
Conduct your Research
The more you know about the market, the easier it is for you to buy a condo without paying too much for it. If the interest rates and prices are high, it may not be the ideal time to invest in one. If prices are reasonable and interest rates are low, it may be the perfect time to jump on something before prices go back up.
Where do you want to live? Research the various neighbourhoods and what they offer. Do you desire easy access to the city or prefer a quiet area? Do you have a car, or must you rely on public transportation? You may wish to live close to places where you can shop, eat, and take in various activities. Outdoor enthusiasts prefer living near parks, trails, and the water.
What amenities do you need? Some condos have all the perks you can imagine, and others are basic. When more is offered, the condo fees tend to be more expensive. Some basics include a parking area, gym, and swimming pool. Other options include a garden and a patio.
What size of condo do you need? Do you need one bedroom? Two? Three? Will you be content with one bathroom, or should you get a place with two?
What is the layout of the condo? If you prefer everything on one level, you can mark the two and three-level choices off your list of prospects.
How old is the building, and what condition is it in? There are pros and cons to both sides of this. A newer building is more expensive, and you pay more for the condo than an older one. However, it is less likely to need repairs or costly maintenance. A newer condo will have modern amenities available.
What is currently on the market? You can get this information online, view pictures and videos, and get leads from your real estate agent.
How much can you afford? A pre-approval can assist you with that, and you will know once you find the ideal condo, you can get the financing for it. Ensure you can reasonably afford the monthly payment, condo fees, and living expenses.
What is the process for selling your current property to buy a condo? Your real estate agent can help you get your place listed. They can help you place an offer on a condo contingent on that other place selling.
Before You Buy
While you may be inclined to make an offer on a condo you love, there is plenty of information to gather before you buy. This will prevent hassles and unforeseen expenses for which you are responsible!
When was the last inspection done? If it isn’t recent, request one to verify the place is free from pests and mould. The examination should check the plumbing and electrical elements. A report on the building and the overall condition of it should be available to you. This includes the reserve funds balance and what they anticipate needs to be paid from that fund in the next couple of years.
Look at the bylaws for the condo. Are you willing to abide by them? Will you be happy doing so? Look at details such as if pets can be in the units and if you can rent out your condo.
Talk to residents of the condo building. Express your interest in living there. Find out what they like the most. Find out if they have any concerns.
Find out about any security systems in place and what they monitor.
Inquire about the maintenance provided with your condo fees.
Will your unit have its own controls for the heating and cooling system?
You have 7 days to cool off, meaning you can cancel the offer on the condo during that first week without any reason or penalties. Pay attention to any red flags that could cause you to second guess the decision to buy in that building. Also check out my article on Condo Myths Debunked, Benefits Of A Condo and Things I Wish I Knew Before Buying A Condo.