5 Tips To Help You Find The Perfect Condo
Buying a condo can be a complex process, especially if you’re a first-time buyer with absolutely no knowledge of the current real estate market. This is why we’ve broken things down and created these five easy steps to help you find the perfect property.
One of the first steps in buying a condo is deciding your budget. Now, money can be a sensitive subject for many individuals but it’s crucial to sit down and analyze your finances.
Most Canadians will apply for something called a pre-approved mortgage with a recognized institution. This is where the bank assesses your current financial statements and determines how much money they’re willing to loan at a certain interest rate.
Although, if you’ve been keeping up with the news lately, you’ll know the Bank of Canada has just increased the interest rate from 0.50 to 0.75 percent. This means Canadians will pay more money in interest when it comes to their mortgages and lines of credit.
It’s also important to remember that all condo buyers must also shell out a 20 per cent down payment. So if you’re buying a property that’s $400,000, you’ll need to have approximately $80,000 on hand. If you make a down payment that’s less than 20 per cent, you’re required to purchase mortgage insurance and your interest rate is likely to fluctuate according to the market. This inevitably means the homebuyer has to pay more money over a period of time.
Once you’ve established your budget, it’s time to start scoping out neighbourhoods and deciding where you want to live. During this stage, it’s important to be introspective and analyze your personality traits so you can find an area that suits you perfectly.
You might have to make some tough decisions and decide whether you want to live in the heart of the city, or somewhere quieter. If you’re unsure, take spontaneous trips to certain neighbourhoods and spend some quality time in the area by visiting the shops and talking to some of the locals.
If you’re thinking about starting a family in the near future, keep an eye out for parks, daycares, and schools that can accommodate your expanding household.
- Hire A Professional
Many first-time condo buyers think they can take this journey alone, but in reality, you can save a lot of time and money by hiring a professional. A realtor can really be a blessing in disguise because they have a lot of valuable insight regarding the real estate pricing scheme in a given neighbourhood. So if you’re interested in a condo but the asking price is too high, the realtor will be able to help negotiate a lower price. It’s also advantageous to have a realtor help with all the paperwork, because it can be a complex and painstaking process without their guidance.
- Understand The Basics
Take note that a condo is very different from living in an apartment or a house. It’s essentially communal living within an urban area, and requires collaboration from all property owners.
Condos are usually run by an association, which meets on a monthly basis to discuss things like maintenance and security. Some associations form a board of administrators who hire a company to oversee the maintenance. The association establishes the condo fees, which are paid on a monthly basis and are calculated by the size of your property. The fees typically cover cutting the grass, cleaning the common areas, and doing some minor renovations. If your condo association has decided to do some major renovations, your fees may increase as a result, unless there’s a contingency fund. This is why it’s always best to request access to the condo association minutes prior to moving into a building, to see if there are any upcoming projects.
- Plan Ahead
Staying organized is always the key, and if you’re looking for a condo, we recommend taking your time and not rushing this entire process. There are too many horror stories out there of people buying condos and subsequently becoming overwhelmed by the entire process. Take things one-step at a time, after all, “good things come to those who wait.”
By following these five easy steps, you’re equipped to purchase the condo of your dreams. If you’re currently shopping around, check out DevMcGill’s projects located across Montreal and Ottawa.
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