The ABCs of Buying a New Condo

Purchasing a condo is a wise investment. As Montreal continues to economically expand at a rapid rate, prospective buyers are always on the lookout to grow their real estate portfolio. Here are four key things you should look out for when purchasing a new condo.

  • Research

Before purchasing a new condo, it’s important to do some research to fully understand what you are getting into. Buying a condo is a complex process and needless to say, a considerable investment. 

Start out by determining which neighbourhood you’d like to live in and begin to gather some information. There are several websites that help you scope out neighbourhoods and give you some insightful tips about pricing in the area. For example, consult this article from Money Sense, which breaks down the average housing price per neighbourhood in the Montreal area, so you can see what fits your budget.

The city of Montreal also released an interactive map last year, which shows the exact number of crimes per district. This way, you can look at the community and statistically see if it’s prone to crime and vandalism. Although, it’s important to note that Montreal is one of the safest cities in North America and has one of the lowest crime rates compared to other major Canadian cities.   

“Location, location, location,” is something you’ll often hear in the real estate industry. This is why it’s important to choose a condo that is strategically located to suit your needs. In Montreal, we’re extremely lucky to have condos in the heart of the bustling city, meaning you’ll always be close to all the action. If you take public transport, make sure your condo is located near the bus, metro, and train lines, which can make your commute simpler and more convenient. If you drive to work every day, it’s important to live close to the office, because nobody likes to be stuck in traffic for endless hours each day. We always recommend checking Google Maps to see what the traffic is like throughout the day and to realistically assess whether this location is viable.

The ABCs of Buying a New Condo

  • Budget

Condos in Montreal can be quite expensive, so it’s important to sit down with your financial advisor and determine your budget. It’s always important to keep this figure in mind and stick to it because you shouldn’t bite off more than you can chew. 

Many individuals apply for a pre-approved mortgage with a recognized financial institution, which essentially indicates how much you can spend on a new condo. A pre-approved mortgage will help you narrow your search (in budgetary terms) and will be easier for you to make a formal offer on the condo of your dreams. It can also give you some leverage during the negation period, which can inevitably drive down the price and equate to thousands of dollars in savings. In order to get pre-approved, you usually have to submit a slew of financial documents that prove you have a steady income and in are good financial standing.

  • Politics

Owning a condo is quite different compared to owning a house, and there’s definitely a community component a lot of people forget about. It’s important to remember that all condo members are collectively responsible for the maintenance of the building, which is normally paid through monthly condo fees. These fees are usually funnelled towards general upkeep (i.e. hiring someone to remove the snow or cut the grass) or to a save up for a major renovation. Condo meetings are usually held on a monthly basis, and there’s often a bit of internal politics involved. If you’re moving into a pre-existing unit, it’s best to request access to the condo meeting minutes to see if there are any major upcoming renovations that would cause your condo fees to drastically increase.    

  • Mortgages

Unless you’re planning to buy a condo with a giant briefcase full of cash, you’re probably going to need a mortgage. But what is a mortgage exactly? It’s the bank lending you money (accompanied with an interest rate) in exchange for your property. So you then pay the bank on a monthly basis for a number of years. Most Canadians have a mortgage, as it provides a way for normal individuals to purchase a piece of property. This subject can be a little complex, so it’s advised to do some research either online or ask a financial advisor questions to ensure you understand the full picture.

The ABCs of Buying a New Condo

Purchasing a condo is a great opportunity to grow your asset column and ultimately own some property. Why waste your money on rent when you can be working towards acquiring a place of your own. Montreal is one of the greatest cities in North America, whether you’re looking for work opportunities or to study at one of the prestigious universities. You can always count on DevMcGill to provide the latest information regarding Montreal’s ever-changing real estate scene so that you can feel confident about purchasing the condo of your dreams. 

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