Buying a condo for the first time? Check out these tips

So, you’ve decided to finally invest in that condo you’ve always wanted. Your days of paying rent and being a tenant are soon to be behind you, but even still – taking the plunge into the home buyers’ market can be stressful. This is especially true for first-timers. With that in mind, here are a few handy tips to help you make sure that your first home is everything you wanted and more.

Consider condo fees

It definitely makes economic sense to pay down a mortgage rather than pay rent, but be careful. Outside of regular mortgage payments there are other expenses, with the most important being condo fees. The Quebec Federation of Real Estate Boards (QFREB) estimates average monthly fees at $193, depending on the region. The types of amenities included with your condo play a part, so the maintenance of the elevator and the underground parking area can increase the monthly fees.

Get insurance

Another important thing to do is to buy condo insurance. A survey by the Montreal Gazette showed that up to 70 per cent of condo owners are under-insured. While your condo corporation is required to carry insurance, it only covers the building. You are responsible for insuring the interior of your apartment and your possessions, so you have to have liability insurance. After all, if an accident occurs, you’ll be financially liable for the damages. So it’s always better to be safe than sorry. 

Consider the location

A first-time buyer might be eager to snap up a good deal on a condo, and while certain price points may make the unit seem like a bargain, it’s best to spend some time investigating the area before you decide to move in. When you rent an apartment, you have to sign a lease for typically one year. You can only move out at the end of your lease. If you’re a property owner, it’s a little different.

If you don’t drive, make sure you’re close enough to public transportation. Also, the kind of neighbourhood that suits you really depends on your personality, and if you’re the adventurous type, there are plenty of up-and-coming spots well worth checking out that you may not be immediately aware of.

Get to know your association

Living in a condo is a lot different than living in an apartment building. Your neighbours all have something invested in the building, so there will be rules and regulations to follow. Do you have a pet? Make sure the condo you want to move into allows them. Do you plan on subletting or listing your unit on a site like Airbnb? This may not be permitted. Always check the rules and regulations before moving in and make sure they’re in-line with your needs.

All that said, condos are a superb investment if you do your homework, and DevMcGill has many, innovative construction projects in terrific neighbourhoods. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or not we have something to suit your needs. Visit our website or call one of our agents at 514-288-4737.

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