Buying your first condo: advice from a professional

Buying a condo is more complicated than choosing an apartment to rent. How do you successfully complete this project and ensure that you have acquired a profitable investment? Here are five useful guidelines.

  1. Buy in the right location. Where do you want your condo to be in Montreal? On the Plateau, in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, or Old Montreal – which will soon be the residential district of choice – south-west Montreal, or downtown? In addition to the cost of your future home, this factor is essential to consider before you start looking.
  2. Put your trust in a reliable builder. A reputable and sound real estate developer is unlikely to leave you “up the creek” before completing the work. Also, its reputation and the quality of its construction will help maintain your resale value.
  3. Consider more than just your apartment alone. When you buy a condo you are also buying part of the building: the corridors, elevators and everything else belong to you in a proportion corresponding to your percentage of occupation of the building. These parts of the building are known as “common property.” Are they well constructed? Will they need a lot of maintenance?
  4. Consider condo fees as an investment. Instead of looking for the lowest fees, find out instead how they will be invested: careful maintenance, establishment of a reserve fund, good services, etc., and also ask who will be responsible for managing these amounts. Is it a private firm or will you have to be get involved?
  5. Gain an understanding of life in a co-ownership. Despite the fact that your condo was handed over to you in a turnkey transaction, this does not mean that after taking possession you need only think about your own four walls. In addition to your own apartment you are a co owner, with others, of an entire building, and this has certain implications: you are living “in common” with those other individuals, which is very different from apartment living.

Here are others links that can help answering your questions: chatelaine article, website or CAA Quebec website.

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