Before you start
- Hire a professional realtor to help with the buying process. It costs you nothing, since the seller pays the commission.
- Make sure you have a good lawyer.
- Seek financial qualification, to determine how much mortgage you can afford.
- Crunch the numbers with your financial backer; you’ll need extra money for closing costs, moving, land transfer tax and lawyers fees.
On the Hunt
- Be prepared to see a variety of styles: low-rise, high-rise, with or without amenities such as doormen or gym facilities.
- Purchase the largest suite you can afford. You will want to be comfortable in your space.
- Visit the neighbourhood at different times of the day and evening. Does it suit you?
- Choose a handsome view. Not only will it make day-to-day life more appealing, but it helps with resale later.
- Bear in mind that a southern exposure, although bright and sunny, may also be hot in the summer.
- Avoid a layout that looks out over the garbage pick-up area.
- Avoid a suite that overlooks the garage entrance and the coming and going of vehicle traffic.
- Avoid a suite beside or across from the elevator.
- A parking space is highly recommended. Even if you don’t drive, you can always rent it out.
- A locker is also highly recommended. There is rarely if ever enough storage space in a condo.
- Find out about visitor parking. How many spaces are available?
- With a resale condo, examine the appliances and wear and tear on the suite closely.
- Note the condition — and aroma — of the lobby and common areas such as hallways and stairwells.
- Find out who the occupants of the building are: mostly owners or tenants? Owners are preferable.
- Find out the monthly condo maintenance fees and what exactly they include (and don’t include).
- What are the property taxes? Are they included in the maintenance fees?
- Chat with other owners and ask about their experience in the building.
Make me an offer
- Visit the suite at least twice, if you can, before making your offer.
- Know what comparable suites in the building and in the area have sold for.
- As for offer price, listen to and discuss with your agent.
- When you are ready to make an offer, make it conditional on your lawyer reviewing the Condominium Documents and Status Certificate.