Tips for buying a Condo in Canada

Oct 10, 2023
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Condominiums are a popular choice for many home buyers in Canada. They offer the convenience of low maintenance, shared amenities, and urban living. However, buying a condo is not the same as buying a house. There are some important factors to consider before you make your decision. Here are some tips to help you find the right condo for your needs and budget.

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👩🏻💼Hire a Condo Specialist Real Estate Agent

A condo specialist real estate agent can help you navigate the complex and competitive condo market. They can provide you with valuable information about the developer, the building, the location, and the condo fees. They can also help you negotiate the best price and terms for your purchase.

💰Review the Condo Finances

Before you buy a condo, you need to review the financial health of the condo corporation. You should ask for the following documents:

The condo fees statement: This shows how much you have to pay monthly for maintenance, security, and administration costs.

The reserve fund report: This shows how much money the condo corporation has saved for major repairs and replacements.

The special assessments history: This shows if there have been any extra charges for unexpected expenses or emergencies.

You want to make sure that the condo fees are reasonable, the reserve fund is adequate, and the special assessments are rare.

Check the Condo Rules and Regulations

Every condo has its own set of rules and regulations that govern how you can use your unit and the common areas. These rules are called bylaws or covenants, conditions, and restrictions. You should read them carefully and make sure you can abide by them. Some common rules include:

Restrictions on pets, smoking, noise, parking, and rentals

Requirements for insurance, maintenance, and renovations

Procedures for voting, meetings, and complaints

You should also check if there are any pending or ongoing lawsuits or disputes involving the condo corporation or other owners.

🗞️Compare the Pros and Cons of New vs Resale Condos

There are advantages and disadvantages to buying a new or a resale condo. Here are some of them:

New Condos

Resale Condos

You can customize your unit
You may have to pay GST/HST
You can benefit from warranties
You may face construction delays
You can enjoy modern features
You may have higher condo fees

You should weigh these factors according to your preferences and priorities.


💸Get Pre-Approved and Apply for a Condo Loan

Before you start looking for condos, you should get pre-approved by a lender. This will give you an estimate of how much you can borrow and what interest rate you can get. It will also show sellers that you are serious and ready to buy.

Once you find a condo that you want to buy, you will need to apply for a condo loan. This is a type of mortgage that is designed for condos. It may have different requirements than a regular mortgage, such as:

A higher down payment

A lower loan-to-value ratio

A condo approval process

You should work with a lender that has experience with condo loans and can guide you through the process.

🧐Inspect the Unit and the Building

Finally, before you sign any papers, you should inspect the unit and the building thoroughly. You should look for any signs of damage, defects, or wear and tear. You should also check if everything is working properly, such as:

The appliances

The plumbing

The heating and cooling

The electrical outlets

The windows and doors

The locks and security systems

You may want to hire a professional home inspector to do a more detailed assessment and provide you with a report.

Buying a condo in Canada can be a rewarding experience if you do your homework and follow these tips. Remember, a condo is not just a home, but also an investment. You want to make sure you are getting the best value and quality for your money.

If you are contemplating the idea of of buying a condo, I can help.

You can reach me at 416-576-4433.

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