6 things to consider before buying a condo

by | Jan 8, 2014 | Condos

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Not everyone who purchases a home wants a single detached home. For various reason, some homebuyers prefer condominiums. If you’re a first time condo buyer, here are a few tips to keep in mind to have a hassle-free experience.
1. Decide on a type
Generally speaking, there are 3 types of condos on the market. A traditional condominium gives you ownership of everything inside the walls of your condo. A site condominium also includes the land it’s on. Finally, a condominium hotel allows you to rent out your content when you are away.
Buy as large a unit as possible. Studio units and one-bedroom condos don’t sell as well as multi-bedroom units.
2. Pick a location
Just like owning a home, you’ll want to pick a location that is ideal for what’s important to you. For example, do you prefer commuting short distances to work, living on a quiet street, having a picturesque view, or walking to shops and nightlife? You probably won’t find something that is ideally situated for everything you find important, so you may have to decided which you can’t live without.
3. Find out about the extras
One of the great things about condo developments is that they often come with common features (such as an entertainment  area, a gym, or a pool). If these extras are important to you, be sure they are kept up.
Be sure to check on more fundamental common amenities, too (like utilities and grounds maintenance).
4. Research the association
Many condo developments are managed by an association. This ensures that the development is effectively managed by the residents and that what residents value in a development is protected.
Become familiar with the condo bylaws before you purchase your home. You want to make sure that they’ll protect the things you find important. Plus they can tell you and your insurance broker what’s covered in the case of a claim.
Review the condo association records, including minutes and reserve fund studies. This will help you become aware of any glaring issues before you get too far into the purchase process.
While you’re at it, review the condo fees. Sometimes first-time condo buyers get excited about the price of the condo only to be surprised later by the additional cost of taxes and condo fees. Be sure to keep an eye out for any potential maintenance issues: if expensive projects come up, condo fees may have to rise to cover them.
5. Know your neighbours
Since you might be sharing a atrium, a patio, or even walls, you might as well get to know who you might be sharing space with. Are they around your age? Do they have children or pets? Do they love to entertain? Do they own their condo, or are they renting it from a landlord?
6. Look for the little things
Pay attention for things you might not notice otherwise. For example, south facing windows migh be impressive in the autumn or winter with all the natural light they let in, but they might make the unit unbearable in the summer.
Other things to look for are units over the condo garbage bin or parking area or across from the elevator, make sure there is enough storage space for your needs,