However, there are some things you’ll want to consider to ensure the condo you buy is right for you.
Is The Condo In The Right Neighbourhood?
You can change many things about your condo - the wall colours, the décor, the furniture - but you can’t change the location. Think about what you need from your community. Do you need to be close to work or have access to schools? If you will need to access nearby schools, do your research to ensure they’re accepting students; it would be counterproductive to buy a condo for its proximity to a school only to find out they are at full capacity. Also, if you plan to use local transit, look into the condo’s proximity to stations and stops.
If you’re looking for a condo with a view, be sure to investigate the surrounding properties to ensure there are no future developments in planning. Not only do you not want to lose the view you purchased the condo for, but if you plan to sell the condo in the future, you’ll want to be sure the property value grows.
Do You Have Pets (or plans to get one)?
Not all condo properties have the same rules, and pet-friendliness is something to research. If you have a pet or plan to get one after you move in, be sure to find out if the property allows it. If so, familiarize yourself with their rules and standards in terms of pet size, how many you can have, and whether certain animals are restricted. You’ll also want to find out if there are additional fees involved.
How Much Are The Condo Fees And What Do They Include?
Condo fees are a fact of life when buying a condo, but they can vary drastically from property to property. These fees are paid monthly, separate from your mortgage payment, and typically include a variety of things from utilities and property maintenance to security and parking. As each property is unique, it is important to find out how much your monthly fees are and what they include.
What Amenities Does The Condo Building Offer?
If you’re buying a condo to reap the benefits of a certain lifestyle, amenities may be very important to you. If the building offers a fitness centre, you can save on membership fees elsewhere. If you need additional storage space, there may be dedicated storage units available to you. Other such amenities to consider related to your lifestyle could include outdoor gathering spaces, dog washing stations, or even visitor parking.
Can You Rent Out Your Condo Or List It On Airbnb While You’re Away?
If you’re the type of owner who loves to travel and spend time away from home, you may want to find out if you can legally rent out your condo for short-term rentals while you’re away. This is a great way to capitalize on your investment, but not all properties permit this. Review your purchase contract and do your research to understand your property’s restrictions before listing your condo for short-term rentals.
If renting is important to you, ask about the percentage of owners versus renters in the condo property. For some, it’s important to know if your neighbours will be more - or less - invested in the care and maintenance of the property.
What’s The Building’s Maintenance History?
With the condo fees you’ll be paying, you’ll want to be sure the funds are being managed properly and property repairs are being completed on time. Learn about the building’s maintenance history to ensure your investment will be one that grows. If possible, speak to some of the owners to get an idea of how management responds to requests or concerns.
Buying a condo is a great investment in your future, but it has to be the right condo. By asking a few important questions before you buy, you’ll be better informed about whether the condo you’re buying fits your lifestyle, your financial needs, and your goals for the future.