Kathy Monahan, an agent with Forest Hill Realty in Toronto, has been helping clients buy and sell condos for nearly three decades and offers these 25 insider tips when you’re thinking of going condo.
Before you start
1 Hire a professional realtor to help with the buying process. It costs you nothing, since the seller pays the commission.
2 Make sure you have a good lawyer.
3 Seek financial qualification, to determine how much mortgage you can afford.
4 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
5 Be prepared to see a variety of styles: low-rise, high-rise, with or without amenities such as doormen or gym facilities.
6 Purchase the largest suite you can afford. Studios and one-bedrooms are more difficult to re-sell.
7 Visit the neighbourhood at different times of the day and evening. Does it suit you?
8 Choose a handsome view. Not only will it make day-to-day life more appealing, but it helps with resale later.
9 Bear in mind that a southern exposure, although bright and sunny, may also be hot in the summer.
10 Avoid a layout that looks out over the garbage pick-up area.
11 Avoid a suite that overlooks the garage entrance and the coming and going of vehicle traffic.
12 Avoid a suite beside or across from the elevator.
13 A parking space is highly recommended. Even if you don’t drive, you can always rent it out.
14 A locker is also highly recommended. There is rarely if ever enough storage space in a condo.