Buying a condo is very different from buying a single-family home. There are several advantages that condos provide that single-family homes cannot. This is a determining factor as to why so many Canadians have made the decision to own a condo. If you’re thinking about making the switch to condo living, there are a few things to understand about the buying process. From rules and fees to the age of the unit, it’s good to do your research about what you’re investing in. To help you out, I have compiled a list of tips to help you as you work towards buying your first condo! Follow along below to learn more.
Edmonton Condos for Sale: Buying New Vs. Resale
- Buying a New Condo
Buying a new condo often means buying a pre-sale condo. Pre-sale condos are condos that have been listed for sale before construction has been completed/started. This usually means that you will have to choose your unit based on a set of floorplans and a visit to the showroom. Buying a presale condo has its advantages and disadvantages. One advantage is that you may be able to request changes. However, the final product may not look like the plan or what you imagined. Additionally, the date of completion could be later than what was initially proposed.
It’s worth noting that when you buy a new (presale) condo, you typically need to pay occupancy fees—colloquially known as phantom rent. These fees are paid to the developer until the building is registered. According to the Globe and Mail, “[t]he Condominium Act allows a developer to charge tenants for three main expenses in the period between occupancy and condo registration: property taxes, a prorated share of common operating expenses and interest on the unpaid balance of the purchase price”.
- Buying a Resale Condo
While resale condos do not have the same new home feel, you do get the benefit of seeing the unit before you buy it. This makes it abundantly clear how much space there is, the quality of materials, building amenities, noise levels, etc. Additionally, you can get a feel for the condo community to see if the building is in good condition and if the people living there match your lifestyle.
Moreover, when buying a resale condo unit, it’s a good idea to research the building’s operating budget and financial status. You will also want to look into the reserve fund, bylaws, and who manages/maintains the property.
Understanding the Building
- All About the Fees
Before you sign off on buying a condo (new or old), it is important to understand the condo fees and what they cover. Nearly every condo has a monthly, quarterly, or annual fee that must be paid by each resident. These fees are collected so that the building can pay for expenses like insurance and maintenance. However, you should talk with the developer or property manager to get a better sense of what your fees include. Understanding the cost of these fees can make a big impact on whether or not you can afford the unit. Lenders add condo fees to the monthly debts of the buyer. So, if the building has a steep association fee, there’s a good chance that some buyers will be priced out.
- Know the Rules
In condo buildings, there are often a set of rules and guidelines put in place to keep peace within the community. Unlike living in a single-family home, you cannot always do what you want, when you want to. Finding out about what rules are in place in the building is a good idea. After all, some condos have strict rules against pets, noise, age of residents, smoking, and more. Check to see what these rules are to make sure that they align with your lifestyle.
- What Does the Condo Include?
Although it may seem silly, understanding what your condo comes with is important in the buying process. After all, you don’t want to assume that your unit comes with something it does not—for example, a reserved parking spot! Before you buy make sure you understand what’s available to you. Some common amenities include:
- Additional storage
- Guest parking
- Reserved parking
- Underground/covered parking
- Bike storage
- Outdoor common space
Contact me Today About Edmonton Condos for Sale!
Living in a condo comes with many benefits. From more time to better amenities, you’ll love the lifestyle that a condo affords. Contact me today to learn more about buying Edmonton condos for sale. I’d be happy to answer any questions you have about how to achieve your real estate goals. Feel free to reach out to me at any time! Be sure to check back next month for more real estate-related information. I look forward to working with you in the near future.