Buying a condo in Toronto? What You Need to Know Before You Buy

Buying a condo in Toronto? What You Need to Know Before You Buy

 

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Toronto, Canada’s most populous city, has seen a recent escalation in condo sales. A report by Urbanation, a Canadian condominium market survey firm accounts that sales of new condo units had risen by 35 percent between January to April 2016 compared to the same period in 2015. The firm also reported that prices have increased by at least 3 percent compared with last year.

Depending on your reason for purchase, owning a condo has advantages like lower pricing, security and having a sense of community. It also comes with setbacks such as less privacy and restrictive codes implemented by the condominium associations. To help you make a well-informed decision before buying a condo in Toronto or Mississauga, here are 5 important things you ought to keep in mind when looking for condos in MLS Listings.

Compare fees

When scouting for a suitable condo, it is important to note down the levies charged by the owners associations. Such monthly payments may cover security, lawn or maintenance of common amenities. You might consider talking to residents or neighbours to find out how the fees compare. Also, ask about the property taxes and whether they are included in the maintenance fees. It is good to have upfront knowledge of who pays for what after you have purchased the condo.

Don’t bypass reading condo documents or contracts

Carefully read the condominium documents to get a clear understanding of what the association management allows or forbids one to do while in the residence. Find out if they allow pets, renovations or even if they would allow you to rent out the condo in future if you ever need to. When you are ready to make a purchase offer, make it a requirement that your lawyer reviews the condominium documents.

Find out what is covered by Insurance

Ask for the condo association’s insurance policy to determine what is covered. You might consider bringing your own insurance agent to help you go through the policy to get a clear understanding of what is included and the policies you might need to take on your own. If it is an old building find out the cost of renovation and make sure the approximation is not obsolete.

Surrounding facilities

One advantage of condos is that they come with social or fitness amenities such as gyms, pools or a common lobby lounges. Try to find out what facilities are available in your desired building and whether they affect the pricing. Try walking around the neighborhood during different times of the day or even at night to see if it suits your lifestyle.

What is the building reputation?

Note the condition of the building and whether it is fairly priced. It is also advisable to find out about the legal health of the association. Do they have pending court cases? Or are they involved in a court tussle with other associations, sellers or buyers? Finding clear answers to such questions may help you make a sober decision. If you are considering reselling your condo, it is advisable to buy a large one since selling studio apartments or one bedroom is comparatively hard. Ask your realtor for a detailed background of the space you are interested in and whether it had been formerly sold and at how much.

Be prepared

As mentioned earlier, condo sales in Toronto are on the rise. This means that there are numerous new and old properties to choose from. You should stay prepared for a variety of styles, from expensive to affordable, and those with or without certain amenities. You might also consider hiring a professional realtor to help with selection and buying process.

Finally, make sure you spend wisely since you will need extra money after the purchase to cater for expenses such as sales closing costs, taxes, and lawyer fees.