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Five Tips for Buying a Condo in Waterloo, Ontario

November 4, 2020 | Posted by: Jack Russell

Yaaay! You finally got enough to facilitate the down payment of your first condo, or perhaps this is your investment property. Here is a simplified guide that includes some tips for buying a condo. 

Owning a condo can be one of the best decisions in homeownership.

You have carefully thought about the aspects of living in a condo. The proximity to neighbors, coupled with sharing some amenities while living in a shared unit and your mind is made up! You can't wait to own one.

How then do you make the best choices to own a condo? Read on to find out more...

1. Financing

Financing is one of the major aspects to consider before owning a condo or any other property. While some condominiums sell on a cash basis, it may be a good idea to shop around for lenders who can offer to finance when you need it. Your flexibility in the payment terms should significantly influence your decision; it is important to work with a lender who can offer the type of payment terms that makes sense for you. A qualified mortgage professional can help you make the best decision based on their expertise.

2. Real Estate Professionals

Real Estate Professionals with experience can offer you guidance and help get you amazing deals within your budget. Best of all, real estate agents are aware of different projects within your area and how best you can tackle any issues that arise.

3. How About the Condo Association Fees and Rules?

Every condo association has a unique set of rules and fees. A Real Estate Professional will notify you of the number of fees to pay for the maintenance of the unit and any regulations of living in the unit. Can you own pets? How about holding parties? Can you rent out your condo? You should also ask about the association meetings. Finding out about how best you can live with your neighbours is a priority.

4. Are you comfortable with the common areas?

When owning a condo, you own the interior of your house while the exterior is under common ownership. There are usually common areas in condos and it would be wise to check if they are to your liking, how soon you can use the common areas, and if they need prior booking. Carry out a personal inspection to identify whether it is the best option for you. Will the size serve you well? How about storage and parking space? You may need expert advice from seasoned real estate professionals to make informed decisions.

5. Maintenance

Research or ask your Real Estate Professional about what is covered by your maintenance fee. The monthly maintenance fees from the owners of every unit go towards the building's reserve fund to pay for maintenance and operation of the condo's shared amenities. This may include things like replacing windows, roofs, utilities, and shared amenities; the items covered may differ from one condo corporation to another.

Make sure that you are informed about your condo's finances, take the opportunity to learn about your condo board, and look at the reserve fund to see if it is healthy enough to cover the planned maintenance expenses on the building. In the rare case that a condo's reserve fund is underfunded or if the building needs unplanned repairs, maintenance fees may rise, or the owners could be charged a fee to make up for the funding shortfall.

Closing Thoughts on Buying a Condo

Buying a condo is not an easy feat; consulting a Real Estate Professional can help you make an informed choice and will protect your interest no matter if you are buying a condo or any other properties.

If you’re moving up the Waterloo, Ontario property ladder, bridge loans can be a great financial tool. Contact me today to discuss your options.

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