Resale condos provide the opportunity to view and experience existing units and communities instead of just imagining them from floorplan and site blueprints. By checking the actual condo unit, the building location, elevators, amenities and parking, buyers can fully understand if their new home suits their needs.
When buying a condo, request a status certificate. The status certificate indicates whether the corporation is well-run or if there is enough money in the reserve fund and other important information.
Things to check before buying a condo
Check whether the unit you want to buy includes title to a parking spot, locker, and other assets (alternatively, you might need to rent these).
Do you own a pet?
Condos place limits on the number of pets and their size. Make sure your pet can move in with you.
What is the building’s reputation?
It might seem like the best location, but make sure you do a quick bit of research to determine the credibility of your condo. A simple Google search might show useful information about ratio of owners to tenants, Airbnb services with frequent travellers, constant fire alarm sounds, average wait time for elevators and more.
Is visitor parking available?
Having a visitor parking spot available when friends and family come might seem like a must, but not every condominium offers it. For many buildings, especially newer ones, allocating and avoiding the misuse of designated parking spots can be a big hassle. As a result, many condos have chosen not to offer visitors parking. Find out if you are entitled to parking permits or if you can rent a second parking spot and how much ahead of time these need to be secured. If your building only has paid parking, think if this is an option for you.
Are there enough elevators?
Two elevators probably seem like enough, right? However, in a 30-storey condo building, you can count on one unit moving in or out fairly often. That means that one of those precious machines will often be out of service. Factor in busy times, repairs and COVID health measures preventing the number of people allowed in elevators, and you could be lining up to get into your apartment for 30 minutes! The occasional walk down the staircase may be suitable if you live on the third floor and are in reasonably good health. But for those located on double-digit floors, precious wait minutes can start to build up.
How close is your unit to the garbage chute?
Convenient, yes. Noisy? You bet. Even if your building restrictions prevent residents from throwing out their trash, not everyone will play by the rules. Plus, when garbage chutes are out of service, let’s say that not everyone is willing to wait to dispose of – meaning you could be in the firing line for some not-so-pleasant odours.
What are the amenities?
The more amenities your condo offers, the higher the condo fees. So consider that.
Don’t just check out your unit – make sure you get a good look at all amenities. While it’s certainly not the only factor, you could be looking at higher condo fees with more amenities. A state-of-the-art fitness center might be a great asset if you’re a gym-goer. However, if you’re a swimmer or know you’ll have family frequently visiting, make use of any guest suites and a pool – make those your priorities.
Is the concierge friendly?
It might not seem significant, but finding a friendly front desk is like a gold mine. From helpfully assisting your guests when they arrive in your building to holding on to packages when you’re not available, a concierge that cares can sometimes be the difference between a pleasant or stressful life. If you appreciate their work, make sure you tip them or leave a gift card over the holidays.
Good luck with your condo search!