10 Tips For Buying a Condo in Toronto

Posted by Simone Garcia

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

More people are buying condos in Toronto than ever before. And while acquiring a condo in the city can prove a valuable investment down the road, there are also pitfalls if you don’t make an informed decision on your building and unit. Keeping the following tips in mind will save you money, time, and the mental trauma of spending half your monthly pay cheque on unused maintenance fees.

Here are 10 tips for buying a condo in Toronto.

1. Know your location, and know it well
You probably already have a good idea of where you’d like to live. Still, before sealing the deal on anything, be sure to check out proximity to grocery stores, transit, schools, or any other relevant amenities. Some resources available to you in this capacity is this very site’s neighbourhood guide, theTDSB’s school finder, and the city of Toronto’s neighbourhood rankings.

2. Don’t be afraid to ask/pay for upgrades
If you’re shelling out mad cash for a pre-owned condo, do not hesitate to ask the former owners for upgrades before your move-in date. If you’re buying pre-constructed, it pays to invest in the right upgrades right off the bat. You’ll reap the rewards later. What should you do? Here are two lists of suggestions for Toronto condo upgrades.

3. Assess the building’s overall physical condition, inside and out
Some faults are easy to spot, while others pose more of a challenge. Hiring a home inspector is less common for condo units, but the investment is typically minimal ($100-200), and could prevent a lot of headaches down the line. Find a home inspector using this directory. Another option? Bring an experienced friend/relative/advisor.

4. Meet the building staff
This one is pretty much a given – if you like the people working there, chances are you’re going to like living there. Plus, if ever anything should go wrong with your unit, it pays to have the staff on your side. The same rule applies should you need to bend the rules: extra parking passes are a sweet, sweet gift.

5. Research the condo developer and corporation
You don’t want to put your faith in a developer with little experience building condos nor you certainly do you want to be buying into a place that’s loaded down by debt. Researching those who are behind the construction and management of your condo is crucial. Review the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s tip sheet for buying a condo, which covers the basic research you should do.

6. Make sure you won’t lose your view
What’s being built next door? If another sky-high condo is in the works and threatening to block your hard-earned view, you may want to steer clear. You might be able to check this just by touring the neighbourhood on foot, but you’ll want to also check the Toronto Development Applications website.

7. Evaluate the building’s current residents
Is your home to be comprised mostly of renters? Do the current residents seem loud, or, on the other hand, intolerable of noise? Your condo’s demographics are likely to have some impact on resale value – not to mention the happiness of your residence there. This can’t be internet research; you have to speak to staff and current residents to sketch the picture.

8. Ask your realtor to provide you with a detailed history of the place if it’s been previously owned, and to provide you with a future projection of the resale price
Condos.ca is a good resource for some of this information, but it’s a good idea to test the mettle of your real estate agent. Find out how much the unit sold for previously and try to determine how much money you can expect to make down the line. Market trends change, but it’s key to go through these exercises before buying.

9. Buy a parking space if you can
It might sound counter intuitive with condo dwellers increasingly giving up on car-focused lifestyles, but even if you don’t drive, if you’re buying a new condo, make sure to fork out for a parking space. When it comes time to sell, you’ll thank yourself for it.

10. Beware of occupancy fees
There’s always a period of time between when you take occupancy of your condo and the building becomes officially registered in Ontario, during which you must pay occupancy fees or what is sometimes called “phantom rent” (because it doesn’t go to your mortgage). This is unavoidable, but the period is generally shorter when dealing with 1) experienced developers and 2) the higher up your unit is (low floors move in sooner).

Advertisements

MFR Charity Gives Back Campaign

MFR Real Estate Update – November 2016

Hot Toronto Market Continues Into The Fall Season

The Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) reported 9,902 sales in September with a large increase of 21.5% in resale transactions. The average selling price was up to $755,755 up 20.4% year over year compared to September 2015.  All four major type of properties witnessed strong annual volume and price gains as follows: (as per the Toronto Real Estate Board)

  1. Detached homes +22.1% Volume Gain +23.6% Price Gain
  2. Semi-detached homes +10.6% Volume Gain +18.8% Price Gain
  3. Townhomes +19.7% Volume Gain +21.8% Price Gain
  4. Condos +26.7% Volume Gain +9.3% Price Gain

If you are thinking of buying, selling or investing please contact me for a free consultation and receive a $25 Tim’s Card courtesy of Modern Family Realtor.

Modern Family Realtor Charity Gives Back Campaign

“We are privileged and honoured to be able to support our local community through our charity gives back campaign this Fall.” Paul Chan Founder of Modern Family Realtor.

Modern Family Realtor hits a milestone $13 million in sales! To celebrate we are donating thousands of dollars on behalf of all our followers as part of our Modern Family Charity Gives Back Campaign. Click the link below and we will donate $20 on your behalf to your favourite charity! Please share with friends and family so we can donate more to these great causes!!  #MFRealtor #GivesBackCampaign

http://www.modernfamilyrealtor.ca/charity-giveaway

Our Personal Journey with the 519 Community Centre in Toronto

The 519 is a special organization in our hearts that brought our family together.  They helped us out 15 years ago when I met Ewan and they assisted me in sponsoring him to become Canadian.  Then 11 years later through the Dada’s and Papa’s class the 519 provided us with the resources for us to bring our beautiful daughter Jasmine into our lives.

New Land Transfer Tax Rebate and Update on Mortgage Rates

We have some good news and bad news for first time home buyers.  On the positive note the provincial government has increased the land transfer tax rebate to first time home buyers to $4,000.  This will be implemented on January 1, 2017 and will help significantly for your closing costs.
On the negative side with bond yields going up after Donald Trump was elected President, mortgage rates are now on the rise.  Major banks like RBC and TD have already raised interest rates on their fixed term rates. Please contact one of our mortgage advisors to lock in rates before they go up higher!

As your real estate sales representative and former accountant I can assist you with any of your financial and real estate questions including creating a budget, RRSP Home Buyer’s Plan, Listing presentation, CMA, Buyer/Listing presentation and Income Taxes. Please contact me at 416-705-2444 to book a free consultation or visit our website for more information and listings at www.modernfamilyrealtor.ca.

From Your Modern Family Realtor Team – Paul, Ewan and Jasmine

Modern Family Realtor Goes Canada-Wide

MFR Real Estate Update – September 2016

Home Prices Continue to Surge on Weak Inventory

Toronto continues to grow even though the rest of Canada is experiencing some new challenges. The biggest change is the lack of inventory in the Toronto market.  We are 31.9% fewer listings when compared to a year ago which is pushing prices higher.  Vancouver is experiencing difficulties with the new 15% foreign tax which resulted in a large drop in volume of sales recently.  The Brexit vote looks like it will actually positively impact Toronto as foreign buyers in the U.K, Russia, China and India look for a safe place to invest in real estate in Canada with now Toronto being the most popular choice.  The Canadian economy on a whole is still under achieving which may also push interest rates lower or keep them stable for the long term which will help boost the residential market.   The average selling price was up to $709,825 up 16.6% year over year compared to July 2016.  All four major type of properties witnessed strong annual price gains as follows: (as per the Toronto Real Estate Board)

  1. Detached homes +21.1%
  2. Semi-detached homes +17.1%
  3. Townhomes +13.9%
  4. Condos +9.2%

If you are thinking of buying, selling or investing please contact me for a free consultation and receive a $25 Tim’s Card courtesy of Modern Family Realtor.

Modern Family Realtor Goes Canada Wide in “In Magazine”

Modern Family Realtor is growing and we want to make an impact not only in Toronto but across our great nation. The tremendous support we have got from Canadians is incredible.  This concept would not work in any other country in the world.  Canadians are multicultural, diverse and accepting people and are clientele reflect that.  We support the LGBTQ community but are allies are the ones who keep us growing so fast! Check out our new advertisement in the September/October issue of In Magazine in new stands across Canada.

Modern Family Realtor Gives Back Campaign Update

We are excited to announce the 3 winners of the Modern Family Realtor Contest.  First place Patricia Monteiro, second place Shane Das and third place Elsie Yeung taking home over $1,500 in prizes.  Thank you to the over 75 entrants and for sharing the love for Modern Family Realtor!  As announced in our Facebook Live video we will be continuing the Give Back Campaign with our Charity Donation and Leadership Scholarship initiatives coming up in the next few months. Stay tuned for more details!

As your real estate sales representative and former accountant I can assist you with any of your financial and real estate questions including creating a budget, RRSP Home Buyer’s Plan, Listing presentation, CMA, Buyer/Listing presentation and Income Taxes. Please contact me at 416-705-2444 to book a free consultation or visit our website for more information and listings at www.modernfamilyrealtor.ca.

From Your Modern Family Realtor Team – Paul, Ewan and Jasmine