How to Avoid the Pitfalls of A First Condo Purchase
Purchasing your first condo can be an exhilarating time. Not just because you are thrilled by the prospect of owning your own space filled with high end finishes and in the best location that real estate has to offer, but because you can’t help but spend hours ruminating whether or not you are going about your first condo purchase the right way. You don’t have to go far to stumble on someone who tells you the tale of how they bought their first condo from a builder who turned out to practice unsafe construction, or the unit they bought was not as spacious as advertised. So how do you avoid the pitfalls of new condo purchases? Have no fear my keen condo acquirer because I’m here to offer you a three-step plan to do just that!
1. Ask Yourself If You Are Suited to the Condo Lifestyle
If you want to live happily in a condo you have to make sure that you are suited to the condo lifestyle. What do I mean by this? Make sure that you don’t mind entering a building and riding an elevator every day to access your home, that you are comfortable living with certain rules and behaviors you may not have a real say in, and that you are ok living in close proximity to others.
2. Understand the Benefits and Drawbacks Between Resale & New Build Units
When you are purchasing a condo you need to accept the benefits and pitfalls for both resale and new build units. If you purchase a pre-owned unit you are able to see very clearly what you are getting. You can even take a tape measure out to ensure your space is as advertised. Remember though, you will likely need to do some fixing up as this is an already lived in space. If you choose to buy a newly built condo unit you will get the style and finishes of your choice but you will have to wait to see the end result of the actual physical condo.
I cannot stress this enough but choosing an experienced condo real estate agent can help you avoid the stress and possible financial and legal burdens of buying a condo unit from an unsavory condo developer, someone who cuts corners at every turn during construction to save on money. An experienced condo real estate agent will be able to tell you which builders have a solid reputation and which ones are guilty of the falling balcony glass hazard becoming more common today.
Lara Brighton is a journalist and real estate aficionado living in Toronto.