Due to the current state of the housing market, buying a home in larger cities isn’t an option for most. However, there is still a way for people with a smaller budget to settle in larger cities. Condominiums (or just condos) are a much more accessible alternative for city living. And, like a home, you are still fully in control of everything in your condo. That said, condos do also have some drawbacks you should keep an eye out for if you’re considering one. In order to help you with your decision, we put together a list of 6 things to know before buying a condominium in Canada.
- Condos are affordable, but consider the fees
It’s true that condos are a great alternative for those who want to live in bigger cities without breaking the bank for a house. However, while the initial price is certainly much lower, you have to consider the condo fees that come with it. These usually cover the amenities, maintenance, and security you can expect from living in a condo. But, depending on the area the condo is in, the fees can get quite high. The fees are decided by the building’s board of directors, so make sure you look into the average condo fees in the city. Additionally, make sure you know which documents to check before committing to a condo. Although they are much cheaper than a house, getting stuck with certain problems can be pretty bad even in a condo. So, make sure you know everything important about the condo before you commit to buying it.
- Higher fees don’t mean more amenities
One of the biggest advantages of buying a condominium in Canada is getting access to the building’s amenities. And since one part of the condo fees is amenities, it would make sense that higher fees mean more amenities. But this might not be the case, as the fees also pay for maintenance and security. As such, before buying a condo, it’s vital to look through all of the amenities it has to offer. You might even find a building with lower fees that has more amenities than others nearby. So, remember: always do your research before making any big decisions. This is especially prominent in the Greater Toronto Area, as the housing market is particularly competitive. And if you pick out a condo here, remember that specialists can give you a hand. Like moving into an apartment, moving into a condo is particularly difficult on your own.
- You don’t have full control over renovations
One important thing to keep in mind is that the building’s board of directors controls the renovations. As such, you don’t have full freedom when it comes to renovating your condo. Every time you want to make a change, you’ll have to consult the board of directors to see what’s allowed. Otherwise, you could get into some legal issues. Also, we should note that the board also has the final say when it comes to pets. So, while you have more freedom than you do with apartments, there are still restrictions to keep in mind. So, remember to look into this before buying your condo. And if you don’t know where to start with looking for a condo, consider hiring a real estate agent. A good realtor will be able to guide you through the entire process, which makes their help invaluable.
- Decide on the type of condo you want
Before you go through with buying a condominium in Canada, you should be aware that there are several different types of condos. For example, there are hard loft or soft loft condos. These types of condos are typically open-concept spaces with industrial aesthetics, such as exposed wooden beams, concrete, or bricks. Additionally, you can find condos in low, medium, or high-rise buildings, as well as condo townhomes that are only two stories high. This variety is particularly noticeable in large cities like Hamilton. Generally, the larger the city, the more varied the condo types are. So, if you’re interested in living in a city like Hamilton, make sure to familiarize yourself with condo types. Additionally, make sure to work with Hamilton-based professionals if you decide to move there. Local movers are always the best choice when moving into larger cities.
- You don’t get much privacy outside of the condo itself
We mentioned that condo buildings typically have amenities like gyms, pools, gardens, and so on. However, it’s important to note that these are all shared spaces. Every resident of the building has full access to these spaces, so you shouldn’t expect any privacy when using them. Also, this means that you’ll have to accept the general aesthetic of these areas since you have no control over them. For most people these are non-issues, but quite a few people consider this fact a deal-breaker. Also, after buying your condo, consider some green home improvements you could do. While they’re typically associated with houses, a lot of these improvements can be done in condos too.
- Consider the layout before committing
As we already mentioned, renovations are difficult in condos. This means that changing the layout of your condo can be a very long and complicated process if it’s even possible. As such, take the time to consider the exact layout of your condo before buying it. Remember, you’re most likely going to be stuck with what you see after the purchase, so it’s vital to make sure you actually like the layout of the condo before you buy it.
6 things to know before buying a condominium in Canada – closing thoughts
Condos are a great alternative if you want to live in big cities without spending too much money. With that said, there are definitely things to look out for before buying one. So, make sure you know what you’re getting into before buying the condo, and you should be just fine. We hope this list of 6 things to know before buying a condominium in Canada helps you out, and we wish you a good day.