Condos are a popular choice for many home buyers, particularly retirees and young professionals. If you’re thinking of buying a condo in Prince George, BC, contact a Realtor® at Team Powerhouse Realty and consider our condo buying tips:
1. Check your financing
Buying a condo is a little bit different than buying a single family home. Half of the condo fee (for maintenance and repairs to the building) will be included in your debt calculation when you apply for a mortgage.
2. Location, location, location
When you start looking for a condo, think about the location. Is the building itself in a good neighbourhood with access to the amenities you need? If you don’t know the neighbourhood, go there at different times of day to get a better feel for it.
Is the condo you’re considering well-located within the building? Do you want to be so close to the elevators? Are you overlooking the garbage bins? A good view can be beneficial when it comes to resale. Southern exposure will give you lots of light, but will also be hotter in summer months.
3. Ask about the building construction
Was any effort made to reduce noise between units? How is the building heated and ventilated? Is the building energy efficient? If you’re buying a unit in a new building, ask if it comes with a new home warranty.
4. Understand the fees
The building may have other amenities such as parking, a gym or a swimming pool. Find out how those facilities are paid for.
Find out whether utilities (gas, electricity, water) are included in the condo fee or if they are separately metered.
All condos will have fees that cover costs to the building such as maintenance and repairs. Make sure you know exactly how much you will be paying and what it covers.
5. Be comfortable with the rules
Condo buildings all have established rules. These rules can help protect your interests, but they can also get in the way of some of the decisions you want to make. You may want to check, for example, if they allow pets, if they have quiet hours, or if they allow you to rent out your apartment.
6. Get to know the condo association
A dysfunctional association can be a headache to deal with. Ask a few questions about how things are run, or ask for a copy of the minutes of their last meeting to get an idea of how well the building is managed. You may want to inquire into the association’s finances. It’s important to know there’s money in the pot to get things fixed.
For more detailed information on buying a condo, take a look at the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s Condominium Buyers Guide.