Tips to help you buy a condo

Clive McLean, lives and work in the city and is very passionate about Toronto. Not just about the real estate market, but the communities and the people that make this city such an incredible place to live.

Condo associations may differ as per the needs of the individual property. Some can impose extra charges for covering shared expenses like unexpected or emergency building repairs or some amenities elected by the condo board. So, if you consider buying/selling a Condo, make sure you get proper information about the norms and restrictions, discussing with the board to avoid any problems in the future.

Tips to buy a condo

First-time buyers must go over this checklist as they start their search for condos.

Work with a realtor

If you have already decided to buy a condo, you have to now find a realtor who will value your interests. You must consider someone who has a track record in condos, capable of addressing your concerns and guiding you through crucial steps such as reviewing the documents of the condo association.

The agent must be aware of condo developments in your area, knowing what problems they might have, things negatively impacting your life in a condo like community finance issues and infrastructure or structure issues within the buildings of the community.

The types of amenities you expect

Condos may provide different types of amenities. While discussing with your agent, ensure to address the amenity types that you want or expecting in addition to other factors such as location and your budget, so you can end up acquiring the perfect place. Do not hesitate to put the amenities on your wish list because you are buying access to those.

Remember that the amenities you are not considering to use, a swimming pool, for instance, can still be worth having, as when you plan to sell, a condo with lack of amenities might command a lower resale value.

FHA-approved condo

Mortgages for a condo might be more challenging, as in addition to your finances the condo development itself comes under scrutiny. Visit the FHA website where you will get to see a list of approved condos. It is better to consider the help of a mortgage professional with condo experience for finding the right financing for your purchase.

Association fees and regulations

Besides your mortgage, you will have to pay association charges for the maintenance of the property and the amenities. View such fees and don't be shy to ask what's included- usually, services like lawn care, snow removal, and cleaning shared areas are.

You must also get an idea about the community's house rules like noise restrictions, guidelines for booking hared areas in advance, etc. If you understand such regulations beforehand, you will be able to determine whether the community is a good fit for you.


Condominium or condo, in short, is a single unit of a property with multiple units, generally a community or apartment-style building. You can own your unit within the shared structure such as a high-rise building, using common areas and amenities of the community including playgrounds, pools, parks, dog-walking areas, gyms, etc.

Clive Mclean

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