Thinking about buying a condo for the first time? Perhaps you’re looking to upgrade? We often talk about hardware, amenities, and building tips, but let’s back up for a minute and discuss the initial buying phase.
Investing in a piece of real estate is a really exciting time. In some respects, it is a decision driven by emotion. Be sure to check out our top 5 tips on making sure you get the most for your money from the get go.
1. Don’t buy into the hype: remember that developers spend thousands (sometimes hundreds of thousands) of dollars on stunning presentation centres and flashy marketing. Resist the urge to fall for it and stay on track with your list of exactly what you’re looking for, and what you’re looking to pay.
2. There is no such thing as “friends & family discounts”: it’s a tactic to pressure buyers into making a financial commitment quickly. There is no rush in real estate, take your time and see what’s out there. There’s no cost to comparing and in hot markets like Vancouver, Toronto, and Chicago, why hurry?
3. Thinking of selling before it registers? Real estate expert Adam Brand warns: if you are not in a position where you can get a mortgage when the project registers, stay away from buying new construction. The market is being flooded with condo assignments and many are selling below their original purchase price. This trend is likely to continue as more projects near completion and supply increases.
4. Don’t be a passive investor: buying a condo is a huge investment and it shouldn’t be a “side project”; especially if you have no prior experience. Is this a rental property? A long-term investment? Are you looking to flip it? Start with a plan and remember that everyone tolerates risk differently so decide what is realistic for you before proceeding.
5. Never assume it will appreciate: if you are buying a condo with a plan to resell it in the short term (3 – 5 years) maybe you should look outside major cities. With the explosion of the condo market, you may end up losing money when you have to lower your sale price to stay competitive. Do your research before buying.