Things to Know Before Buying a Condo in Edmonton

You’ve made the decision to settle down and buy a condo in the City of Champions – congratulations! Buying a home is a monumental step in anyone’s life, whether it’s your first or your fifteenth time signing those papers. That said, every home purchase is different, and buying a condo in Edmonton is no different.

Want to know key considerations before becoming a condo owner in YEG? You’ve come to the right place. Read on to learn more about what to look out for, keep in mind, and be aware of when buying a condo in Alberta’s capital.

All the Freedom in the World – Mostly

One of the great things about becoming a homeowner is that suddenly, you’re free to do just about anything you’d like with your new digs. Want to hang a picture in the living room? Grab a hammer and go to town! Always had a dream of painting every room in your home a different colour of the rainbow? More power to you!

That said, there are some boundaries you’ll likely need to adhere to as a member of your condo community. Most buildings and complexes have certain restrictions around aesthetics and certain other details, often specifically when it comes to the exterior of your unit. Be sure to educate yourself on your condo’s unique controls and considerations before you crack that first can of paint open in order to save yourself the trouble of having to re-do the work over again (on your own dollar!) to be compliant.

In addition to these sorts of aesthetic and architectural controls, it’s also important to consider that your new condo community might have further bylaws in place that could impact your lifestyle. If you insist on living with no less than three full-grown Great Danes, for example, you’ll want to do your research in advance to ensure that your future home allows you to have a pack of horses – errrr, dogs – living in your unit, and that there aren’t already rules in place limiting number, size, or type of pets.

Location, Location, Location!

Regardless of whether you’re looking to buy a condo, a duplex, or a veritable mansion, location is the one factor you can’t change once you purchase, so be sure you set down roots in a place that suits your needs, wants, and expectations. Castle Downs is going to feel a whole lot different from The Meadows, which is going to be an entirely different living experience from Londonderry, so be sure to spend some time learning about your prospective neighbourhood in advance – especially if you’re coming from outside the Edmonton area entirely and the city is wholly unfamiliar to you.

Beyond just the neighbourhood’s curb appeal and associated amenities, be sure to consider your own lifestyle and how it might fit in with the area you’re looking to settle into. If you don’t have a car, for example, a big consideration might be finding a condo located along Edmonton’s robust network of bike paths or near a main transit hub. All of these factors will influence your quality of life and happiness just as much as the condo you end up purchasing itself, be sure to give them equal consideration throughout the home-hunting process!

Ensuring Your Insurance is Reassuring

As a soon-to-be condo owner, the entire concept of insurance just got a whole lot complicated for you. Sorry…not sorry? Gone are the days when simple renter’s insurance would give you the coverage you needed. Now, you’ve got to worry about a whole slew of options, coverages, and concerns that you were most likely previously blissfully unaware of. Lucky you!

This topic is actually one that’s fairly in-depth and realistically deserving of its own blog article (which, will you look at that, we’ve got a link to right here), but to break things down quickly, the first thing you’ll want to do is look at your condo’s master policy, which will insure things like the building’s structure, common property areas, and the like. From there, you need to consider personal condo insurance in order to cover your own personal property, the contents therein (i.e. all your stuff), liability within your own personal unit (in case a guest slips down the stairs and attempts to sue you), and more.

Ideally, you should have personal condo insurance in place for the day you move in. From there, if you intend to rent the unit out, there’s additional coverage to look into, but that’s an article for another day.

Condo Living (in Close Quarters)

It might seem obvious, but condo living comes along with certain considerations and peculiarities that you might not otherwise experience in, say, a single detached home. For example, your proximity to your neighbours is much more immediate – in fact, they’ll be sharing the same wall as you.

For many folks, this isn’t an issue at all – but if you’re somebody who regularly makes a habit of enjoying hair metal cranked up to an 11 at 2 in the morning, you might need to re-evaluate either your decision to live in a condo or your daily routine in general (or both! 😉).

In addition to simply being courteous to your neighbours, it’s worth noting that a little friendliness can go a long way in close living quarters. In fact, there are some real positives to living in a tight condo community, including the fact that once you get to know your neighbours, you’ll undoubtedly start to keep an eye out for one another, providing an additional level of comfort and security when you’re away from home. So, stop and say hi to those folks in your building or complex, and enjoy the benefits of being part of a bigger community.

Becoming a condo owner is a big, exciting adventure, and we couldn’t be more excited for those of you about to experience it for the very first time. Good luck, or as they say in Bonnie Doon, bonne chance! If you’ve got more questions about first-time condo ownership or are wondering about condo management services in Edmonton in general, feel free to get in touch with us at Catalyst Condo Management Ltd today. You only get to buy your first condo once – we’ll be happy to help make sure it’s a memorable, positive experience!