Buying Into the Condo Lifestyle
So – you’ve heard from all your condo-dwelling friends just how excellent condo ownership can be, and now you’re looking to make it happen for yourself.
We’re huge fans of the condo lifestyle and everything that comes with it. The community, convenience, and contractors handling all the snow shovelling are the best.
That said, it’s worth noting that some differences come along with condo living that is worth considering and considering as you make your dream of condo ownership come true.
Hmm? What might those details be, you ask? Well, wouldn’t you know it, but we’ve got a whole blog digging into the details right here.
Five Things to Consider When Considering Condo Living
1. First Things First: Are You SURE Condo Living is for You?
Before we get into what you should consider when cruising the condo marketplace, it’s essential to ask yourself first: are you 100% sure that condo living’s right for you?
We say not to deter you from dropping a down payment on a condo unit, but multi-person living differs from living in a single-dwelling home.
Be sure you’ve considered everything – from shared investment to shared common spaces to shared walls – and consider all the pros and cons before leaping to ensure the landing is one you’ll be happy with.
2. Find the Right Realtor for the Job
First, if you’re looking to buy a condo, come prepared with a realtor who knows their way around things.
To clarify, this isn’t a realtor who “also sells condos,” but a condo realtor by trade – someone who makes their living exclusively or near-exclusively in the realm of condo real estate. Find someone who understands the unique condo market like the back of their hand, knows what questions to ask and what concerns to worry about, and you’ll be setting yourself up for condo ownership success right from the get-go.
3. Amenities, Amenities, Amenities!
The location used to be the critical consideration regarding real estate desirability – but condo amenities are king when buying and selling condos today.
The number and style of amenities offered often go beyond simply setting a building apart. Instead, they can dictate the overall positioning or vibe of a building, even influencing the type of individuals looking to own there and the community created as a result.
Have a family? Look for a condo with kid-friendly amenities like play places and daycare. Are fur babies more than your style? Plenty of buildings cater to folks whose pooches are their pride and joy. More focused on your career?
Find your condo – and your community – by paying attention to the amenities a condo building has to offer, and you’ll be sure to fall in love with your new home before the realtor even gets the chance to say, “Sold!”
4. Find a Building with Bylaws that Work for You
You’ve decided condo living is right for you. You’ve found a realtor who knows their way around condos. You’ve found a building with the right amenities and community. You’re taking all the steps toward making the condo lifestyle yours.
One thing to remember is to ensure that a condo community doesn’t just appeal to you but that it aligns with your lifestyle on a fundamental level – and that means getting a sense of their bylaws.
This includes overarching broad strokes like the responsibilities of condo board members and your building’s particular right-to-entry guidelines but also encapsulates more specific and potentially deal-breaking details such as pet type and size restrictions, renovation specifics, aesthetic controls, parking regulations, and more.
So if you’ve got a collection of cars that all need their own parking spaces or a big ol’ Doberman that you can’t bear to part with, remember to check those bylaws before falling too far in love with a condo building.
And speaking of things worth checking out as you look around…
5. Get the 411 on that Reserve Fund
Suppose you’re starting to get a little more serious about condo ownership in general and a particular building. In that case, one of the more essential steps you can take is to get a sense of where that building’s reserve fund is sitting. Do they have any major maintenance projects planned for the future? Should they, given the age and health of the building? Are there ample funds set aside for those costs?
Finally, the biggest red flag to look out for is: have any special levies been issued in the corporation’s recent history? One special levy for relevant reasons can happen to any building, but much more than that, and you might want to consider finding a building with better financial management to call home.
A condo isn’t just any old purchase – it’s an investment, a home, and the most significant purchase many people will make in their lifetime. So be smart, do your homework, and you’ll live that sweet condo life in a great building before long.
Want to learn more about condo living and find a suitable building and unit to call home? Get in touch with us at Catalyst Condo Management today!