Before buying a condo in London Ontario, following these ideas, tips and real life experiences and then implementing them will save you money, time, worry and allow you to sleep better!
Buying a condo in London & South West Ontario can be a roller coaster of emotions …. Finding the right one that fits your budget and lifestyle…. Securing a mortgage….. moving in. And, if you’re like most, this condo may be your largest investment. Emotions over such a large and personal purchase can often cloud common sense & unbridled enthusiasm.
Many condo buyers do very little research before “diving in” and investing their hard-earned money. Oh, they may have been going to ‘open houses’, searching MLS or viewing realtor websites and that is usually all they do, but there is more that could be done before making an offer.
Below are a few ideas and with the help of the right real estate professional, (ask them these 11 questions first)you’ll make a good sound decision that you’ll be happy and proud of for years to come.
Inspect, Review and Double Check:
Get a home inspection by a professional home inspector who is thorough and can explain to you his or her findings. For apartment condos, you may or may not want to do the inspection yourself because the windows, doors, roof etc are covered by the condo corporation. Turn on all the appliances, the heat or A/C, all lights, flush the toilets and run all the taps in the house and check electrical switches and receptacles.
Have your lawyer review the Status Certificate which will cover the by-laws and fees, restrictions and the financial staus of the condo corporation.
Don’t take anything for granted… inspect everything!
Imagine the unit vacant:
Your furnishings and decorations will be the ones filling this new residence. Don’t be swayed by beautiful furniture….it leaves with the owner.
Income plus Lifestyle Equals Mortgage Payment:
Sit down with us and honestly discuss your income level and living expenses. Take into account future considerations like: job security or transfer, life style, amenities or fix-ups.
View More Than One Building or Neighbourhood:
Go through at least 4-6 properties. Don’t get excited on the first property you see, if you really like it, use it as a yard stick and if the others do not compare, act quickly. With a patient Realtor, you’ll be able to view enough properties to get a good overall perspective of your market. And when you find the right property, all the leg work will be worth it.
Utilize The Professionals You Are Working With:
By aligning yourself with the right real estate professional, you’ll have an entire group of professionals working for you. Top Realtors have lenders, inspectors, appraisers, lawyers, trades people, cleaners….an entire group of trained professionals making the whole buying experience simple and easy for you.
More Checking to Do:
Check out all your costs and expense before you sign: condo fees, utilities, cable, taxes and insurance. Make sure all utilities are on (gas, electricity, and water) when you do see the unit, so you can inspect everything is in working order, Ask lots of questions and be very detail conscious. (I use a detailed room by room review manual with every client, it covers everything)
Do a Final Walk-Through Before Closing:
Visit the property 2-3 days with your Realtor before you move in to make sure there are no surprises. Be absolutely sure the appliances, fixtures and any chattels are still there as you had agreed upon when the offer was accepted. Many times, things are unintentionally overlooked that could have been spotted in a final walk-through. (This is a standard clause in my Agreement of Purchase and Sale)
Plan for Flexibility if Needed:
Closing dates are not written in stone. Allow for contingencies and have a back-up plan. If you or the sellers need a little more time to conclude the final arrangements, don’t let these delays upset or frustrate you. These types of circumstances are not uncommon in a real estate transaction; however, with a great real estate professional and his/her teams, this will seldom occur.
If it’s Not in Writing, It Doesn’t Exist:
All promises and discussions are to be in writing. Don’t make any assumptions or believe any assurances from any one. Even the best intentions can be misinterpreted. Have your real estate professional keep an ongoing log (in writing) of all discussions, and get the seller’s written approval for all agreements.