How to get in on the Canadian condo craze

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Perhaps the best option for metropolitan-loving professionals who have the resources and desire to buy their very own property – a huge first step, congratulations! – is to buy in the form of yard maintenance-free, pretty-simple-to-care-for condominiums. Canadian condo starts are quickly increasing in bustling cities as part of the reason the number of property developments is increasing nationally.

Does condo development help the economy? You bet! Can condos be a more budget-friendly option for first-time homebuyers? Of course! So how can you get in on the condo craze, and what sorts of things should you consider when buying a condo? There are lots of choices, and with a bit of extra work, you can join the ranks of successful condo owners who made educated, successful choices.

What are we waiting for? Let's jump in while interest rates are low!

Condo types
Just like standalone homes and properties, condos come in all different shapes, sizes, price ranges and types. They may be nestled in highrises, town homes, row houses, duplex, single-detached buildings, stacked, part of a commercial building … the list can really go on and on. Basically, if it has multiple units, it can be a condo.

Should I buy a condo?
This question can be answered on a variety of factors, including financial considerations and future plans. For instance, first-time homebuyers who are relatively unsure if condo living will still be desired in a year's time may want to do a bit of serious thinkin' before taking the plunge into ownership.

However, people who know they want to buy a condo should be aware that condo payments are for more than an individual unit. Actually, the condo association may also require unit owners to also pay for a percentage of repairs, common property and maintenance, to name a few things. Before buying a condominium, it's important to carefully discuss the exact boundaries of each unit, especially because they may affect future plans for renovations and home projects.

Don't forget about condo restrictions and regulations
Although it's important to note that each individual condominium property may have unique regulations about pets and balcony restrictions, each province and territory also has unique legislation placing limitations on condo owners. Before buying a property, do some research in local areas, reach out to mortgage brokers and financial advisers, and ask local condo owners their opinions.

A few more considerations before becoming a condo owner
Are you so excited about potentially buying your own place that you could just scream? Wait just a minute – that's not something you will want to do often in a condo. Not only might neighbors get annoyed if you make excessive noise, but you also won't want to hear their music through the walls.

Although a benefit to owning and living in a condo is increased security and less required work – just think, you won't have to deal with the leaky roof, plus all strangers may have to sign in when entering the building – it may be wise to check with property managers and mortgage professionals to learn the ratio of owners to renters in the building. Although many condo owners continue to live in their units, some owners choose to buy another property and rent the condo to tenants. While it's not always the case, some renters may not value the condo as much and may be more lax about association rules and unit upkeep.

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