By Condo Culture
Last month, we hosted our First Time Condo Buyer Happy Hour in collaboration with Scotiabank, to provide first time buyers an opportunity to get in front of real estate and financial experts and get the answers they need. If you are thinking about buying a condo but were unable to attend this event, no worries. Here are our top tips for shopping the K-W real estate market for the first time.
Assemble the right team. You want to be sure that you're working with the best in the industry. Not only should your mortgage broker, realtor and lawyer be knowledgeable but they need to be the right fit for you. You'll be spending a lot of time with them, and the process can be quite stressful, so make sure you're comfortable and with people you trust. You also want to ensure that they will dedicate the necessary time to finding your perfect condo and be able to answer all of your questions (no matter how many you may have). Don't be afraid to chat with a number of different professionals until you find someone you trust to walk you through this process.
Start to jot down exactly what you're looking for in a condo. Consider how many bedrooms, bathrooms, parking spots and sq ft. you would need. Think about the location, whether you would like to be in an urban core, uptown or downtown, have easy access to the LRT, or perhaps even prefer something more suburban? Would a terrace suite be a better fit or do you prefer a higher floor with panoramic views? Are there any building amenities that are a must have? There are many things to consider, but remember your real estate agent can help you narrow your choices down based on your preferences. Finally, depending on your timeline, you may also want to consider a pre-construction project (a condo development that has not been built yet), that may allow for you to purchase at a lower price point or other interesting opportunities.
Do your homework. Shop around, a lot! Make sure you understand the market, the neighbourhood, the buildings. Your team of professionals will have this information but you also want to be equipped to ask the right questions and know exactly what you're looking for. Condoculture.ca is an excellent resource for tapping into what is available. The buy tab will take you to condos that are available for resale while the new development tab will focus on pre-construction projects. You can also check out Realtor.ca which has all real estate listings available in Canada and is a more general real estate tool.
Speak to your financial advisor or mortgage broker as soon as possible. You want to get a good idea on how much you qualify for and what those monthly payments would look like (you may be surprised that they aren't that different from what you may be paying in rent). If you haven't saved your down payment, it would also be helpful to get tips and strategies on how best to do so.
At Condo Culture, we're 100% focused on condos and sell more condos* than any other brokerage in the region. If you're thinking about condos, feel free to stop into our Kitchener, Waterloo or Hamilton Condo Stores for a chat at any time. Happy condo buying!
*Stats on right based on the average number of condominum sale transactions completed (total buying and selling ends) per REALTOR® in Kitchener, Waterloo, Hamilton, Burlington, Cambridge and Guelph during the one year period ending October 31, 2019. Average transaction count based on total number of condo buying and selling ends completed through the ORTIS MLS® system and the total members belonging to each respective real estate board in those cities. Average Condo Culture® transaction count based on the total buying and selling ends completed off-market and through the ORTIS MLS® system by Condo Culture® resale representatives across the same geographic area.