So you have been looking through the listings of Toronto condos for sale, and you think you may have narrowed things down to a style, price range, and neighbourhood you feel comfortable with. You're almost ready to start making offers, but wait. Do you really know all that you need to when it comes to buying a home, and specifically a condo, for the first time? Here are a few different things you need to think about before you buy.
The interest rate on your mortgage
Obviously, different condo units are priced differently. However, how much you REALLY pay will be almost entirely based on the interest rate on your mortgage, and the length of a term. A lot of first time buyers of Yorkville real estate are shocked to learn that over the amortization period on a home can end up costing double, or more, of what the listing price actually was.
Now, in a lot of cases you are not going to be able to avoid average interest rates. However, keep in mind that this is a very high loan you are taking out. Even a half a percentage point can mean saving, or spending, thousands of extra dollars over the payout period. Many realtors have ways of finding their clients the best interest deals possible, through private lenders for mortgages and so on.
In fact, you will find that some brokerages team up with mortgage lenders in order to offer their clients a one two punch, taking care of both the house search and the lending. The Sutton members program is one example of such a partnership, where a real estate brokerage has partnered with a lender to offer their clients some of the most competitive rates possible.
Another often overlooked part of buying a condo in Toronto are the strata fees. These fees are what is paid to the development company each month in order to maintain the common areas of a condo complex.
There are two things to keep in mind when it comes to your strata fees. The first is that generally, the more amenities there are in a building, the higher the fees will be. That exercise room, rooftop lounge, and pool all look great, but nothing comes for free! You can bet high strata fees are going to be a part of any high end condo unit that your Toronto real estate agent is showing you. It's up to you to determine if that price is worthwhile.
The second thing to keep in mind about strata fees is that they are almost guaranteed to go up over the lifetime of your condo ownership. You need to know about any specific laws which apply to strata fee increases so you can budget those into your five year plan.
Owning a condo is great, but as with any real estate transaction there are lots of little bits of information you might not know about at first. Check Toronto blogs and ask your real estate agent about all the pertinent information which goes along with a condo purchase, so you buy well prepared.