tips for buying a condo

Toronto’s skyline is rapidly changing as condominium ownership continues to climb. The very notion of condo ownership can be terrifying but fear not, the following tips for buying a condo will help you make an informed decision on your building and unit.

Here are our 5 tips for buying a condo in Toronto.

  1. Know Yourself

One of the best tips for buying a condo is to ask yourself the following questions. Do you like the communal aspect of condominium living? Are you buying the property as an investment or a home for yourself? Are you single/married? Do you plan on expanding your family? Do you have pets? Where do you work? What form of transportation do/will you take? Will you need a parking space? Will you need extra storage space? Will you relocate for a job? Once you have a clear idea of who you are, and where you want to be in the future, you can create a list of criteria of all your needs and relate it to buying a condo. This process is necessary to narrow down the Toronto real estate search.

  1. Know Your Rights & The Rules

Condominiums have varied by-laws, rules, and restrictions. Go over the condo corporation’s declaration very closely. Educate yourself as best you can.  You can learn more about your rights in Ontario’s Condominium Act. If you’re unsure of anything, consult your lawyer.

  1. Be Wary of Hidden Fees

Monthly maintenance condo fees cover the costs of keeping common space and elements in good conditions. They also help pay for operating costs of facilities and pay the wages of condominium staff, like security, cleaners, and concierge. Said fees can increase at any time, but they typically only do once a year. With newly built condominium units, there is a period between when you take occupancy and when you take ownership. During this ‘interim occupancy’, or ‘occupancy period’, the developer will request the occupant to pay occupancy fees or ‘phantom rent’.

  1. Do Your Research Online

Learn everything about your desired location and its proximity to relevant amenities and resources. Weigh all the pros and cons of buying a condo that you can. Research the condo developer and corporation. Make sure that the developer has a reputable history with lots of good experience building condos. Research the construction company behind the building, and even the architect/architect firm who created it. Research the condo’s management. Ask your realtor to give you a detailed history of the property if it was previously owned. You should also ask for a future projection of the resale price. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s Tip Sheet provides a throughout checklist which covers all the basic research that should be conducted.

  1. Do Your Research In-Person

Evaluate the building’s current residents; condo demographics will have a strong impact on resale value, and the overall satisfaction of your residence. Assess the building’s overall physical condition. You can even consult a home inspector. Meet the building staff in person. Talk to as many of them as you can, and ask for their honest opinions. See the unit in person. See multiple units within that building. Don’t be afraid to ask your Realtor questions while on-site.


If you have any questions about our tips for buying a condo be sure to get in contact with us today!


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