Buying

Why You Should Consider an Apartment

Photo by   Pixabay   from   Pexels

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

You deserve to live in a home that you love. It needs to have all of the amenities and features that not only provide convenience but offer you comfort and relaxation. While a single-family home can provide all of this for you, plus much more, it isn’t the only housing option you should consider. An apartment or condo are housing options that have many benefits but are often overlooked. Here are several reasons why you should consider renting an apartment. 

1. The Finances

One of the benefits of choosing an apartment is the cost. Over the past several years in the Toronto area, housing prices have increased. This has made it increasingly hard for many individuals, particularly first-time homebuyers, to purchase a home. They do not have the down payment and other expenses saved up to qualify for a home loan. 

When you choose an apartment, this is not a worry. Rent is much less expensive each month than a monthly mortgage payment in the GTA. You also don’t need the money to pay for maintenance and expenses on the home. If money is already tight, you can keep yourself in a much stronger financial situation with an apartment. 

2. The Responsibility

There are many benefits to owning a home. However, with these benefits comes much responsibility. It will require a substantial amount of time, energy, and money to keep your property in tip-top condition. However, this is not the case with an apartment. In most situations, the landlord or a handyman hired by the landlord will handle all of the maintenance and repairs for the apartment.

3. Location

Photo by   Burst   from   Pexels

Photo by Burst from Pexels

No matter what part of the city you choose to live in, you can typically find an apartment available. This is beneficial if you want to live right in the heart of downtown to make commuting and proximity to various amenities much easier. However, keep in mind that when you live closer to downtown or in busy and popular areas of the city, you will find higher monthly rent rates than elsewhere. 

4. Flexibility

When you purchase a home, you will want to reside in the area for several years. If not, you may find that you lose a considerable amount of money when selling your home. It can also be a major hassle to move from one area to the next. However, this is not the case with an apartment. Moving from place to place is as simple as canceling an upcoming lease. You don’t need to go through any complex or overwhelming selling processes. This is particularly ideal if you do not like your apartment or your current location. 

Living in an apartment has many benefits but it may not be the best choice for all individuals. Before you decide whether a single-family home or an apartment is the right choice for you, you will want to weigh the pros and cons of each and look carefully at your own financial situation and housing needs. 

Get in touch to learn more. 

Can I Afford a Condo in Toronto?

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It is no secret that condo prices in Toronto are high, but how high are they? 

During the first quarter of the year, condo prices have increased by 3.6%. With this increase, the average condo price in Toronto is now $600,000. These high and crazy prices have made it difficult for many homebuyers to afford and even consider condo living in this city. 

Are Condo Prices Expected to Keep Rising?  

While condo prices certainly rose during the first quarter, this was actually the slowest increase since 2015. The price per square foot for a condo also saw its lowest increase since 2014, which was only 3.3% or $683. This may mean the market is slowly cooling off but if you have any plans to purchase a condo in the future, you will still want to prepare accordingly. The average price for a 3-bedroom condo in the city is $800,000 while a studio condo will still cost you half a million dollars. 

Additionally, condos may become more affordable in the future due to their heavy supply. According to Urbanation, during the first quarter of 2019, there were 71,378 condo units under construction.

How to Improve Your Chances of Purchasing a Condo in Toronto

If you are interested in purchasing a condo in Toronto, you will need to prepare. The high prices will make it harder to qualify and become approved for a mortgage. Here are just a few things to consider before you seriously begin the house hunt. 

Improve Your Credit Score

Your credit score tells lenders about your financial history and habits. If you have a high score, lenders are more likely to let you borrow large sums of money and you will qualify for lower interest rates. If your credit score is low, it is in your best interest to work on improving it before the pre-approval process.  

Pay Off Your Debt

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Your debt not only plays a role in your credit score but also in whether a lender will approve your loan. Ideally, all of your debts should not exceed 40% of your gross income. These debts include your housing, automobile, consumer debts, etc. If you have a substantial amount of debt, work on lowering it before you jump into the real estate market. 

Work With a Qualified Real Estate Agent

If you are interested in purchasing a condo or another housing option in the Toronto area, you want to work with a qualified real estate agent. This professional knows the ins and outs of the market and can help you find a home that you will love and can afford. Make sure to discuss your budget with your agent and some of the features you want and desire in your next house.  

While there are signs of the condo market slowing down, prices are still significantly high. Be prepared for purchasing a home by improving your credit score, paying off debt, and working with a qualified agent who can help you find the right home at the right price. 

Get in touch to learn more. 

Who’s Responsible for Repairs in a Condo?

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So you’ve purchased your new condo, or you are thinking about it. You're probably feeling really excited and a little overwhelmed. One of the main reasons you might be purchasing a condo is the lack of maintenance that you have to do. No snow to clear, no lawn to cut. You can basically lock the door and be on your way. But what if something happens inside your new condo? Or what if the window starts to leak? Who fixes that? Is that something that you have to pay for?

Some upkeep is done by the condo owners, and some is done by the condo corporation. To make matters more complicated, no two condos are alike. You will be required to do some research on the building you are interested in.

Condo owners are responsible for paying for the ongoing maintenance and repair of their units. The condominium declaration will define the unit’s boundaries. It may or may not include what is behind the walls, so it is advised to have your legal representative look over the declaration.

The Corporation is responsible for covering the costs of ongoing maintenance of common elements of the condo such as the parking lots and main lobby. Normally, some of your monthly condo fees will be put towards paying for these items.

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Some things to consider:

Timing

The Condominium Act requires that unit owners make sure repairs are done within a reasonable timeframe.

Damage

The Act requires that the corporation fix the condos and common elements immediately after damage, however, this obligation is typically altered by the corporation’s declaration. That is why it is important to read the document.    

Costs

The corporation uses funds from your condo fees to repair any damages. They cannot refuse to fix damages because of a financial shortage. They can, within some rules, raise your fees, or do a special assessment, or take a loan to top of the reserve fund.

Reserve fund

The Act requires the corporation to go through reserve fund studies from time to time to determine whether the corporation has enough funds for any upcoming repairs.

Delayed work

Condo corporations may decide to defer certain recommended repairs or maintenance if it is not urgent or if there are financial constraints. However, there are always risks, such as the failure of equipment or structures, secondary damage, or minor repairs that can develop into major issues.

You want to have a look at all of the condo corporation documents before you enter into a deal to purchase a condo. Not taking the time to research could be costly.

Get in touch to learn more.