Canada's Condominium Magazine
Once you have decided on the type of building you want, you should consider the overall costs and convenience of each of your remaining options.
Affordability of Condominiums Available
You have been pre-approved for a loan, and you are all set to take out said loan in order to make your condo purchase. However, it would be beneficial to first determine what that means for you and your wallet. The loan you take will be converted to your mortgage, which will also include interest. Is the amount you are offered (or seeking) a cost you can afford to pay long-term, while still living comfortably? Are you willing to sacrifice comfort to land that dream condo in a prime location, or vice versa?
Additional Expenses and Fees
When calculating your monthly costs, you will need to factor in additional costs, just as you would if you continued renting. Some of these include utilities, maintenance fees, condo board dues, and insurance. When searching for your ideal home, be sure to find out plenty of information about each condo, including the size and layout, the age of the building and features, and the efficiency of the appliances. This information will help you to determine the price of utilities, as well as the frequency at which maintenance and repairs are to be expected.
Consider the possibilities as well. What types of upgrades and improvements could be made to lower your costs for each condo? Inquire about reserve funds and their use in future repairs and determine if there are any outstanding repairs, maintenance currently needed, or assessments underway.
Location and Accessibility
When searching for a condo, or any home for that matter, a key factor in narrowing down the search is location. Work and school are significant aspects of our lives. The majority of people travel to these locations five out of seven days a week, so the distance to these places ranks high on the list of determining factors. Consider also the distance from the condo and other places regularly visited, such as grocery stores, pharmacies, and restaurants. Running errands is much easier and far less time-consuming if everything is within walking distance of your home, and the location of your home factors a great deal in your overall costs, as long commutes tend to eat up your budget as well (gas or electricity for powering your vehicle, transit costs if utilized, etc.).
However, that is not necessarily the best option for everyone. Some people prefer a life of serenity and would happily trade in convenience and high commuting costs for their own personal retreat. In this case, the best options are those that lie outside of the hustle and bustle of city living. Time and distance should still be considered, as time spent commuting is time not spent on hobbies and with family and friends. For this reason, many choose homes that are close enough to work to significantly cut down on travel time, yet far enough away that they are cut off from the chaos and noise.