Condos are booming in Toronto, with plenty of options on offer to suit all kinds of preferences. However, finding one that you fall in love with, that’s in your price range and is in a desirable neighborhood is only the beginning – there are many factors that buyers should consider before purchasing their dream home in Toronto.
Read on for some of the most important questions you should be asking your realtor before you buy.
What other costs do I need to cover when purchasing?
From appraisal fees and mortgage insurance to HST and land transfer tax, condos can come with a significant amount of extra costs, which vary from home to home.
If you are buying pre-construction you will also be required to contribute to the condos emergency fund, and if you don’t move in immediately you may need to pay occupancy fees.
What insurance do I need?
The corporation's insurance may cover you for some things, however, you will most likely need to take out your own insurance of some sort. This varies between different buildings, and it’s important to be clear from the start in order to budget appropriately and ensure that your home and possessions are protected.
How much are the condo fees and what do they cover?
Condo owners pay a monthly fee which goes into a communal fund to pay for the upkeep, repairs, and maintenance of amenities and communal areas.
The amount paid varies significantly between different buildings, based on factors such as the age of the building, number of units and cost of maintenance. Find out exactly how much the fees will be and exactly what’s covered.
Are there rules about the number of people who can live in the unit?
Many condo corporations enforce a maximum occupancy limit, restricting the number of people who can live in a unit. In Toronto, this is often one person per square footage or two people per sleeping room. Whether you are planning to live in the unit yourself or rent it out, this could be an important deciding factor.
Are there rules about renting out the unit?
In Toronto, most condominium buildings do allow owners to rent out their unit, but often have restrictions such as specifying a minimum rental period of one year.
It’s essential to check the rules before you buy if you want to lease out your home for longer periods or short-term holiday rentals. Even if you plan to live in the unit yourself, you may change your mind in the future.
Are pets allowed?
While many condo buildings in Toronto do allow pets, they often impose restrictions on the number of pets allowed and the size of pets. If you are planning to let out your unit, allowing pets could give you an advantage over other landlords.
If you want to live in the unit yourself, it would be a disaster to learn too late that your pet couldn’t join you.