As a first-time buyer, looking for a condo can be a daunting task especially when you consider that there is more to the process than simply going to multiple open houses and then making a selection. In order to get past that just looking, dreaming and wishing stage, you need to get serious with a plan that includes a hard look at your financial capacity to purchase. No need to waste time looking at something that you can’t actually purchase, so you need to know where you stand and choose the best suitable property for you.
Here are four helpful tips to get you started.
What Is Your Budget
The first step before looking for a condo is to know about your financial capacity to purchase. What does your down payment look like, what are gross earnings per month, how much are you’re your monthly expenses. In short, you need to put together an accurate budget before you go condo shopping. This is the most important part of the buying process. Are you pre-approved for a mortgage? If you do not have a pre-approved mortgage, then apply for it. Your mortgage broker or financial institution will work with you to go through your personal financial profile and give you an estimate of how much of a loan you are able to qualify for and at which interest rate. In recent years, banks in some parts of the world such as Canada have changed their lending criteria making it harder to qualify for higher sums for a standard mortgage. Moreover, you may need to have up to 20% of the price of the property as a down payment so make sure that you know your personal situation.
Hire A Professional
Many newcomers get overwhelmed by the real estate buying process. It can be easy to get bogged down trying to find the perfect condo on your own. Rather than wasting a lot of time searching for condos, you can hire a professional realtor to help you through the process to get effective and successful results. These professionals have experience and know-how to find the best real estate for your needs. Moreover, they have all the best information and experience so that you can make an informed decision of neighborhoods, buildings and developers. For example, you may have found the condo of your dreams, but the seller is asking for too much money for your budget. A real-estate professional can help to negotiate the best price and deal with all the complex paperwork to ensure good results.
You need to keep this in mind that condos are not like living in a single-family home. There are additional monthly ownership expenses to consider. Condo buildings are managed as an association with shared maintenance and ownership costs split amongst owners. The association usually hires a management company to oversee the building and all necessary maintenance. They collect a monthly condo fee from owners. The monthly condo fee varies depending on the size of the property. It expenses like cleaning the common areas, cutting the grass, minor renovations, etc. So, whenever you buy a condo, you need to access the condo association and consider the condo fee cost in your buying criteria.
Which Location Suits You
Finally, you are ready to move onto your home search for the perfect condo. You have a budget; you know your purchase capacity and now it’s time to start searching. It’s time to select a neighborhood. This is a very crucial step; you need to analyze your personality traits to find the best area that suits you. It is not an easy decision to decide where you want to live. If you have not yet decided, then visit all the possible places and spend some time there and talk with the locals. If you are going to start a family soon, then look for daycares, schools, and parks in the neighborhood.
In the end, we recommend that you be patient and take your time throughout the process. After all, this is your first condo purchase.