If you’re ready to purchase your first condo – congratulations! Once you’ve reached this point, it can feel exciting, daunting and even a little overwhelming. But with all of those emotions fluttering about, it’s important to stay focused and be clear when making important decisions during the purchase process. One of the best ways to keep your condo-buying process smooth and exciting is to do your research and be prepared in order to avoid the common pitfalls. Learn more with these essential tips for first-time condo buyers.
Hire Experts To Help
Every home buying process involves layers of information and important, financial, and legal jargon that can sometimes be complicated to fully comprehend. That’s why having a few experts by your side is not only helpful – it’s essential. If you’re just beginning your condo hunt, it’s always worth it to hire these three experts: a real estate agent, a mortgage advisor, and a lawyer.
An agent will do the legwork with property searches, helping you navigate through the complex purchase process and drafting up necessary documents. The mortgage advisor will help you find the right lender for your financial situation and future needs. Finally, a lawyer will provide their meticulous eyes to ensure that all legal documents are accurate and with your best interests protected. Having these three key experts to assist during your condo hunt will not only save you time and stress, but they can also help to ensure you are not left with any financial or legal burdens after everything is said and done.
Although your agent will provide you with pictures and descriptions, they mostly work off of multiple listing services. This means they’re sometimes limited on the depth of information they offer. However, it doesn’t mean it’s all the information that’s available. In our current digital age, you can easily hop online to do some research of your own and dig a little deeper.
Many developers are now heightening their online presence. Today, you can find entire websites dedicated to offering the detailed information you need to make an informed decision. Some developers, like Beaverbrook in Edmonton, are even hosting pop-up shops that let visitors explore their different properties using virtual reality. This is a big time saver since it allows you to get a realistic tour of condos without having to visit each one.
Get A Mortgage Pre-Approval
Have you heard about the latest government changes to the qualification process? These new set of rules have made it a little more complicated when it comes to getting a mortgage for first-time condo buyers. Fortunately, a mortgage advisor can help. They can find an appropriate lender who will grant a mortgage pre-approval. This one important step will lock in a rate for you and place you miles ahead of your competition.
Use Government Programs To Your Advantage
There are also a number of government programs that have been put in place for first-time home buyers. If you qualify, you can take advantage of the Home Buyer’s Program to withdraw up to $25,000 from your RRSP to help fund your down payment. You may also be eligible for the First-Time Home Buyer’s Tax Credit that offers a non-refundable tax credit of $750 to help you offset some of the closing costs. And, if you don’t have 20% down payment saved up, CMHC offers Mortgage Default Insurance which can help you get financing from a reputable institution.
Be Clear On the Closing Costs
Before you sign on the dotted line, make sure that you are clear about the overall closing costs. Your lawyer and realtor can help you calculate these before you commit. Not having a thorough understanding of these costs before you enter into a contract, could put you under financial strain later on and even land you in significant debt.
It also doesn’t hurt to have a reserve fund saved up to cover your first-year expenses – maintenance fees, property taxes, insurance — and to also cover any reno projects that you may want to be done once you move in, like painting and decorating.
When you’re ready to begin condo hunt, remember these essential tips for first-time condo buyers so you can steer clear of those costly errors and find the right property, hassle-free.
While you’re exploring, don’t miss out on touring CX Lofts & Townhomes in Grandin. Located in a quaint area just minutes from downtown, here you can relish in comfort and luxury with modern, industrial designs and elegant finishes. With on-site amenities, like bike storage, pet-friendly green space, a dog wash station, a fitness space, and even electric cars for rent, CX is designed to make your life better than ever. When you’re ready to explore CX Lofts & Townhomes, come by our pop-up shop in Edmonton City Centre Mall to learn more and take a virtual tour.