10 uncommon things to consider when buying a condo

Alyssa Furtado
by Alyssa Furtado March 30, 2011 / 6 Comments

Our friend Shadi Nasseri, a driven and energetic young real estate lawyer, is guest blogging this week for RateHub. As an expert in the field, Shadi has formulated a list of commonly overlooked criteria to be mindful of when buying a condo.

Neighbors – consider the general population of the condominium. A condominium may have 100s if not 1000s of residents all living in a relatively small corner of the earth and forming a community. Visit the condominium more than once at different times of the day and different days of the week. Are there numerous units with music and parties on a given Saturday night? Examine the demographics of the residents (i.e. average age, whether residents are students, professionals, or retirees, etc.) and ask yourself whether it’s a community you want to be a part of?

Distance to your parking spot – time how long it takes to get from the unit you are considering to the assigned parking spot, and consider yourself carrying bags of groceries for the entire distance!

Distance to the garbage chute/elevators – make sure your unit is not too close to the elevator or the garbage chute – both can be quite noisy and disturbing.

Height – consider how comfortable you are with heights; higher isn’t necessarily better for everyone. Make sure you’re okay walking outside on the balcony. Also consider if you’re able to take the stairs should the elevators ever stop functioning in times of emergency.

The condo board – ask to visit a meeting if possible. If not, request a copy of the meeting minutes, and consider the topics in questions and the position taken by each board member.

Visitor’s parking – are there enough spots relative to the number of units? If not, consider whether there are public parking lots within walking distance

Location of the Party/Recreation Room – make sure the unit you’re considering is not located in the vicinity of, or directly above or below the party/recreation room.

Free cable –  okay perhaps this one isn’t “critical” but it never hurts to check. Some condominiums offer free cable services or reduced rates with certain cable providers. Considering the monthly cost of these services, it could be a great bonus feature.

Elevators –  make sure there are a reasonable number of elevators and that the wait-times for the elevators are manageable, especially during busy times.

Vicinity of Construction – construction can be a quite a nuisance (e.g. noisy, dusty, etc.) and disruptive (e.g.  road closures). Look out for construction sites close by. With so many new condos going up, especially in Toronto, and more people transitioning to the condo lifestyle, finding a construction-free zone is hard to come by!

Shadi Nasseri

10 King Street East, Suite 1400
Toronto, Ontario,
Canada M5C 1C3

www.mytorontorealestatelawyer.com


  • phil says:

    Dont forget cell phone reception!

  • Thanks for such a great article to share with. These are things that buyers should definitely consider when buying a condo and those information would really help.

  • Reagen says:

    Most Filipinos often get too excited when purchasing a condo and often forgot about these things leading them to stress of post-condo ownership. Among the above mentioned i consider looking at your possible neighbors, proximity to garbage chute and construction site to be the most critical. Knowing these things before hand can save from a disappointing investment.

  • Dan F says:

    Also test the heating and cooling system. I made the mistake of buying without testing the A/C unit. It’s terribly noisy and not very efficient.

  • REW.ca says:

    Great article! One more thing to consider is what proportion of the units can be rentals. Many people prefer to live in a condo community that restricts rentals because everyone living there will have a serious stake in its upkeep and future. Investors want the freedom to rent the unit out.