There are many reasons why buying a condo could be the right choice for your first - or next - home.

Lower Cost
One of the big draws of a condo purchase is affordability.  The high density of most condo buildings, together with the number of developments in many areas of the country, means you'll find unit at a range of price points - often at a cost much lower than a single-family detached home.  If you are a first-time buyer, a condo can be a good entry point into homeownership.

Less Maintenance
Maintenance of the common areas - such as clearing snow from walkways, cutting the grass, and vacuuming hallways - is taken care of by the condo corporation through the monthly maintenance fees that you pay as a unit owner.  That means a lot less time and effort spent on doing day-to-day chores.

Enhanced Security
Many condos have enhanced security systems that the typical house can't match.  These may include features such as double-entry systems, security cameras, two-way voice communication stations, and a 24-hour concierge.  You may also have an intrusion alarm in your suite.

Predictable Costs
As a unit owner, you'll know exactly what your monthly maintenance fee is, which makes budgeting a little more predictable.  Keep in mind that, as with any owned property, there may occasionally be larger projects to finance that require additional resources.

Convenient Location
Condos typically are situated in highly desirable downtown locations or close to transit systems.  This can be a real plus if you want to take advantage of urban activities or if you work downtown and want to live close to work or within an easy commute.

On-site Amenities
Amenities, such as fitness facilities and entertainment areas, can be a big drawing feature of some buildings.  If you make use of these areas, they could save you money and will certainly extend your enjoyment of condo living.


If you're shopping for a home, you probably have a list of features that you really want.  Here are three more "must haves" to add - essentials that no buyer should be without!

1. Your home buying team.  The key members of your team are your real estate agent, mortgage broker and lawyer or notary.  These experts will provide you with advice on homes and neighbourhoods, financing options, contracts, and paperwork.
Their guidance will help ensure that you understand what you are buying, how you are financing it, and aware of your legal rights and responsibilities.

2. A pre-approved mortgage.  This important tool empowers you to hunt for a home with confidence.  By telling you up-front how much you qualify to borrow, the pre-approved mortgage helps narrow your search to home you know you can afford, saving you valuable time.
Once you find a home, you'll be more secure about placing an offer, knowing that the mortgage application is likely to be approved.  (The final mortgage approval is usually subject to an appraisal of the home.)
Best of all, the interest rate on your pre-approved mortgage is locked in for a specified amount of time (usually 60, 90, or 120 days), so you can look around without worrying about rising rates.  IF interest rates go down, you'll get the lender's newer, lower rate.

3. A home inspection.  By making your offer conditional upon a satisfactory home inspection, you gain valuable protection.  A qualified home inspector can assess the structure and systems of the home, so you can make an informed decision about the condition of your purchase.  If significant issues are flagged by the inspector, you may be able to negotiate a reduced price or even back out of the deal. 

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