Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Many condominium buyers share similar questions, here are some common frequently asked questions and answers.
*Click on the question below to reveal the answer
A few advantages are:
Affordability - Condominiums provide a more affordable entry into the housing market, both from a purchase price and monthly expense standpoint.
Amenities - Many condos come offer a myriad of amenities including a swimming pool, a gym, a sauna, tennis courts, terraces for barbecues, and more.
Security - Living in a condo tends to provide extra security. To start, most condos have locked front entrances, and only then can the person gain access to your private entrance. Most condos also provide 24 hour security guards and security camera systems.
One of the great advantages to owning a condominium is that in most cases, it is owner-occupied and owner run. Owners ensure their investment is maintained and regard improvements as an investment which increases the value of their individual unit.
After location, determining what size and style of condominium you want is your second most important priority. How many bedrooms do you need? What size of living space is comfortable for you? What level of amenities are you looking for – simple or extensive? All these factors contribute to the proper selection of your new condominium..
Castle Group designs condominiums for the widest possible combination of tastes and lifestyles. Whether you're buying for the first time, upsizing or downsizing, we have a condominium that's ideally suited for your lifestyle and budget.
When shopping for a condominium it is important to determine what is available in your price range, consider how much of a down payment you can afford as well as your monthly mortgage carrying costs. Also find out what is your home's share of the common building expenses and its annual tax. As a rule of thumb, your total mortgage expenses should not exceed 27% - 32% of your monthly income before taxes.
Once you've chosen the location and type of condominium that fits your needs, meet with a financial representative to determine a mortgage amount that you can comfortably afford. This will help you understand the types of homes that fit into your price range.
You should also consider getting a pre-approved mortgage, in order to shop with added confidence.
Ontario offers several programs for first-time buyers to help them in the process of buying a home. These include the following:
1) Land Transfer Tax Rebate. First-time home buyers who purchase a newly constructed home will receive a rebate of the Land Transfer Tax (LTT). The maximum LTT rebate is $2,000.
2) CMHC - Mortgage Insurance. CMHC can save you money off your high-ratio mortgage insurance premium, up to 10%. For complete details visit, http://www.cmhc.gc.ca/.
3) RRSP Home Buyers' Plan. The Home Buyers' Plan (HBP) is a program under which you can, generally, withdraw up to $20,000 from your RRSP to buy a home. Couples, including common-law, will be able to withdraw up to $40,000. You must be a first-time buyer to qualify for this plan.
We urge you to investigate the above information to find out whether they offer you any financial incentives that will affect your purchase.
Paying To Own - The beauty of a monthly mortgage on your condo versus renting is that you’re paying that mortgage to own the condo. Renting an apartment that’s a similar size would typically run you the same cost. Paying to own is a huge advantage over paying to rent.
Building Equity - Owning a condo is an excellent investment and means you have an asset, and you stand to make a significant profit if you sell your condo in the right economic climate.
Look up any builder you're considering on the Tarion website in the Licensed Builder Directory section to ensure they are registered with Tarion. You'll learn how many homes they have built in the last 10 years, and whether they have had any claims with with Tarion over that period.
The opportunity to choose a floor plan which best suits your needs
- Personalize your interior decor to reflect your individual taste. Select your finishes from a variety of choices in pre-finished hardwood flooring, granite counter tops, cabinetry, tiles and more. This opportunity adds personal style and distinction to your home.
- Downpayment deposit structure and timeline to closing dates allow for more freedom financially to accomodate the down payment amounts. In most cases a new condominium project can provide closing dates as far out as 36 months from date of purchase.
- Pre-construction purchase can provide the benefit of property appreciation. From the time you buy to the day you move in, your suite will have increased in value due to market conditions.
- Less maintenance costs due to high-quality construction and energy efficient design.
1) Get pre-approved for a mortgage loan in order to better determine affordability.
2) Research the area you wish to live in. Determine whether or not it provides you access to transit and highways. Assess the neighbourhood schools and amenities to further establish if the area is right for you and your family.
3) Research and identify the builders who are developing in your selected area of interest. Visit their websites and sales centre's to compare both builder and product fairly.
4) Engage the sales team as they have a well rounded knowledge of both the market and the specific project/nieghbourhood you are considering as your new home.
5) Make an offer on the Suite/Unit you are interested in purchasing and begin the negotiation process towards your new home.
6) Enlist proper legal representation to review your purchase agreement and also close your condominium purchase.
Location has been touted by housing experts as the most important factor to consider when buying a condominium/home. Historically, home values are largely dependent on location and its corelation to transit and amenities.
It is important to keep location, transit and neighbourhood amenities in mind when determining whether or not a price is reasonable. Many builders tend to select "B-Level" locations and still attempt to get full market prices for their products.It is important that a new condo/home buyer properly research and assess "Location vs Price" when considering whether or not to purchase.