The decision to purchase a new condominium in the Greater Toronto Area is a wise one, with a multitude of choices out there beckoning with incredible beauty and value. There are always completed inventory suites available for those who need quick occupancies. However, purchasing pre-construction has a lot of benefits including attractive pricing and the best selection of designs. If you do decide to go pre-construction, especially if you are a first-time buyer, here are a few things to keep in mind.
1. The real estate landscape changes from time to time, but what remains the same is the importance of location, location, location. This is usually tops on everyone’s list. Select a location that is handy to your workplace, and remember family, friends and groups that you travel to frequently.
2. Of course, price always plays a critical role in a new home-buyer’s decision. Your purchase price is only part of what you will be expected to pay. Be sure to find out about upgrades, and keep in mind that closing costs can amount to anywhere from 3 to 5 per cent of the purchase price.
3. Look into the reputation of the builder/developers of the condominiums you are considering. Choosing a developer with a proven track record offers confidence, plus you can visit previously built communities and condominiums to examine the quality of the finished product.
4. Area amenities play a big role in your day-to-day condo living. Look around at what is within walking distance of the condos you are considering. When in doubt, go to www.walkscore.com, punch in the address, and you can find out just how convenient it is. Some urban locations are so convenient that owning a vehicle is an option rather than a necessity.
5. One of the major advantages in choosing a condominium is having wonderful amenities under your roof, as well as in the vicinity. These uncommonly beautiful “common areas” are essentially extensions of your living space and add value to your new home investment. Explore what the various condominiums offer in the way of amenities and discover what is important to you.
6. When it comes to architecture, what’s your preference? You will find a kaleidoscope of designs, from traditional to avant-garde. The exterior of your condo should reflect your sensibilities. Fortunately, across the GTA, our condominium developers are enlisting top-notch architectural firms to create their masterpieces.
7. Interior design is just as important. You need to feel “at home” the moment you walk into your building, whether the surroundings are sleek and modern, European contemporary … you get the picture! Remember that the lobby is like your “living room” and should offer an appropriate first impression to your guests.
8. Features and finishes choices offer you the opportunity to personalize your suite. Enjoy selecting from the luxuriously gorgeous choices available today. Upgrades are tempting, but even if your pocketbook accommodates standards, you will find them spectacular. Keep in mind that the standards of today are the upgrades of yesterday!
9. Today’s suites incorporate glorious ceiling-to-floor windows. From what direction does the suite get its natural light? If you work nights, you will most likely want to avoid sunlight from the east in the morning. If you paint, you might love the quiet light in a north-facing suite. Like brightness? Face south or west.
10. Does the suite have a balcony? Torontonians are crazy about our outdoor spaces. Many of us would go stir crazy without a balcony or terrace, and most suites come with one or the other – sometimes both. Depending on the weather, owners can even use these outdoor areas from time to time in the winter.
These are what I consider the top 10 things to look for in a new condominium, but trust me – as you shop around, you will find even more terrific reasons for going condo!
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