Frequently Asked Questions
Are you ready to Buy? That’s great! There are a few things that you should know first.
What is a condo?
It is a type of ownership where you own a single unit and have shares in the common elements such as the pool and elevators. There are different types of condos – Link, High-rise and Town or Row.
We are always trying to expand our FAQ. If you have any questions, please just ask.
That really depends on your investment goals. Homes typically return more, but their initial cost and inventory can deter some. Homes also have the benefit of being able to live in them and rent out the basement. However, a well located condo will pay for itself if rented out.
What about parking?
Great question – Most condos in North York include one parking spot. If you’re looking for another parking spot, it depends on the building, but the average is from $17,500 – $25,000. Most of the time you will also have the option to rent one from an existing owner or from management.
Occupancy date vs Registration date
You only need to worry about this if you’re buying a new build. Occupancy date comes first and means that you will be charged occupancy fees. Think of it as similar to rent. The unit is complete, but some of the final touches in the common areas (example: pool) are not done yet. The registration date is the date that everything is finished. After that, the unit is legally yours to do with as you like.
What is a common element?
The suite/unit is yours, but common elements are anything that is shared amongst your neighbours. These include amenities such as the pool, gym, hallways, and so on.
What is with assigned parking or locker numbers compared to the MLS listing?
Many condos have an internal numbering system that differs from that on MLS. MLS follows the legal descriptions of the Land Registry. To avoid confusion ask us or your property management to see the space prior to moving in.
Are there North York condos for sale for $25,000 to $35,000?
Too good to be true, sorry. That’s most likely just for a parking spot.
Parking types – Owned / Exclusive / Rental
Owned – It is yours to use and if you like, sell.
Exclusive – It is assigned to you and only you can use it for as long as you own the condo.
Rental – It belongs to someone else but you are able to use it for the assigned duration. This is most likely accompanied by a monthly fee.
If someone damages or breaks into my North York Condo, who is responsible for fixing it?
Anything inside the unit will have to be covered by you or your insurance. Anything outside the unit is covered by your maintenance fees.
What happens if I don’t pay my condo maintenance fees?
We advise against it. You are in breach of the corporation’s by-laws and they will take action. The action they take depends on how far behind you are on your payments and their practices.
Are pets allowed in a North York condo?
Each building is different. It’s best to make the point when speaking to us so that we can take that into consideration when looking.
What is a Status Certificate?
It is essentially a breakdown of the condo. It includes costs and rules that apply to living in that building and also includes the health of the building’s reserve fund. You can get a Status Certificate from the property management and it is usually $100 plus HST.
What kind of warranty does my condo have?
If it is a new build, then it is covered by a Tarrion home warranty for seven years, the “New Home Warranty Program”. The “New Home Warranty Program” covers various issues such as material defects, delayed occupancy (without notice), unauthorized substitutions and deposit protection.
What are closing costs and how much are they?
Closing costs are extra fees that you pay prior to the closing date (move-in date). They may include: education levies, land transfer tax, new home warranty certificate, utility hook ups and legal fees. We can make sure to minimize such fees – so make sure you have knowledgeable representation.
When can I move into my North York condo?
Any time after the closing date (occupancy date), but remember some places will not allow you to move in on a Sunday. And that you might need to reserve the elevator if you are moving into a building that has one. Talk to your North York Realtor or property management for more information.
How much deposit will I need for a North York condo?
For a new build, you are looking at 10% on the low side. Each builder is different though. All of them will require an entail deposit of about $5000. Once you sign the contract and give that deposit you have 10 days to opt out of the deal – cooling off period. After that, the builder will have you pay in increments, usually at 30/90/180 days after that.
For an existing condo you will need at least 5% as a deposit and your financial institution may require more in the form of a down-payment.
Should I buy first or sell?
It depends on your situation. It is best to look at the cons of either scenario. If you sell your home now, you’re in a situation where you need to buy. Depending on the market, there could be low supply. Now you’re left with a situation where you have to move out but have no home. In this case, you could rent or move in with someone temporarily.
Reverse situation. You buy a second home, but you’re having a tough time selling your first home. In this case, instead of selling, you could rent out the property or see if your financial institution will accommodate a second mortgage.
Both situations can be very stressful so it’s best to consult a Realtor that can best direct you depending on your personal situation.
What’s the benefit of working with North York Condo Life?
Read all about our benefits here.
What are property taxes like in North York?
Here is some information about them.
What are some upgrades I should consider?
There are a ton of different things you can do to improve the value of your condo. Read about them here.
Selling my North York Condo
How much does a Realtor get paid?
Typically the common commission rate is 5% of the sold price. Emphasis on “sold”, you don’t pay a realtor anything prior to the suite being sold. Of that commission, half goes to the listing agent and the other half to the buyer’s agent.
What do I get for that amount?
You will have someone that will guide you through this process which can be quite complicated, especially the first time. A Realtor that is familiar with the area will be able to guide you on the selling price. Along with that, some of the funds will be put towards direct marketing and advertising. These include services such as professional photography, virtual tours, access to MLS and web marketing.
What is the right price for my North York Condo?
That depends on many different factors including location, layout and upgrades. Generally speaking, underpricing your condo can have just as many negative effects as overpricing.
Most realtors and potential buyers search for north york condos for sale using the price as their key criteria. If they are searching for condos that are under $400,000 and yours is listed at $401,000, you are missing out on that potential buyer.
If your unit is underpriced, buyers might think that there is something wrong with it or that you’re desperate.
Pricing it right assures a quick sale and in most cases, yields the greatest return. This is where a good realtor will do their research based on current market conditions and give you the right value.
Is having a lockbox on my condo safe?
Only licensed Realtors have access to the lock boxes to minimize risk. Potential buyers never have access to lock boxes and are always accompanied by their Realtor.
What is the best way to increase sale price?
Some simple ways to increase sale price are relatively inexpensive things such as cleaning and de-cluttering. Having a clean unit shows pride of ownership and will entice buyers. When selling your North York condo we will look over the unit and give our opinion as to the best undertakings that will maximize your return.
What is MLS?
MLS is an acronym for the Multiple Listing Service, it is the database where homes for sale are listed. Anyone can view listings on the public MLS via realtor.ca but only agents can post, modify information, and look at information that is not available to the public.
I’ve signed the final documents, but I changed my mind.
Once the deal is considered firm you are locked into the terms of the contract. You can approach the other party and request changes through your Realtor. The other party has the final say in whether a change is accepted or rejected.
What is a firm deal?
Some deals will have conditions attached to them such as financing or home inspection. Once these conditions have been satisfied, the deal is considered firm and both parties are just waiting for the closing date.
Buying my North York Condo
Can I visit the condo myself?
For the protection of all parties you need to be accompanied by your Realtor, unless there is a public open house.
How do I know if the list/selling price is fair?
We will look over the most recent sales in that area with similar floor plans to help assess if the price is right.
What floor should I look for?
This is a matter of personal opinion but check out this document all about North York condo floor premiums for more information.
What is a multiple offer and how does it work?
Otherwise known as bidding wars, “multiple offer” is when two buyers submit offers on a property.
Should I buy a new or existing condo in North York?
That is something that depends on your current situation and should be discussed with us in person.
Should I sell first or buy first?
Both have their pros and cons, contact us and we can come up with a plan that works best for you.
Should my offer be conditional?
Conditional offers in a “hot” market, especially if there are multiple offers, could sway the seller to another offer. This should be considered on a case by case basis.
Do I need a real estate lawyer?
If you purchase a property, yes. Don’t know one? That’s okay. We can point you in the direction of some great lawyers that specialize in real estate.
How much money do I need to put down on a North York condo?
This could be as low as $5000 but it’s best to offer as much as you can. This shows the seller that you’re taking the offer seriously. It’s always a good idea to have your finances in order so that the deposit can be obtained quickly.
What about property sold or repossessed by the bank?
Banks are not in the business of losing money. All condos listed as “Power of Sale” are condos where the lender has taken control of the property and will be sold at fair market value. As with all listings, there might be the possibility to negotiate the price.
How can I pay off my mortgage sooner
There are many ways to reduce the number of years to pay down your mortgage. Here are some tips:
•Consider selecting a payment plan that makes multiple payments a month as opposed to the usual once a month payments.
•Make Principal payments as often as you can.
•Select a short amortization at renewal.
How long should my mortgage be?
That depends on your situation, but generally speaking, the shorter the term the less you’ll pay in interest.
What are other monthly costs for a condo?
Mortgage Payments – This will most likely be the largest expense and will vary from person to person as it is based off a variety of individual factors.
Property Tax – You have two ways for paying for this tax, which is usually assessed by the government every four years. It can either be included in your mortgage or can be paid directly to the municipality.
Maintenance Fees and Utilities – As an owner of a condo suite, you are responsible for all utility bills which include items such as hydro, heating, gas, water, cable and so on. In most cases some of these fees are included in your maintenance fees.
Insurance – Usually mediatory, ask which option is best for you.
Pre-qualified vs. Pre-approval vs. Full loan approval
This is the first step in obtaining a mortgage. The financial institution will examine your income and liabilities in order to determine if you meet their requirements.
This goes one step further and will check the applicant’s credit rating and verify income. A pre-approval gives the buyer the knowledge of how much they can borrow for the purchase.
This occurs when the financial institution is satisfied that all the conditions have been met. This approval only pertains to a certain property and at this time, the lender will forward the funds to the appropriate party.
What is a mortgage agent?
An individual that specializes in mortgages and works with financial institutions to secure you a rate.
Questions to ask my North York condo real estate agent
Who is the best real estate agent?
That depends on many factors most of which pertain to your personality. However, every good agent has a few things in common, especially, the ability to listen. No one knows better than you regarding what you are looking for. A good agent will take that information and find you the best place based off inventory.
Real estate red flags
Good agents are confident in their ability to sell and buy. If an agent is urging you to sign representation documents for longer than 90 days, that is a red flag and they should be avoided. Also, ask what their policy is regarding early termination. The simple and correct answer is that you can cancel any time.