A Brief Guide for Salaried Persons on Buying a Condo in Toronto

 

Congratulations! You are just about to purchase your new home in the form of a Condo. Not only is this a step forward in life but you will also settle down & have your own family soon.

Toronto is really great in terms of careers but is also among the most unaffordable ones too. The average rent for a single bedroom apartment is around C$ 2,260. This has doubled the number of adults living with parents in the past two decades.

This is because housing prices in the city have been going up lately. How much does a young person need to live in Canada’s largest city today?

Data based on average cost of housing, internet bills, groceries, transportation and the like reveals that an individual Torontonian needs a salary of at least C$ 49,545 before tax (or C$ 38,572.68 after taxes) to live here.

That is, the average monthly expense this year is around C$ 3,214.39. This went C$ 475 up in comparison to 2018 & is C$ 856 more than that of 2017. At such a rate, Toronto’s living costs can rise by another C$ 400 on a monthly basis next year.

Toronto Storeys revealed these numbers which are based on what a single employed person has to pay when living in Toronto (without having any dependents and not owning any property). Let us now break these expenses down:

  • Housing rent: C$ 2079.75
  • Telephone & Internet bills: C$ 156.98
  • Entertainment expenditures: C$ 445.98
  • Groceries: C$ 283.60
  • Transportation expenses: C$ 127.05
  • Fitness: C$ 63.75
  • Insurance: C$ 57.28

Given these expenses, a salaried person needs to take multiple factors in consideration when looking to purchase a property in Toronto. If they wish to start lives outside their parents’ home, then they will be looking for Toronto condos for sale.

Why isn’t the average Torontonian looking for a suburban house? Because the city barred suburban sprawl through encouraging high-density populations in it by mixing housing lots with apartments. They are situated at a distance from the downtown core.

Each residential property in Toronto has its own advantages & associated costs. Should you buy a newly constructed condo or a one that already exists? Let us have a look.

New Condo Vs Resale Condo – Which one should you buy?

You already know what a condo is. You also have the choice to buy a new condo which has been recently constructed (or is under construction) or buy the one already built and sold by previous owners. Let us have a look at the benefits & drawbacks of each.

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Buying a new Condo

Pros

  • New condos are generally less expensive than existing condos.
  • Buyers have more options in choosing it, its view and location.
  • They also can choose the kind of flooring, layout and other features.

Cons

  • Owners are often obliged to pay both the Tarion warranty fees and harmonized sales tax (HST).
  • Owning the condo takes time due to unforeseen delays (which can happen).
  • Projects can get cancelled for many reasons. Money is refunded but valuable time is lost.
  • Common expense overheads might change upon completion of project
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Buying a resale condo

Pros

  • Buyers get to survey the unit with relative ease.
  • They can read reviews and hire a realtor to find a suitable condo corporation.
  • Buyers can check legal documents & history of common expenses for accurate estimates.
  • They can have a better sense of surrounding locations & see if its located in a well-set area.

Cons

  • They are usually more expensive than newly constructed condo units.
  • They will have little choices in its design, flooring, view etc.

Let us now have a brief look at what it takes to maintain a condo and pay its expenses.

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Common expenses associated with a Condo

Condo owners have both ownership & responsibility for common elements associated with it. Thus, they are obliged to pay for them (they are charged on a monthly basis). Each condo owner must pay the following expenses:

  • Maintenance & repair costs.
  • Insurance policies.
  • Utility & condo management costs (depends on the condo corporation).
  • Vendor costs (Cleaning, landscape, maintenance, repair etc.).
  • Service costs (Garbage disposal, snow removal etc.).

The condo corporation must keep a reserve fund (which collects a part of the monthly common expenses owners and tenants pay for). It is used for major repairs. In case it runs out, all condo owners must contribute to it and the total costs.

Special valuations can be quite expensive at times. Such expenses are present in both old & new condos.

Here are some key guidelines in buying a condo.

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Tips for purchasing a Condo

Here are some important points of advice you must consider when you are buying your very own condo:

1.                 Prep up your finances

Take two things in consideration. First, find out how much you can actually afford and second, how much do you really want to spend? There will be additional costs apart from the condo’s purchase price. They are as under:

  • Common associated expenses.
  • Legal & realtor fees.
  • Land transfer & property taxes.
  • Home inspection costs.
  • Costs of moving your furniture.
  • Special assessment charges.
  • Mortgage & mortgage insurance (if you have taken any).

When you are buying a condo, always remember that additional costs will be present no matter how good the price is. Whether you bought Toronto lofts for sale under 400K or one that costed less, always prepare your finances in line with the mortgage stress test.

2.                 Finding the right condo

This kind of Condo is something that fulfills your needs. There are generally a few important factors to consider when buying one:

  • Location: Buyers should be comfortable with their neighborhood. They should check proximity for parks, schools, hospitals and other key facilities.
  • Common elements: Condo owners must pay for maintenance for all common expenses. Hence, they should use amenities they actually need.
  • The Unit: Consider the margins between the unit & common elements apart from preferences in design & size of the unit.

3.                 Buying the condo at the right time

Toronto is expensive but the prices for condos are experiencing a slow growth. There is a chance that the prices might take a dip, but it seems unlikely. Thus, buying it soon is a better option. Resale condos in Toronto might get affordable in the winter, because sellers become flexible with the prices.

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Conclusion

Purchasing your own condo does have its perks but also its expenses. Yet, we hope that these facts will help you plan ahead and make the best choice. Always plan your budget ahead and make the right move at the right time to make the best out of your money.

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