6 Tips For Finding The Right Condo in Toronto’s Red-Hot Market

| Buying

Trying to find the right condo in Toronto is no easy feat. While the market has begun to moderate since the first quarter of 2018, a supply shortage means that many people are competing for units—especially near the downtown core.

Luckily, being prepared can give buyers an edge. Here are six tips you can use if you’re looking right now.


1)  Prioritize your top features & amenities

In a competitive market, you need to act quickly. Mulling over your decision for too long could mean losing out to a more decisive buyer. To cut down on time, make a list of your must-have features and amenities.

For example, if you’re considering a building with a pool, ask yourself how often you actually swim. Is it something you do on a regular basis, or only occasionally with friends?

Once you know exactly what you need, you’ll be in a better position to find the condo that’s perfect for you—and stop wasting time on those that aren’t.


2) Know what you want in a neighbourhood

Knowing what you’re looking for in a neighbourhood can also help you spot the right condo as soon as it comes along. Here are just a few of the factors that many buyers consider.

• Proximity to conveniences (grocery stores, etc.)

• Walkability & transit

• Traffic congestion

• School district (for buyers with children)

• Future condo development

The last point is especially important for buyers who want a spectacular view. If a new high rise is slated for construction near your building, it may impact your visual field.


3) But consider all of your options

In a hot market, you might never find a suitable unit if you’re not willing to make a few small concessions.

Are you willing to compromise on location? You’re not the only one who wants to live on the subway line or near the city’s core. Think about expanding your search a little bit further east or west of your ideal address. For example: if you want to live in Queen West, why not consider Queen and Dufferin?

It also pays to be flexible about the age of a building. Some buyers will only look at units that are five years old or newer. But many buildings that have been around for ten years are very well maintained. When in doubt, research the developer and the management company—and if there’s an office onsite, try to talk to management directly.


4) Look closely at the numbers

Before you secure the condo you’re interested in, you need to understand your maintenance fees—along with the financial health of the building you’re looking at. Reviewing your status certificate is crucial. It contains a breakdown of your fees, your condo rules and bylaws, insurance information, your board’s meeting minutes and budget, and other critical information.

It can take a condo corporation up to ten days to provide this documentation, so get hold of it and have your lawyer review it as promptly as possible. Remember: a unit isn’t yours until the transaction is complete.


5) Get pre-approval

Speaking of moving things along, it’s a good idea to speak to a mortgage lender to get pre-approved before you start your condo hunt. Pre-approval can tell you the maximum amount you may get for your mortgage and help you estimate your payment amounts. In some cases, it can also enable you to lock in a lower interest rate for a set period of time.

Sellers typically want to see a pre-approval letter. Having one can fast track the condo-buying process, which is why it’s an especially good idea to speak to a lender early on if you’re searching in a competitive market.


6)  Think about your ROI

Another thing you’ll want to think about ahead of time is your return on investment (ROI). Consider whether you’ll be living in the unit, and (if so) for how long. What’s the potential resale value? If you’re purchasing it strictly as an investment property, will you be renting it out immediately or down the line?

You can be ready to take act decisively by considering these questions before you start your condo hunt, and as soon as you see a unit you’re interested in. The right real estate agent will be able to help you determine the most profitable course of action.


Other considerations…

You can never be too prepared when you’re looking to buy in a hot market. Outside perspectives can help, so you may want to ask around and do some internet research. But don’t get too caught up in what others have to say about a particular building.

Your best bet is to find an experienced and trustworthy agent. A professional can help you cut through the noise, weigh the pros and cons of your decision, and find the best possible condo to meet your needs.


Looking to buy a condo in Toronto’s red-hot condo market? I can answer your questions. You can either call/text me at 416-500-5360 or send me an email at rashid.notash@rogers.com and ask away!