There are many advantages to living in Barrie. Tons of activities to do, beautiful sights to see, and not to mention the top-notch health facilities and highly rated schools in the area as well. Yes, living next to Lake Simcoe is amazing, but do you know what would make it even better? Living in a condominium with great views & access to amenities. But, there are a few things to keep in mind before you decide to choose condo life in one of Barrie’s top-notch neighbourhoods.
These are a few helpful tips for buying a condo in Barrie and my advice on whether a condo may or may not be the right choice for you.
1. Find out what the cost of the condo includes.
When you buy a condo, there are other amenities included in the sale price. This could be anything from a parking spot, storage space, or more recreational amenities such as access to a fitness center or pool. Be sure to ask questions about the price and inquire about what is included (and what is not included as well). With condos, it’s good to have a storage unit available as there is rarely enough space in the unit itself for all your belongings. As another helpful tip, it’s always good to have a parking spot – even if you don’t drive, you could always rent it out.
Before you go to any showings, it’s good to show up prepared with a list of questions and requirements you may have. Instead of showing up not knowing what to expect, do some research beforehand and think about what you want and don’t want in a living space. It would even be wise to work with a real estate agent who also knows the right questions to ask to make sure you’re getting exactly what you paid for.
2. Watch out for fees.
When buying any type of property, whether it be a house or condo, there are always additional fees involved that you need to be aware of. However, in comparison to buying a house, condo purchases have different fees involved outside of the sale price.
As an example, homeowners take care of their own maintenance such as lawn care or snow removal. Condo-owners normally have to pay a fee to have all of that taken care of for them. So, along with asking questions about what is included in the sale price, be sure to ask about the additional fees. Also, ask how much they are and how frequently they increase.
It is also important to be aware of any upcoming special assessments. Unlike your regular fees, condo corporations may request an additional payment to cover major expenses such as a structural repair. So before moving in, be sure to inquire about any major construction or repairs happening in the near future.
3. Be mindful of the rules.
When you choose to live in a condo, typically there are many rules involved that you need to follow. Depending on the condo community, the rules can vary. Before you pick a condo community to live in, be sure that the rules of your building don’t interfere with your current lifestyle.
If for example you own a pet and your building prohibits pets, you may need to look elsewhere. If you’re someone who enjoys having parties, but there’s a strict quiet hours policy in your building, that condo community may not be the right fit for you.
Along with ensuring your condo fits your lifestyle, be sure the unit itself can physically fit your life too. A big mistake people make when choosing to live in a condo is underestimating the amount of downsizing, they may need to do. This is why having a storage space in your building is also helpful.
4. Location is everything.
Let’s say you’ve found a great condo community that you adore – that’s great! Now it’s time to think about location. Now, I’m not just talking about where your building is located in Barrie (although that is still very important). I’m also talking about where your unit is located in your building.
As a quick example, let’s say you are looking for a quiet area to live in, but your unit is right next to the elevator doors in your building. Due to the amount of potential traffic passing by your door to use the elevators, you may experience extra noise coming from the hall. If that sound will be bothersome, you may consider a different unit in the building, or a different condominium altogether. So, just be mindful not just of the neighbourhood you choose to live in, but your surroundings in your building as well. The more questions you ask, the better.
If possible, talk to some of your potential future neighbours and see how they like living there. What they like and dislike about the building or if there’s anything they noticed after moving in that they wished they had known about earlier. As an extra pro-tip, try to choose a unit with a great view, it helps immensely when it comes time for you to sell your condo. Not to mention it will make your day-to-day life a little more appealing.
5. Work with me to get pre-approved for the mortgage you’ll need!
One of the first (and most important) steps you will take before you start to shop for a condo is getting approved for a mortgage. Before you fall in love with the condo of your dreams, it’s good to check first to make sure it is not out of your price range and that you can afford the mortgage payments. With my years of experience as a mortgage broker in Barrie, I can help you get started before you begin shopping for condos! I can also help you decide if buying a condo is the right choice for you, or if a house in the area might be more suitable for your lifestyle. If you’re house hunting or ready to shop for the perfect condo let’s schedule a virtual meeting to chat! Give me a call at (705) 315-0516 to get started today.