Condominium Living – Is It The Right Choice for You

In today’s society, the appeal for condominiums is growing. Condo living is similar to apartment living; however, with condominiums, the units are purchased rather than rented. Unlike single-family homes, condo owners share common outdoor living spaces, such as recreation areas, garages, lawns and parking areas.

Both retirees and young professionals are turning to condominiums. These units are normally less expensive than single family dwellings. Also, the condominium owners are not responsible for the upkeep of outdoor areas. This means no mowing, raking or landscaping must be done by the condo owner. Instead, each owner pays either yearly or monthly maintenance fees to pay for these services.

There are numerous things to consider before purchasing a home. The following information will help you when purchasing a condominium in Toronto and the surrounding areas.

Are You A Condo Person?

Before purchasing a condominium, you need to make sure that you are a candidate for the condo lifestyle. Living in a condominium is similar to living in an apartment. You will be sharing certain areas, such as outdoor spaces with your neighbors. Additionally, most condominiums have adjoining walls. This means that you will have to be courteous of your neighbors and keep the noise down when watching tv, hosting a party or listening to music. Another thing to consider before purchasing a condo is that certain rules must be followed. Each condominium community comes with its own set of rules and regulations that must be followed. A group of officials, called the governing body, is elected yearly. This group ensures all bylaws are followed be each owner.

Resale Condominiums Versus New Construction Condos

When deciding between purchasing resale and new construction condos, there are several things to consider. With resale condos, you are able to look at the condominium before making an offer. Pre-owned units may need some renovation; however, oftentimes you can get a much larger pre-owned condo. Most new construction condominiums are not completed until an offer is accepted. This means you will not get to walk through it ahead of time. One advantage to this type of condo is the ability to choose all of your fixtures and color schemes.

Hire People Who Understand The Intricacies Of Purchasing A Condominium

A realtor who specializes in condominiums can help you find the best condo for your budget. He will be able to explain the entire purchase process and guide you toward a mortgage broker who specializes in financing condominiums.

The mortgage broker you choose should be one who is familiar with financing condominiums. This is especially important if you are purchasing a new construction condo. Your mortgage broker will work with you and the builder to get the condo completed in a timely manner.

Finally, find a lawyer who is familiar with the real estate laws pertaining to condominium ownership. Because of the additional regulations condo living requires, your attorney will help ensure that how you want to live fits with the bylaws of the condo community. Ask your lawyer to review your purchase offer before presenting it to the seller and him or her to review your financing package before committing to your financing package.

Purchasing a condominium requires a lot of knowledge. Hiring a professional real estate agent who has experience with selling condominiums will help ensure that you get a great deal and are able to close in a timely manner.


Top 5 House Hunting Mistakes

A person looking to buy a new home can go through a myriad of emotions at once. For instance, you can be anxious, happy, skeptic, nervous or many more. However, you should try your level best to keep these emotions in check to avoid committing the most common mistakes people do when purchasing a new home. On the day of the transaction, you should be very rational and make sound decisions. If you’re looking to buy a new home, here are the most common mistakes you should avoid doing.

Mistake #1 – Buying A Very Expensive House

The reaction many people get after seeing their dream house is priceless. First, you start imagining all the decorations you’ll put in place, the dinner parties you’ll host there, swimming in the lovely pool on a hot summer afternoon, growing old with your spouse in that house and many more. However, once you realize that you can’t afford the house, disappointment immediately sets in and no other house will ever feel the same. If you want to completely avoid feeling disappointed, you should set a budget and only look at houses in that price range. If possible, you should start looking for cheaper houses and if there’s nothing that pleases you, go to the more expensive ones. Eventually, you should find a house that’s good enough for you without any disappointments.

Mistake #2 – Assuming You’ll Never Find A  House That’s Good Enough For You

Many people looking to buy new houses usually get disappointed if they find that the houses they love are out of the market. Thereafter, they get into a mind frame that there are no other good houses out there. Before you give up, you know that many houses are constructed by the same architect. Therefore, if the house you specifically want is out of the market, you should be able to find a similar one soon enough. In many buildings, you’ll find that the houses are built using the same model or close enough similarities. Therefore, don’t give up and keep searching because you’ll eventually find the house that’s good enough for you.

Mistake #3 – Ignoring Any Flaws

In the rush to get the best house on the market, many new home buyers are tempted to ignore any flaws in the house. For instance, you might ignore stained walls, damaged attics or ceilings and many other things. Therefore, you rush into settling for a house with many flaws. Remember, new houses always come up in the market every new day. In your rush to settle for a flawed house, you might completely miss out on a good house. In that case, don’t overlook any flaws in a current house and always wait until something better comes along.

Mistake #4 – Putting In An Offer Too Fast

Many home buyers always rush into making an offer on a new house especially if the market is too hot or unstable. You can blame this partly on the real estate agents who misinform you about the state of the market in a rush to get their commissions. Therefore, whatever you do, take some time going through as many houses as possible before you finally make your decision. Don’t be rushed into making an offer on a house that might not actually be the best choice in the real estate market right now.

Mistake #5 – Paying Too Much More Than The Original Asking Price

Depending on the competition currently in place for a specific house, you should avoid being sucked into a bidding war. During these bidding wars, the price of the house might even be hiked as high as double the asking price. Therefore, you should start by asking your real estate agent the asking price and how many people are bidding for the house to help you make the right offer.

Buying houses can be a messy affair if people let it be. Therefore, with the advice of a good real estate agent and your own sound judgment, you should be able to get the house of your dreams without making any mistakes. Before you dive into the whole process, always start by doing a lot of research on what houses are on sale to make sure you get the best deal out of everything. Also, take some time to hire the right real estate agent.


Choosing The Amortization Period For Your Mortgage

The period of time called the mortgage amortization period dictates the number of years it will take to completely pay off your mortgage. Historically speaking a 30 year mortgage has been the most popular, because that will create the smallest payment amount that you will have to pay each month. The 25 year and even the 15 year mortgage periods have become very popular recently as well. The longer your amortization period however, the more overall interest you will pay in the long run. The shorter the payment period, the less interest you will pay and your mortgage will be paid off sooner, but the payments will be higher.

In making the decision as to how long you should take to pay off your mortgage, you will have to take your own financial situation into account, as there are a few variables that you need to consider. At the present time, mortgage interest is a deductible item on your federal income tax. If you are in a higher tax bracket, a longer payment period could be more attractive to you. Will your lender allow for the prepayment of the principal in advance on your mortgage? If that is the case, the principal balance can be reduced and that can causes the interest charges more manageable.

A longer payment period could be more attractive to you if you have a variable income, such as working on commission or receive bonuses on an irregular basis. Choosing a longer period of amortization may allow you to purchase a more expensive home, as lenders take into account the monthly payment amount when they approve or disapprove a mortgage. A more expensive home might be more likely to be approved with a 30 year mortgage, and less likely if the mortgage were to be for 15 years.

The mortgage schedule for amortization can be different than the mortgage term, which is much shorter in many cases. This factor can allow you to reassess your strategy for your mortgage amortization allowing for changes in life circumstances.