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It’s official – you’re ready to buy your first condo! You’ve saved up a down payment, researched the market, and you think you’ve found the perfect setting. But before you start packing your bags, there are a few things you need to know. This blog post will discuss everything you need to know about buying your first condo. So whether you’re just getting started in the world of homeownership or are close to finalising your purchase, read on for some valuable advice.

What are Condos?

Simply put, condos are a type of property that is governed by the Condominium Act. This act establishes the legal rights and responsibilities of condo owners and their relationship with one another and the condominium association. Therefore, it’s essential to understand this legislation before signing any paperwork or making any payments.

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Is Buying a Condo a Good Idea?

The first question to ask yourself when buying a condo is whether or not it’s the right move for you. Buying a condominium is an important and long-term financial decision, so make sure you understand all of the pros and cons before signing on the dotted line. 


The main advantage of buying a condo is that they tend to be much more affordable than traditional houses. This makes them great options for those who are just getting started in homeownership or want to buy into a popular neighbourhood without breaking the bank. 

They also come with amenities such as swimming pools, gyms, and clubhouses, along with built-in security features like gated communities and guard stations. 

Lastly, condos often require less maintenance than single-family homes. Single-family homes usually come with big backyards that typically involve more maintenance. 


One of the biggest drawbacks to buying a condo is that you won’t have as much freedom when it comes to making changes or improvements to your unit. Since condos exist in a complex with other units, renovations must be approved by your Homeowners Association (HOA). This means that any major renovations you want to make will require approval from the HOA first. 

On top of that, if there are large maintenance issues with shared features (such as roofs or elevators), all owners are responsible for covering the costs. 

Finally, condominiums may not appreciate in value as quickly as traditional homes. This is due to the shared amenities and rules that come with living in a complex, making it harder for buyers to customise or upgrade their units. 

Choosing the Right Condo

Now that you understand the pros and cons of buying a condo, it’s time to start hunting for your perfect place. Here are some things you’ll need to do in order to buy your first condo:

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Research the Market:

Before you start looking for condos, it’s essential to research the market and get an idea of what types of properties are available. Researching the market will also help you understand prices and features so that you can make sure you’re getting the best deal. 

Get a Mortgage Pre-Approval:

Getting a mortgage pre-approval is essential before house hunting. This will give you an idea of how much you can afford to spend on a condo and what types of mortgages are available to you. 

Types of mortgages you can look at: 

– Conventional Mortgages: 

This type of mortgage is often used for single-family homes. It requires a minimum down payment of 20% and typically offers the lowest interest rates. 

– FHA Loans: 

This type of loan is backed by the federal government and requires a much smaller down payment (as low as 3.5%). They are great options for first-time buyers but come with higher interest rates than conventional loans. It’s crucial to understand that not all condos qualify for FHA financing if you’re thinking about using a loan to purchase one. The condo complex must satisfy certain FHA condo approval requirements, which may include elements like the proportion of owner-occupied units and the homeowners association’s financial health. Working with a professional real estate agent who can assist you in locating an FHA-approved condo is crucial.

– Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs): 

This type of loan has a lower interest rate than conventional loans and is perfect for those who plan on living in their home for a few years or less. However, the rates can increase over time, so it’s important to know what kind of risk you’re taking before signing an ARM. 

– Veteran Affairs Loans: 

These loans are specifically for veterans and can be used to purchase a condo. They offer low-interest rates, no down payment requirement, and don’t require private mortgage insurance (PMI). 

-Bad Credit Mortgages: 

If you have bad credit, it can be difficult to qualify for a conventional mortgage. However, there are some lenders who offer a Bad Credit Mortgage plan with higher interest rates and down payment requirements. 

Find a Reputable Real-Estate Agent:

Once you’ve gotten your pre-approval and done your research, it’s time to find a real estate agent. An experienced agent can help make the home buying process much simpler and more efficient, as they can access listings unavailable on public websites. They also know what neighbourhoods are in demand and safe, so they can help narrow down your search. 

Schedule Viewings:

Now that you’ve done all the background work, it’s time to start looking at condos! Make sure to schedule viewings with different agents who specialise in the type of property you’re interested in buying. When visiting a condo unit, take notes and ask questions about features, amenities, fees associated with ownership (such as HOA fees and taxes), and potential renovation opportunities. 

Make an Offer:

Once you’ve found the perfect condo, it’s time to make an offer! Your real estate agent can help guide you through this process and provide advice on what a reasonable offer might be. Make sure to include any contingencies in your offer (such as inspection or financing) so that if something unexpected comes up during the closing process, you’ll have some protection. 

Secure Financing & Close the Deal:

The last step is securing financing for your condo purchase and closing the deal. Once you’ve been approved for a mortgage loan, it’s important to read all of the paperwork carefully before signing anything, as there can be hidden costs or fees. It’s also important to get homeowners insurance to protect your investment. 

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Moving into a Condo:

Once you’ve closed on your condo and have the keys in hand, it’s time to move in! Here are some tips to make your transition go as smoothly as possible: 

1) Start Packing Early: 

Start packing your items early so you have time to sort through them and decide what can stay and what needs to go. Items you don’t want can go in the trash, be donated, or be sold. 

2) Make a Moving Plan: 

Having a plan for moving day is essential to reduce stress and ensure things go smoothly. Figure out how you will transport your items from one place to another, and make sure you have enough boxes and packing materials to get the job done. Don’t forget to reserve an elevator if necessary. 

2) Schedule Movers: 

Booking movers ahead of time is essential, as they can help transport all of your large furniture pieces with ease. 

3) Unpack Immediately: 

Don’t let boxes sit around for weeks on end – unpack immediately so you can start making the condo feel like home! 

4) Customise Your Space: 

To customise a condo, you can start by painting the walls, adding some new window treatments and rearranging furniture to make the space more comfortable. Cute ideas you try out are adding a gallery wall of photos, hanging plants from the ceiling, or transforming unused corners into cosy nooks. 

5) Get to Know Your Neighbours: 

Introduce yourself to neighbours in the building, attend condo association meetings, and join any social events the building may offer. 

How to Get Used to the Condo Living Experience:

Living in a condo is different from living in a house. Here are some guidelines to help you adjust to this new lifestyle: 

1) Take Advantage of Amenities: 

Many condos come with amenities such as a gym, pool, and even rooftop terrace. Make sure to take advantage of them and get to know your neighbours while you’re at it. 

2) Get Involved in the Community: 

Get involved with the condo association and attend neighbourhood events to get to know your community better. This is a great way to make friends, share tips on local businesses, and keep up with any changes or developments in your area. 

3) Respect Your Neighbours: 

Living in close proximity to other people means that courtesy and respect are paramount. Keep noise levels low, don’t block common areas, and always clean up after yourself. 

4) Get Familiar with Condo Rules: 

Read through your condo’s bylaws and rules to understand what is expected of you as an owner. Pay special attention to any restrictions on pets, noise levels, or alterations to the building. 

Buying a condo is an exciting yet intimidating experience. However, with the right preparation and guidance, you can be sure that your first condo will be the perfect fit and a significant investment! Once you’ve moved in, enjoy all of the benefits of living in a condo – like having someone else take care of maintenance and repairs, easily accessing public transportation or amenities nearby, and connecting with other residents who share similar interests. 

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