Everything About Buying a Condo in Toronto (2021)

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buying a condo in Toronto
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It was a surprise to see a high volume of activity in Toronto real estate market despite the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences. Working from home during the pandemic has made suburban areas more popular. However, after full implementation of the vaccination and the resumption of immigration, it is predicted that the condo market will return strong. Here, we are going to review everything about buying a condo in Toronto in 2021.

During the last year, we saw no signs of slowing down in condo development projects. Based on the reports from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, approximately 55% of under construction houses in Ontario are condominiums and 13% of Ontario households live in condos.

Due to the lockdown and obvious damper of the real estate market and the subsequent economic deceleration, the BoC has brought down interest rates to 0.25% to make things easier for buyers. So, if you decided to buy a new Toronto condo, you better start the process now, before the prices increase!

Buying a condo both as an investment and as a dwelling is an important decision which should be made completely carefully. Here are some important things to consider for buying a condo in Toronto:

1.Start with evaluating your financials

The first and most important step in buying a Toronto condo is financial evaluation in order to find out about your affordability. In other words, it will help you to align your budget with your wish list. This step requires some paperwork to do for mortgage and downpayment.

First of all, the lender institution checks your credit. It means they will examine your financials. They’ll ask for an employment letter, salary and your job’s start date. They also check whether you paid your income taxes last year or not using NOI (Notice of Assessment).

Then, you should figure out your downpayment. Normally, you would need to pay 10% of a condo priced less than $1 million ( Only if you are a first time buyer and eligible for it). You’d need a 20% down payment if a condo priced more than $1 millions.

Related articles: Downpayment for a condo

Besides, you should pay 5% of the condo price as a deposit less than 24 hours after your offer is accepted. So, your deposit should be easily available.

buying a condo in Toronto

Next step in this process is to get an official pre-approval letter for your mortgage from the lender who has assessed your financials. This is an important step which can officially show your affordability to buy a condo.

You should know that the conditions of getting a mortgage for a condo is somehow different from a house. Besides, sometimes the lender institutions have a blacklist of some condos which cannot receive any mortgage (mostly for building problems).

Related articles: How to afford a condo in Toronto

The wise action is to talk to your lender before making any offer. And certainly, hire a Top Toronto real estate agent to help you during the whole buying process.

2.Do your own research

Before buying a condo, you should do your own research about the reputation of Condo Construction Corporation and condo management. If you don’t make sure about the history of the corporation, it is probable that you buy a place and then find out it is under a heavy debt. You can find out more about the condo corporation in the Status Certificate.

For more information check the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation website.

Learn about all the costs. Do you know how much it costs to buy a condo apartment in Toronto? The most general costs include downpayment, land transfer tax, legal fees and title insurance and packing and moving. 

3.Location/neighborhood

Finding the best place to live in Toronto is your next important step. So take your time and explore the neighborhoods that you like. Whether you want to buy a condo for investment or for your family residence, there are some important factors that you should consider.

You should try to find out about future construction around your condominium (more condos around may block your view or light), demography of the neighborhood, public transit access, best schools in the area, and proximity to other amenities and services (parks, grocery store, hospital).

You can try to know the residents. When you are going to live in a condominium, your neighbors and community would be important factors. For example, the residents of downtown condos are mostly young couples or singles; so you might expect too much come and go or loud parties. Or try to know how friendly the condominium is, the percentage of owners vs. renters, the environment is kid-friendly or not, etc.

Related articles: best condos in toronto

buying a condo in Toronto

4.Evaluate the condo price 

Since buying a home can be the biggest financial purchase in your life, it is very important to assess everything. Using the help of your real estate agent, evaluate the final condo price and fees and ask your agent for a market valuation.

For example, consider the fact that if you buy an older condo, the monthly or annual repair costs would be higher. Certainly the experience and knowledge of your real estate agent can help you so much. However, there are some important factors affecting the condo price, including:

  • Location/neighborhood
  • Location of condo on the floor
  • Which floor the condo is on
  • Layout
  • View
  • Exposure (north/south/east/west)
  • Ceiling height
  • Renovations
  • Maintenance fees
  • Parking/locker/green space
  • Amenities
  • Reputation of the condominium

4.Condo maintenance and insurance costs 

One of your monthly expenses after buying a condo would be the maintenance fees. So you better find out what are the services that condo management is going to charge you for. Or simply how much you should monthly pay for services like cleaning, general repairs, concierge and security, gym or swimming pool, green spaces, superintendent and a part of the condo corporation’s insurance.

buying a condo in Toronto

You can even ask about the monthly utility fees. There might be no standard for maintenance fees in Toronto, but utility fees are standard (water, hydro, gas). Another important thing to find out is the corporation’s standard insurance coverage. If you know that, you can determine if you need extra insurance or not. Then check whether the maintenance fees have been increased each year or not.

5.Offer process and closing

The required paperwork for the initial offer price, terms and conditions will be prepared by your agent. These documents are valid for an irrevocable period of time. When you sign them, your agent will send the documents to the Seller’s agent.

Then, if the seller accepts your offer, it means they will sign and agree all your terms and conditions. Sometimes they sign but propose different terms (counter-offer). It is not uncommon, there would be some negotiations until you both reach a mutual agreement. If the seller declines your offer, it means they completely disagree with your offer or conditions. So, there won’t be any negotiations.

When the seller accepts your offer and signs it back, the closing process starts. For this process, the condo insurance policy should be prepared, you must sign all the final documents, and you should provide a valid cheque for the balance to the downpayment.

After you transfer the money on closing day, the condo ownership will also be transferred to you. Congratulations! The keys are yours and now you own a Toronto condo.

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Mark was amazing to work with. He anticipated my questions and needs from start to finish, and I trusted him completely. It was obvious that he had my best interests at heart. Mark’s personality made the search for a new home fun, but I never doubted his seriousness in finding me the best home he could. He went to bat for me without hesitation and found me exactly what I needed, taking care of every detail. It made the process exciting, enjoyable and stress free. I would highly recommend him to any future home buyers or sellers!

Breanne M

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Ari is the most pleasurable person I have ever dealt with before. He never once pushed me towards anything I didn’t want, which is rare in this space and really cared about what I really wanted. You can really feel it from his actions. He catered his service to my needs. He was very patient, hard working, diligent, on top of things and real with me about the situation of the market. The quality of service was very high, not just for this industry but in general. He guided me personally through the contract process in person and made it absolutely painless. Such a reliable guy anybody would refer to their friends. I would definitely recommend Ari!

Bo L

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communication throughout the entire process making it smooth, transparent and timely. I recently got transferred to Toronto for work. I was scared I was not going to find a place in Downtown that met both my expectations and my budget, as the Downtown market is highly competitive. I am thankful that Ari took the hassle out of the apartment hunt. He delivered great listings that met and exceeded my expectations, he was always on top on arranging viewings and willing to make accommodations to fit my busy schedule. This allowed me to find a desirable place on my first week here in Canada. I appreciated his time and dedication, it was such a relief knowing that he was invested on my best interest. I can’t recommend him enough.

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Ari was quick to understand my needs and steer me in the right direction. His professionalism and warmth made the process of finding a suitable home a lot less stressful than it could have been. He quickly arranged times to visit places I was interested in, which was one of the reasons I could seize a good deal and get a nice home in a good location. He is patient, friendly and knowledgeable and he definitely provides an above average service. I have nothing but good things to say about him and recommend him to everyone looking for a realtor.

Dario Machado

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Dear Ari, I wanted to thank you for finding me my dreamed condo ! Ari is a very reliable and dynamic person, thanks to his professionalism he found me the perfect condo in less than 24 hours !! As a newcomer in Toronto, I was not familiar with renting process but Ari made it easy, fast and really stress free for me, he was very helpful. I am really happy for the high quality of the service he provides and I will recommend him to everybody without a doubt.

Elodie

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Oh Ari, In this crazy game of downtown real estate it is quite difficult to find an agent that is timely, true to his word, and a joy to be around. Not only did you make the search process very easy but how quick you put everything together when I was ready to make an offer was phenomenal. The online process really saved me a lot of time and explained everything very well. Most of all though your attitude and humor really made things enjoyable and you were very accommodating to whomever I brought with me on my viewings. I would definitely refer Ari to anyone looking for property downtown. He won’t disappoint.

Abdullah

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Hey Ari, I’ve had a few experiences with agents trying to find me a unit in the past, and not all of them I’ve had a helpful experience with. Ari was very friendly and attentive to my needs. It was clear he understood what I was looking for and provided me with lots of great options! He found me a great unit under my price range that I love and made the process of applying and renting it so easy. He did all the leg work and the only thing he needed me to do was sign my name. If anyone is looking for an agent to help find them a place to live I’d send them to Ari without a doubt.

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