What to look for when buying a condo

Well, it’s no wonder the condo market isn’t doing sellers so well. During the last year, statistics show a decrease in volume and sales price. The average days to sell a condo is now 123 days, compared to 90 days in 2009. Condo construction remains strong and there are not enough buyers to go around. At NDG / CDN alone there are around 950 condos for sale, and as of January 2015, there were only 435 sales in those areas. Which means that it took 6 months to sell half of the product on the market. And this area is one of the lucky ones.

So what to do?

Buying real estate is a great investment. 12 years ago, after reading “Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosake, I was convinced that I wanted to get into real estate. I got my license and also bought my first property. Since then, with the real estate I own, my equity has grown from $ 50,000 to $ 300,000. Whether it’s a house, a condo, or a plex, buying the right one will make a difference in your pocket.

Buy the right condo

Buying a condo is easy, it’s when you’re ready to sell that has the most impact. Nobody wants to sell their condo for 12-24 months, yet that’s what I see sometimes. To avoid this, there are some ‘rules of thumb’ to follow. Here is my list of important criteria to follow when purchasing a condo for eventual resale:

Location, location, location … aside from price, this is everyone’s top priority. You want to buy in a promising area or an area that is already happening. Close to public transportation, shops, restaurants, or some kind of feature that attracts people like a hospital or market.

Balcony. Any condo I sell that doesn’t have a balcony easily deters 80% of buyers. People like to be able to go out and, most importantly, have a barbecue.

Points of view. You may think that windows facing an ugly parking lot or building don’t bother you, however most buyers will. With many condos to choose from, buyers will choose a great view on a brick wall any day.

Garage. If you are buying a condo, having a garage will give you a head start on reselling. In the worst case, make sure you have outside parking. Winters in Montreal suck and people don’t want to shovel snow on the street to park or have to walk a long distance to get from their cars to their doorstep.

Something special. There are many handcrafted condos at the moment. You know the … skyscrapers with everything looking the same using low quality materials. Find a condo with a feature that is special. An original brick wall, a designer kitchen, doors leading to a balcony … something that attracts people when they enter. Something that differentiates your condo from the others. Something special that you will want a buyer to choose your condo over everyone else.

Appliances included. Many condo buyers look for appliances that are included in the condo. It makes moving easy and a large portion of the condo industry is new buyers who will need them.

Size. Size doesn’t really matter. The closer you are to downtown, the smaller the condos will be for your money. That is to be expected. However, if you are buying a condo and in that area the average is 1200sq ‘, don’t buy a condo for 400sq’, unless the price per square foot is a bargain. When it’s time to resell, your entire competition will be 3 times bigger than yours.

The flow. Get out your Feng Shui books! Just kidding … well, partly anyway. Make sure the condo you buy has a good room-to-room flow and that it feels spacious and open and not boxy and confined. Painting everything the same light shade of color goes a long way towards giving it that illusion, however buyers will notice a condo that doesn’t flow well.

The idea of ‚Äč‚Äčthis list is to have a condo that is to everyone’s liking. By removing a garage or having a smaller condo, you will eliminate some potential buyers from your list. With today’s competition, you want to attract as many potential buyers as possible.

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