15 Tips for Buying a New Condo in Calgary
- January 5, 2018
- By Cody Battershill
You have options when browsing new Calgary condos for sale, especially in today's market where there's a lot of product to choose from.
With so many options, it's extremely important you get only the best advice and all the information necessary to find a new condo that fits your wants, needs and lifestyle best.
There are many steps involved in buying a new condominium in Calgary. Let me share the general steps with you in hopes that you will feel confident and informed throughout your new condo buying experience!
I am prepared to begin my search. Where to start?
#1 – Hire a new condo expert as third-party representation
Hiring a professional real estate agent who has extensive experience in helping people buy new Calgary condos is the best way to begin your search. As a condo expert, he or she will be able to provide you with a list of condominiums that fit your criteria to help get you started.
Furthermore, this person will protect your best interests and guide you every step of the way while making sure that you get the most value for your dollar in negotiations. You won't have to sweat the details because you'll have an expert taking care of them on your behalf.
Another reason why it makes sense to hire a REALTOR® when buying a new condo in Calgary is the cost - nothing! Why not have expert advice by your side in negotiations with the developer and just a phone call away at any time to help you if that's the case!?
#2 - Industry connections
Talk to your new condo specialist about your options when it comes to other professionals needed to make the buying process a success. This includes a mortgage specialist, lawyer and condo document review specialist.
Your new condo real estate agent will refer these professionals to you, of whom will also work to protect your best interests throughout the transaction. If you have your own professionals in mind, you can always use them as well!
- Also see our New Calgary Condo Guide to Condo Documents
#3 - Get mortgage pre-approval
Are you buying for yourself or as an investment? Talk to a mortgage specialist to get a pre-approval done on a mortgage. This will help you understand exactly how much you can afford and most importantly what price range you are comfortable with browsing.
If you are looking at your new condo purchase as an investment, read more on buying a new condo as an investment.
I found a condo specialist and have been pre-approved for a mortgage. What’s next?
#4 –Take your time when browsing new condominiums
When looking for the right new condo, examine all of your options! Don't rush your decision, take the time to look at every angle possible and make sure you are doing what is best for you.
New condominiums come in all shapes and sizes. From downtown to the suburbs, low to high rise, wood to concrete, townhomes to penthouses; pinpoint your wants and needs, make a list and work with your new condo real estate agent to find the best opportunity for you.
- Here's a list of new condo and townhome projects for sale in Calgary.
#5 –Think about resale potential
Look for a new condo that fits your criteria while keeping its resale potential in mind. Ask your Calgary condo specialist about the floor plan, resale market, developers reputation and past projects, current activity in comparable floor plans and if there are any future developments that could affect your unit in some way.
You want to consider any and all variables that could affect your resale price, especially considering that many people like first time buyers, for example, tend to purchase multi-family first before moving onto a home as it's a more affordable way to become a home owner.
#6 - Think about the condo location within the building
Consider your view and location within the building. Try avoiding units located near the building garbage area, parkade doors or the main lobby.
A good view and location in the building will always make your living experience more enjoyable than without one. Keep in mind a below average view has the ability to adversely affect your resale potential.
#7 –Visit the new condo at different times of the day
Visit the new condo site during the morning, afternoon and evening to see differences in traffic patterns in the area as well as natural light exposure in the unit.
For example, having an east facing window wall has the potential to really heat things up in the summer while a condo with little exposure could seem gloomy and dark.
#8 - Determine the 'all-in' price
Compare the price per square foot including the taxes and upgrades to understand the total all in price. The price per square foot can vary and be calculated using different methods, so it's important to know which one is being used (see below for more).
This metric is very handy when comparing different units in the same building and can be a good marker when comparing different projects once you have factored in some room for different features and locations.
#9 - Titled, leased, assigned parking? What about storage?
Unless you like the idea of 'carless' condo like N3 in East Village, you'll need a stall to park your own vehicle anyways. Besides, without dedicated parking for your unit the resale potential of your new condo can be substantially affected when its time to sell.
Also, having a dedicated storage unit is a huge bonus for any condo owner. We always need more space, so get storage if you can.
#10 - Get a condo document review
Remember that in Alberta you have an automatic 10 day period from when you sign the offer with a developer to review the condominium documents and rescind the deal if you change your mind.
Use these 10 days to read the documents, consult a lawyer or get the condominium documents reviewed. The more due diligence you do, the better. If you followed step one and acquired the services of a new condo expert in Calgary then they should be able to refer you to a condo document review specialist.
I think I have found the right new condo. What else should I do to make sure?
#11 –Ask as many questions you need to feel secure
Any question that you have about the new condo should be answered satisfactorily by your real estate agent or the developer. You really can never ask too many questions when making such a large purchase.
#12 - Visitor parking
Does the building have any visitor parking stalls? If so, how many are there to use?
If you are planning on entertaining any family and friends, having visitor parking at a new condo in the inner city or downtown Calgary area is an added convenience your family and friends will appreciate!
#13 - Security features
What kind of security features does the new condo have? Are there enough safeguards in place to make you feel safe and secure living here?
Having a well secured building means added peace of mind for you as a resident and can help to maintain the buildings value for all!
- Also see our Calgary Condo Guide to Building Security
#14 - Do some homework to add peace of mind
When you think you've found the new condo for you, if you haven't already make sure to examine the developer's sales history, area activity, and comparable sales.
Your new condo specialist will notify you of any red flags concerning the new Calgary condos you visit.
#15 – Read the fine print
Always, always read the fine print to any contracts! Also review all of the new condo documents the developer provides you with. In Alberta, developers are legally responsible to provide you with all of these!
Have You Found a New Condo Specialist Real Estate Agent?
Having a certified condo specialist on your team may just be the most important step in pursuing a new condo purchase. With over a decade of experience in the new condo market, I guarantee to make sure you get the best value for the best price in the best new condo that you love!
5 Reasons to work with me when buying a new condo:
#1 - Hiring me costs you nothing
#2 - Benefit from my new condo experience
#3 - Service focused new condo real estate agent and REALTOR®. I work for you, not the developer!
#4 - Save time and feel confident by examining every option with me
#5 - Buy with future resale value in mind
My experience includes:
- Certified Condo Specialist (CCS®) & Accredited Buyers Representative (ABR®)
- Former Calgary Real Estate Board Condominium Committee Member
- Extensive experience in the new condo market
- Former instructor at the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB®)
- Top 100 producing REMAX Real Estate Agent in Canada (2013, 2014, 2015h)
As a highly experienced new condo specialist and REALTOR® in Calgary, I guarantee to provide you with unparalled service, advice and third-party representation while guiding you every step of the way through the process. Put my expertise and experience to work for you!
Call me anytime direct at 403-370-4180 or send a message below for a prompt, if not immediate response. I am looking forward to helping you accomplish your new condo goals in Calgary!
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