Condo Buying Tips

By Sandra Rinomato


From the Bank’s Point of View

You’ll find that financing requirements will be affected when you come to buy a condo. For example, your lender will include half the condo fee (which covers maintenance and repairs to the building and common elements, but more on that later!) in your debt calculation when you apply for a mortgage. There’s nothing quite comparable when you’re purchasing a single-family property. That condo fee will be added to the monthly expenses that you’ll have to carry—a figure that always includes mortgage payments and interest, municipal taxes, and utilities—and that higher figure will have an impact on the total amount the lender will approve for your mortgage. However, that initial drawback can also be a blessing in disguise for the condo buyer, because by knowing the fixed monthly maintenance cost in advance, you can budget accordingly.

Hey, Where Did My View Go?
Only pay for “protected” views! Before purchasing a condo in the sky, verify that your unit’s breathtakingly gorgeous view is lawfully protected. Are municipal zoning laws, building regulations or environmental restrictions on the books to prevent someone else from destroying your fabulous view? Don’t pay a premium for that view only to lose it a few years later—along with some of your investment. Never assume that your view will last forever. Check into the area’s future plans, and get written assurances from the developer.

From Sandra's new book, Realty Check: Real Estate Secrets for First-Time Canadian Home Buyers available now at and

Watch full episodes of Property Virgins.

Reprinted from Realty Check: Real Estate Secrets for First-Time Canadian Home Buyers by Sandra Rinomato Copyright (C) 2009 by Sandra Rinomato. Reprinted with permission of the publisher John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Topics: Property Virgins, Buying, Condos, Real Estate, Sandra Rinomato, Condo Fees, Financing

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