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Thinking About Buying a Halifax Condo? Here Are 6 Tips For Success.

Thinking About Buying a Halifax Condo? Here Are 6 Tips For Success.

Canadians are definitely warming up to condo living. The most recent census results showed 13.3%, or almost 1.9 million households live in condominiums, and the number is growing. The vast majority of condo dwellers live in large cities like Toronto or Vancouver, but their numbers are growing in smaller centres like Halifax too.

In fact, if you look at some of new buildings going up in downtown Halifax, you’ll see the Halifax condo market is thriving, with Halifax condo prices rising along with house prices.

Are you wondering if you should buy a condo in Halifax? if so, here are six tips on how to do it right: 

1.       Think investment. Unlike many other cities, the most of the multi-residential construction now underway in Halifax is for rental units not condos. That’s making the new condos that come on the market more attractive.

Crystal Yeo, managing associate broker at RE/MAX nova, says the Halifax condo market is largely driven by investors who see the long-term investment value of these units. “Condos are gaining value quite substantially, so it’s a good market to be in.” But even buyers who plan to make a condo their home should consider its resale potential and take an objective look at the building and its location. 

2.       Embrace communal living. One thing to remember about condo life is that it involves a lot of shared space. “You have to learn to adapt to other people’s habits and lifestyles,” says Crystal.
For instance, the people down the hall could have a noisy dog, or your next-door neighbour may be a renter not another owner. So if those things are likely to bother you, It’s important to ask questions before you buy to understand exactly what you’re getting into.

And you can reduce the chances of having noise issues if you buy a unit in a modern condo building with concrete walls rather than one in an older wood-frame building. 

3.       Take a test drive. While it may not always be easy to rent a condo before buying one, Crystal highly recommends it. She says that’s especially important for longtime homeowners who are used to living in single-family neighbourhoods. “A lot of them will purchase a condominium and expect the same privacy and flexibility they had with their homes, and it doesn’t exist.” By renting first, you can see if the benefits of downsizing outweigh the cons of condo life. 

4.       Get an inspection. When you buy a condo, you only own what’s inside your unit. And while the condo board will take care of the common areas and building elements like the roof and foundation, you still need to know that everything inside your condo is working well, especially the plumbing and electrical. A professional home inspection can also give you a heads up on what maintenance issues might be coming a few years down the road. 

5.       Do your homework. Before buying any condo unit, you should review all the paperwork (and there’s a lot of it) with a lawyer who’s familiar with condos and knows what to look for in the fine print. Access Nova Scotia has a list of key documents that you should request from the seller, including the condo declaration and audited financial statements. Crystal says it’s well worth the time and money it costs to go over everything so you fully understand the business side of owning the condo and what costs may be coming in the future. 

6.       Get involved. One of the downsides of owning a condo is the potential for special assessments – unexpected costs for repairs or budget shortfalls that are charged on top of your condo fees. Another potential issue is the sometimes messy politics of a running a diverse condo community.

The board makes decisions but as an owner you’re a member of the condo association and have voting rights. Crystal’s past property management experience has shown her the importance of getting involved and staying on top of the issues. She says that way you’ll know how decisions are being made and where the costs are coming form.

 

Do you think a condo could be a good fit for your lifestyle? If so, there’s a great selection of condominiums in the Halifax-Dartmouth area, whether you’re looking for a small and affordable condo in an older building or a spacious and luxurious unit in a new condo complex. Contact us today and one of our experienced and knowledgeable agents will be happy to help you find your new home.

 

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