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Condo-Buying Dos and Don’ts

When it comes to buying a new-construction condo, it pays to know the protocol. Real estate expert Pierre Carapetian breaks down what you should and shouldn't do.


Do hire a realtor.

It costs you nothing. Make sure to hire someone who understands the pre-construction market and can give you guidance on what is an appropriate buy.

Do comparison shop!

Knowledge is power! Before you buy, compare the property you are considering against the fair market value of a similar (size, view, etc.) suite in that area.

Do have a clear idea of what you want to spend.

Speak to a mortgage broker to get an accurate number of what you're qualified to spend before you start to look.

Do get a lawyer.

Have a lawyer review your Agreement of Purchase and Sale during the 10-day recession window. Get your realtor and lawyer to explain the differences between buying resale and pre-construction and make sure you account for the additional closing expenses that come with buying pre-construction. Tip: Make sure you or your realtor get the development closing expenses capped as an amendment to your Agreement of Purchase and Sale.

Do get excited!

But be smart: Real estate is always an investment but one you won't regret if executed wisely!

Don't spend extra money on upgrades.

If you're buying a condo as an investment property, forget the upgrades. Most developers offer very competitive standard finishes that are totally satisfactory. While upgrades may make your suite more attractive to prospective buyers, they won't necessarily increase the value of your suite.

Don't listen to every opinion you hear.

Everyone has one one. Your mother, your father, your jealous best friend and their friends, and their friends... Chose one trustworthy individual and have them be your voice of reason. Too many outside opinions will just cloud your judgment.

Don't be dissuaded by every negative thing you see.

No piece of real estate is perfect; there are pros and cons to everything. Decide what is and isn't a deal breaker for you and settle on the unit that suits your needs best.

Don't count on the move-in date.

If you are buying pre-construction and you need a specific move-in date, don't count on the one they give you—no matter what the builder says. Pre-construction builds are delayed all the time. You can make a more educated guess by looking at the progression of construction in the area. Your realtor should also be able to shed some light.

Don't be afraid to pull the trigger.

You've done the homework and found the right property. Buy! An opportunity lost is a sad thing. Don't be the person saying, "I wish I bought that!" five years later.

bio_pierre_carapetian_new_construction.jpgPierre Carapetian (416-486-5588) is a board-certified real estate agent in Toronto, specializing in urban condos and lofts.


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