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New Condo Buying

Like all markets, real estate experiences fluctuations in activity. One constant in the Greater Toronto Area though, is the growing number of condominium transactions.

Combining affordability with carefree living and the latest amenities, condominiums are attracting more buyers than ever before. In June 2010 for example, condominiums comprised nearly 33 per cent of all sales. By contrast, at the same time a year ago they comprised nearly 29 per cent of transactions.

While many buyers retain the services of a real estate professional when buying a resale condominium, some aren’t aware that it is equally important to consult a REALTOR® when considering new construction developments as well.

When choosing a new condominium suite there are a number of variables of which you should be aware, and your REALTOR® can guide help you steer clear of any potential pitfalls.

Your purchase agreement may for example, allow your builder to substitute the gleaming stainless appliances you expect with black or white alternatives. It goes without saying that finishing features may not be the same as those displayed in the presentation office but you should also be aware that even room sizes and ceiling heights can be altered to make model suites more attractive. Even parking facilities might not be what you expect.

While every agreement should, of course, be reviewed by your legal counsel, your REALTOR® can help you identify features that are most important to you, so that your agreement provides for those specifics.

If your priority is a spectacular view, your REALTOR® can advise on zoning in the surrounding area that could affect sightlines in future.

Given that REALTORS® have many contacts in the community, they might even be able to give you insight into current owners’ experiences with your chosen developer.

Using their access to RealNet, a database that includes 99 per cent of all developments greater than 15 units in size in the GTA, your REALTOR® can also help you compare a developer’s value proposition to others currently available in the market.

While a provision to withdraw an offer does not apply to resale condominium transactions, the purchase of a new condo allows, through legislation, for a 10-day cooling off period in which you are entitled to rescind your offer should you decide to explore other options.

Given that many new condominium purchases involve buying into nothing more than a concept and that emotions are heightened when the majority of your financial resources are involved, it’s wise to have a REALTOR® on your side who is familiar with the many variables and can safeguard your interests throughout the process.

For more information on how a REALTOR® can help you find a condo that is perfectly suited to your needs, talk to a REALTOR® and visit where you will find neighbourhood profiles, GTA open house listings, information on government programs for homebuyers and more.

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