Great Tips Before Buying a Condo in London Ontario

 Before buying a condo in London Ontario, following these ideas, tips and real life experiences and then implementing them most likely will save you money, time, worry and allow you to sleep better!

Buying a condo in London & South West Ontario can be a roller coaster of emotions …. Finding the right one that fits your budget and lifestyle…. Securing a mortgage….. moving in. And, if you’re like most, this condo may be your largest investment. Emotions over such a large and personal purchase can often cloud common sense & unbridled enthusiasm.

condos

Many condo buyers do very little research before “diving in” and investing their hard-earned money. Oh, they may have been going to ‘open houses’, searching MLS or viewing realtor websites and that is usually all they do, but there is more that could be done before making an offer.

Below are a few ideas and with the help of the right real estate professional, (ask them these 11 questions first)you’ll make a good sound decision that you’ll be happy and proud of for years to come.

Inspect, Review and Double Check:

Get a home inspection by a professional home inspector who is thorough and can explain to you his or her findings. For apartment condos, you may or may not want to do the inspection yourself because the windows, doors, roof etc are covered by the condo corporation. Turn on all the appliances, the heat or A/C, all lights, flush the toilets and run all the taps in the house and check electrical switches and receptacles.

​  Have your lawyer review the Status Certificate which will cover  the by-laws and  fees, restrictions and the financial staus of the condo corporation.

Don’t take anything for granted… inspect everything!

    Imagine the unit vacant:

Your furnishings and decorations will be the ones filling this new residence. Don’t be swayed by beautiful furniture….it leaves with the owner.

    Income plus Lifestyle Equals Mortgage Payment:

  Sit down with us and honestly discuss your income level and living expenses. Take into account future considerations like: job security or transfer, life style, amenities or fix-ups.

View More Than One Building or Neighbourhood:

Go through at  least 4-6 properties. Don’t get excited on the first property you see, if you really like it, use it as a yard stick and if the others do not compare, act quickly.  With a patient Realtor, you’ll be able to view enough properties to get a good overall perspective of your market. And when you find the right property, all the leg work will be worth it.

  Utilize The Professionals You Are Working With: 

  By aligning yourself with the right real estate professional, you’ll have an entire group of professionals working for you. Top Realtors have lenders, inspectors, appraisers, lawyers, trades people, cleaners….an entire group of trained professionals making the whole buying experience simple and easy for you.

   More Checking to Do: 

 Check out all your costs and expense before you sign: condo fees, utilities, cable, taxes and insurance. Make sure all utilities are on (gas, electricity, and water) when you do see the unit,  so you can inspect everything is in working order, Ask lots of questions and be very detail conscious. (I use a detailed room by room review manual with every client, it covers everything)

   Do a Final Walk-Through Before Closing: 

 Visit the property 2-3 days with your Realtor  before you move in to make sure there are no surprises. Be absolutely sure the appliances, fixtures and any chattels are still there  as you had agreed upon when the offer was accepted. Many times, things are unintentionally overlooked that could have been spotted in a final walk-through. (This is a standard clause in my Agreement of Purchase and Sale)

  Plan for Flexibility if Needed: 

 Closing dates are not written in stone. Allow for contingencies and have a back-up plan. If you or the sellers need a little more time to conclude the final arrangements, don’t let these delays upset or frustrate you. These types of circumstances are not uncommon in a real estate transaction; however, with a great real estate professional and his/her teams, this will seldom occur.

  If it’s Not in Writing, It Doesn’t Exist: 

 All promises and discussions are to be in writing. Don’t make any assumptions or believe any assurances from any one. Even the best intentions can be misinterpreted. Have your real estate professional keep an ongoing log (in writing) of all discussions, and get the seller’s written approval for all agreements.

happy condo buyers

A few more ideas

Having Trouble Finding The Right Condo in London Ontario For You?

Would you like an  easy way to find all the  MLS condos or houses for sale in London Ontario & area?

Would you like answered these 3 very important questions before you buy?

  • What is the property worth in today’s market? (most important)
  • How flexible is the seller on the asking price? (very important)
  • What’s wrong with the property? (extremely important)

One Floor Condo Townhomes (Townhouses) in London Ontario

one floor condo in London Ontario

​And of course, if you want to see any property,  let me know the property you want to see, and I’ll work promptly & quickly to get a showing scheduled for you.

I have access to the lockbox of any property listed on the London & area MLS to let you in.

For a more precise search, such as by postal code or even draw your own map, go here.

 I have access to properties for sale that are not listed for sale on MLS (Property owners have asked us to help them sell, but there’s few days lag time before they are searchable on MLS or they are doing a few bits of tidying up)

London Ontario Real Estate Information

Cosigning a Loan To Buy a Condo in London Ontario?

What are the consequences if your daughter and her husband want to buy a home, but recently asked you to “Co-Sign” on the loan?

Cosigning a loan for a condo

There’s nothing wrong with helping a family member or close friend with buying a home.  However, co-signing on a loan should be done with great care and knowledge of the consequences.  Co-signing means that you are extending your personal credit for the benefit of someone else.  Problem is, if the borrower defaults, the lender will look to you for full repayment.  So you’re not really a co-signer, you’re a co-debtor.  Here are a few tips that may prove helpful when co-signing:

Although you’re co-signing, make sure your co-borrower is putting cash into the transaction.  The more they put in, the lower your risk.

Obtain a credit report on the person you’re co-signing for, even if it’s another family member.  If they’ve defaulted on other debts, there’s a good chance they’ll default on the debt you’re co-signing.

Ask the lender to release you from the loan when the principal balance is reduced to a certain amount.

Examine how your credit rating and ability to borrow will be impacted.  Co-signing on a loan can sometimes impact your ability to get financing if you need it.

Make sure your name is listed on the deed as a co-owner.  And by all means, speak with a good real estate lawyer.

If your son or daughter separate, who owes what on the home? You could end up buying out one or the other.

If the home is sold, will you share in any appreciation or gain in value?

These are only a few of the consequences let alone the dis-harmony between families or a friend. I have advised and helped many families over the years, so not only is a competent lawyer and lender required, but a real estate person with your interests in mind.

Let me share my experience with you.

The Only London Ontario Condo Buyer Guarantee

Love it or Leave It” London Ontario’s Only Home Buying Guarantee

100% Home Buyer Guarantee

If you obtain a home through Sutton Group Envelope Real Estate Brokerage and you are not 100% pleased with it, we will sell your home for you for FREE! We offer this guarantee within the first 24 months after you purchase the home.

Why? 

We want you to be totally satisfied with your home and will do everything to get you into a home that you will love…Guaranteed!

We are confident that we have the ability to listen to you and to being dedicated in finding the “Perfect Home” for you.  We take 100% responsibility; we offer no excuses and no finger pointing.

That’s why we are willing to work for FREE if your home isn’t everything you expected it to be.  You have nothing to lose,

There is some fine print and here it is:

This home buying guarantee excludes commercial properties, investors & students.

London Ontario Condos Competing For Your Attention

When you go shopping for a London Ontario condo, there are actually two condos competing for your attention: the one that meets your needs, and the one that fulfills your desires.

buying a condo in London Ontario

In one of the greatest financial books ever written, ‘The Richest Man in Babylon’,George Clason writes that there are two kinds of study: the one kind being the things we learned and knew, and the other being the training that taught us how to find out what we did not know.

I read this book yearly to refresh and remind myself of some real simple financial basics, while very simple and easy to do, most Canadians do not follow, perhaps because it is so simple to make wise financial decisions.

When it comes to buying a condo in London Ontario, I see many people , professionals especially, while well educated in their profession (I hope), buy or sell real estate without finding out what they do not know.

It is like a person complaining of a sore belly, goes to their doctor and tells the physician that Dr. Google says it is blah blah blah! The kind physician ( the one not rolling their eyes or thinking “Oh no,here we go again) will ask questions, identify the cause or the remedy and treat the problem.

In real estate the same thing, wise, intelligent people listen to what their neighbour or co-worker says, read “how to save thousands when buying real estate’, or watch all those reality shows and then become experts in buying a house or a condo.

Home sellers and their real estate representative love you, because you are the one who overpays for a home (yet brag that you got a good deal, yadayadayaa) or find out that the home has structural issues or a neighbourhood stigma .

Getting back to The Richest Man in Babylon, why not let your ego sit down for awhile and find out what you do not know about buying or selling a home? In real estate we do not have a Dr. Google, but we have everyone who has ever bought or sold a home as experts on how to buy or sell a home.

If I offended anyone by being blunt with the last paragraph, hopefully I have at least brought more awareness that perhaps you do not have all the answers and that a professional Realtor may be your greatest asset.

You may think money dictates your decision and in some cases you may be right. But about 85% of the time, you would be surprised at the results you can get when working a professional Realtor and these tools in the tool kit below.

Envelope real Estate Buyers Toolkit

Great Tips Buying a London Ontario Condo

  Condominium living is a popular option for many as it can be a relatively carefree housing option and London Ontario is no exception and by following these tips, it will definitely be carefree!

happy condo buyers in London Ontario

    Most  newspapers now include a condominium section which recognizes the increasing number of people who already live in—or aspire to live in—a condominium.

  The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has created a  guide to help you become an informed condominium buyer and to help you make the best choice. At the end of the CMHC Guide you will find full definitions of some of the terms used.

   It will identify important questions to ask—and the people you should be asking—before you make this important purchase.

  Millennials buying a condo in London Ontario

 At the end of the report, there is a selection checklist to help you narrow down the choice between the different types of condominiums you might see.

  Another great Condos in London guide is one that I have been providing to Londoners for the last 15 years, in it you will see price ranges and styles of condos, neighbourhoods, specific buildings or complexes, local London Ontario links and telephone numbers, maps and tips.

I hope you will find it as helpful as hundreds of clients have.

My Top Picks London Ontario Condos

My Top Picks London Ontario Condos may be helpful to you as I have shown buyers 736 condo apartments, townhouses and town homes in 2016. 

If you are finding it confusing searching MLS, newspapers and magazines or agent websites for a condo in London Ontario, I do too sometimes!

Top picks London Ontario Condos

Knowing the price, styles, location and amenities that every condo apartment or town home or townhouse complex has in London can be daunting and my goal when working with a buyer  is to first educate you, the buyer, about what is available, then assist you in narrowing down the search and then offer you  guidance and my experience & negotiating skills to get you the property that fits.

In London at present there are these apartment condos for sale in London Ontario:

  • 23 from $71,900-$99,900
  • 41  from $100,000 – $150,000
  • 33 from $150,000 – $200,000
  • 31 from $200,000 – $275,000
  • 18 over $275,000

Townhouse Condos that are currently for sale:

  • 6 from $71,000 to $99,900
  • 27 from $100,000 to $150,000
  • 31  from $150,000 – $200,000
  • 58  from $200,000 – $275,000
  • 66  from $275,000 – $350,000
  • 22 from $350,000 – $450,000
  • 37 over $450,000
 Apartment Condos For Sale in London  (My Picks)
Bedrooms Bathrooms Price Description
2 1 $114,500 1000 square feet Plus, bus route UWO
2 2 $137,000 insuite laundry, freshly painted
2 1+1 $163,900 Downtown, hardwood, fireplace, 5 appliances
2 1+1 $197,000 5 appliances, pool, underground parking
2 2 $249,900 9′ ceilings, hardwood, ceramic, master ensuite
2 2 $279,900 Luxury, green space, underground parking
2+1 2 $389,000 Downtown, luxurious, spacious
2 2 $449,000 1850 square feet +, a wow factor
2 2+1 $678,000 Great View
 Townhouse Condos For Sale in London (My Picks)
Bedrooms Bathrooms Price Description
3 1+1 $119,900 Forced air, finished basement
3 2 $147,900 Finished Basement, Patio, 5 appliances
3 2 $169,900 Master ensuite, garage, bus route UWO
4 2+1 $199,000 ,garage, finished basement, large rooms
3 2+1 $249,000 Walk to UWO, garage
2+1 2+1 $279,000 one floor, double garage, finished basement
3 2+1 $369,900 one floor, detached, double garage, finished basement
3 3 $431,000 End unit, park like setting, one floor, double garage
3 3+1 $469,900 Exclusive area, 3500 square feet +, double garage

So, looking for a condo in London Ontario that is right for you should not be guess work or by luck. I know condos, where they are, the best locations, the better built ones,  the better managed ones, the best values, the safest ones, and buildings or complexes to stay away from.

Because of the volume of business I do, I also from time to time have listings that are not on MLS, it could be because they are doing last minute touch ups or my client knows I have many active buyers ready to buy if the right condo becomes available.

Before Buying a London Ontario Condo, What About?

 Before buying a London Ontario condo,  even before you start looking for condos in London Ontario to purchase, size, style, price & condition are all taken into consideration, but before you make an offer, have you given any thought to ?

   buying a condo in London Ontario

  1. Who lives here? What age group? Children?
  2. What are the average prices for the last 12-18 months?
  3. What are the average days on the market for these condos?
  4. How long has this unit been on the market & how many times?
  5. Are there any planned construction nearby that will effect or destroy your views or traffic flows?

And then , if you do make an offer ,what you and a good Realtor will do:

  1. A Financing Clause if necessary
  2. A Home Inspection- Yes it is a condo and the roof, windows and doors may be covered by the condo corporation, but -Put it in!
  3. A Status Certificate- The financial situation of the condo corporation & don’t just rely on your lawyer’s opinion, they know law, they are not accountants or financial advisers.
  4. What are the condo rules, are pets allowed, visitor parking, etc? (A good real estate lawyer will be able to tell you that after he or she has reviewed the status report)
  5. What percentage of units occupied are owner occupied vs renters? (A good real estate lawyer will be able to tell you that after he or she has reviewed the status report)

 

    So , it can get quite exciting and fun  looking for and selecting a condo to buy in London Ontario, but if you let emotions cloud your judgement , it could get costly  or cause you to be dissatisfied in a few months!

Like any great meal or a piece of cake,  it helps to know what the ingredients are that make it great and in what order they have been entered!