Renting your first apartment, or purchasing your first condo, can be a daunting task. With so many things to worry about and keep track of the experience can seem overwhelming.  Click here to visit our listing of available Apartments and Apartment Condos.  To help you select a good apartment here are 4 things to remember:


1) Don’t go alone


Especially if you are inexperienced at apartment hunting it helps to bring a friend or relative along who has purchased their own place before. Hire a REALTOR® that has experience in buying and selling condos and the intricacies that go with it.


2) Talk to your potential neighbours if you can


If you are seriously considering an apartment or condo try and talk to some of your potential neighbours when viewing the property. Introduce yourself and explain why you are there, then ask them general questions about the building. Is the place in good repair? Do they have any complaints about their neighbours?  What is the social scene like?


3) Go over the paperwork carefully


Your REALTOR will go over all of the details of your offer with you before you sign it.  You will often have a condition of a condominium document review, which will allow the seller some time to obtain all of the documents related to the unit.  You will then be able to examine the documents, and send them for a professional review if you choose.  Some of the bylaws of the Condominium corporation will effect you directly. Can you have pets? What if you have, or decide you want to have, children. Will they be welcome in the building? 


4) Research the neighbourhood


Make sure the neighbourhood is safe, and that you can easily access the services you need. How far away is the grocery store? If you have children, how far away is the nearest school? You should also check the crime rate in your neighbourhood. The Calgary Police Service offers an up to date Crime Map of the city, which shows how many of each crime occurred in each neighbourhood in the last year.


Purchasing your first condo, will be less stressful if you follow these tips. If something ever doesn’t feel right you shouldn’t risk it. The last thing you want to is get stuck with an unit that is not right for you. 

Read full post

So you have decided to purchase a condo. Whether you are upgrading from a rented apartment or downsizing from a house there are w few things to consider before you sign the papers.

 
1) Do your research
 
Find out if there have been any special assesments in the last few years. If there is something that needs to be fixed or upgraded in the building that affects all the residents then the Condo board will issue a special assessment. This means the cost of repairs will be split between all the residents, and can be very costly. To find out if there have been any recent cash calls review the minutes from the meetings.  You’re real estate professional should be offering you guidance and recommending having a professional document review service going over your documents with you.
 
2) Inspect the entire facility
 
Don’t just look at the unit you are interested in. Check out the outside of the building and the common areas. Check for any damage (cracks, water damage, rust, mold etc) that could be indicators of larger problems. If these areas are neglected either the board doesn’t have the funds to fix them or they don’t care to. Either way, be wary.  Some home inspectors will now only inspect the physical unit and not the common areas.  Your real estate professional should be providing you contact information for inspectors that will inspect all of the areas.  Many of the common area infrastructure expenses can be estimated from reading the reserve fund study of the condominium corporation.
 
3) Be clear on all policies
 
Do you have pets? Or children? You want to make sure they are welcome in the building.  Many condos have restrictions. Some only allow residents who are over 18, and sometimes pets are banned or there is a maximum weight for your pet or a maximum number of pets you can have. You should also be clear about any other restrictions. You can review the rules in the condominium corporation bylaws.
 
4) Talk to your real estate professional.
 
Your real estate agent will be able to help you with any general condo questions, and will likely be able to answer questions specific to the building.
Read full post