15 pro tips for buying a condo in Kelowna
Kelowna is experiencing a construction boom right now and new condos are going up at lightning pace. As the price of single family homes in Kelowna continues to rise, more and more homebuyers are looking at condos for their lower price, low maintenance and excellent locations.
Before you head out and begin your hunt for the perfect unit, take a look through our 20 tips for buying a condo in Kelowna.
Before you begin the Kelowna condo search...
1. Get your finances in order. Don’t forget about things like a home inspection, land transfer tax, lawyer’s fees, and your moving costs. If you’re buying a new condo, you will also have to pay GST
2. Work with a mortgage broker who can help you find a great rate and get prequalified for your mortgage. Don’t forget to factor in your strata fees when determining your budget.
3. Hire a licensed REALTOR who can help you through the buying process. The seller pays the commission, so this fee is at no cost to you. You should also choose a REALTOR who has some experience with condos as there can be additional paperwork to review from the strata corporation.
4. Figure out who your lawyer will be. They will help you get the contracts and paperwork in order. Your REALTOR should also be able to make some recommendations if you don’t have a lawyer already.
While you’re searching for your condo in Kelowna…
5. Don’t rule anything out. Be prepared to consider older and newer buildings, those with amenities and those without. There are pros and cons to everything you look at.
6. Try to buy the largest unit you can afford. While this may mean a slightly older building, two-bedroom units are much rarer than one-bedrooms and studios. They’re also easier to rent if you decide to make your condo an investment property.
7. Re-think that view. Yes, you want the nicest possible view you can get, but don’t forget that other things may be built across the street from your building. That empty field may not always stay that way, so keep that in mind.
8. Always get the parking space. If you’re buying in a new building and you have the option to purchase two spaces, do it. You can always rent one out and it increases the resale value later.
9. Look for a unit that has a storage locker. Storage is the biggest concern for condo buyers and you can never have too much of it.
10. Check out the options for visitor parking. Will guests have to park on the street? Is there a parkade or parking lot nearby? This isn’t a dealbreaker but it will save you headaches down the road.
11. Pay attention to the common areas. Are they kept clean and in good shape? They don’t have to have the latest furniture, but well-cared for common spaces indicate respectful neighbours and a good strata council.
12. Are your neighbours owners or renters? Owners are preferred, but renters can be ok so long as the strata council monitors any potential issues.
13. Review strata documents and look at things like budgets and reserve funds. If a major repair is needed, do they have enough to cover it?
14. Ask about the strata / maintenance fees and what they do and don’t include. Are there any utilities included? What about property taxes?
15. Meet the neighbours. No, really! Knock on the door and introduce yourself to the neighbours and ask how they find the building and how long they’ve lived there.
Buying your first condo doesn’t have to be a daunting experience. Let the licensed REALTORS with The Kelowna Condos Real Estate Co help you navigate the Kelowna condo market!