StreetSide Developments Blog

7 Questions to Ask Before Buying an Apartment Condo

Posted on February 09, 2018

Questions to Ask Before Buying an Apartment Condo Sunset Image

Apartment-style condos are an excellent choice for retirees, professionals looking to start building equity, or anyone else who wants a maintenance-free lifestyleNew Calgary condos are affordable, stylish and have many of the same advantages you can find in more traditional homes. 

Whether you’re certain this style of home is right for you or you’re considering apartment condos in addition to other options, asking these questions can help you get a home that meets your needs.

1. Can I Get Everything I Want?

Start by making a list of all the things you want in a home. This list should include major things like how many bedrooms you need and minor things like the type of cabinetry in the kitchen. Once you have this list, you should be able to take it to developers’ show suites to see if they offer the style of home you want.

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In general, you are likely to be able to get many of the design features you want, including things like an open-concept living area, a laundry room in the condo, and an ensuite in the master bedroom. You’ll also probably be able to get some of the popular modern touches like quartz countertops and a full height tile backsplash in the kitchen.

If something like a big, private backyard is on your list of desires, you might be disappointed. However, many apartment-style condos do have private balconies and shared park areas outside the main building. Once you see these options, you may find they suit your needs.

2. Where Will I Live?

There aren’t quite as many neighbourhoods featuring condos as there are new communities for those who want detached homes or townhomes, so you may need to dig a bit deeper to find a community that’s right for you. The great thing about new Calgary condo communities, though, is they’re typically built within walking distance of many popular amenities. For instance, at Vivace at West 85th, there’s boutique shopping and fantastic restaurants just outside the door.

Questions to Ask Before Buying an Apartment Condo Puppy Image3. How Much Privacy Will I Have? 

It’s true that when you choose an apartment-style condo, you’re giving up some privacy. Depending on the location of your condo, you might be sharing walls, floors, or ceilings with your neighbours. Fortunately, current building materials and techniques will make your condo feel incredibly private once you’re inside your space. You’ll also feel confident knowing the other residents in the building are homeowners just like you. They plan on living in their new homes for many years to come, so they’re likely to be better neighbours than what you may have had in your last apartment complex.

4. How Much Are Condo Fees? What Do They Cover?

Condos are typically more affordable than detached homes, but you’ll also be responsible for condo association fees. These vary greatly from building to building and can add $100 or more to your monthly payment. Be sure to ask what those fees include. In most cases, they cover regular exterior maintenance like landscaping and snow removal, upkeep of the shared areas inside the building like the elevator and hallways and a reserve fund for future improvements.

On rare occasions, condo boards may need money for larger projects. The association should let you know how they plan for these big expenses. Luckily, if you purchase a condo in a newer building, you won’t see these additional expenses as they should be covered by the reserve fund.

Questions to Ask Before Buying an Apartment Condo Kitchen Image5. Are There Any Additional Costs?

A good builder or condo association will be upfront about what fees you’re required to pay, but sometimes there are additional costs you need to factor into the equation. For instance, the condo may come with one reserved parking space, but if you want one for your partner, you’ll have to pay more. Storage units, garage parking and pet fees are all types of additional fees you may need to pay. Asking about these ahead of time gives you a sense of how much your home will cost each month.

6. How Much Will It Cost to Build the Home I Want?

If you’re buying a move-in ready condo that’s already finished, you’ll know exactly what the final cost will be. Those who want to personalize the interior finishings, though, will have to estimate costs. Let the developer know what type of materials you want to include in the build and they’ll be able to give you an accurate estimate of what the home will cost.

With a brand-new apartment condo, you’ll get the benefits of living in a new home without the hassle of maintenance. You can relax and spend your time doing the things you really enjoy. As long as you do proper research, you’ll be able to find a home that meets your needs.

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