Buying a home or condo is probably the first big purchase that you will make. Even though there’s probably no shortage of condos in your area, it’s a good idea to know what you want before you start looking. Otherwise, you will be bombarded by new and old constructions that may, or may not, be a worthwhile investment.
Set Your Price
Prior to calling any real estate agent, make sure that you have a set price in mind. Go to the bank, find out how much of a mortgage you can get, and do not look at condos that are above your set price. If your bank will pre-approve you for a mortgage, this is an even better way to begin looking for that new condo. You might also want to think about buying a home that is listed for a lesser amount than you have been pre-approved for.
If you don’t want to have a virtual noose around your neck, look for a condo that you can comfortably afford. This may mean setting your price a bit below the price that the bank quoted to you. This way, you can still pay for everyday items, additional fees, and other stuff without compromising your current lifestyle.
Before looking high and low for your new condo, think about the area that you want to live in. If you can, narrow down your location selection to one or two neighborhoods. Also, make sure you buy a condo that you can easily resell. This means avoiding any condos that are in bad neighborhoods, in a bad location, or near a factory.
When it comes to optimal location, think about the following factors:
- View: you might not be able to afford the best view in town, but don’t settle for a brick wall either.
- Avoid Noise: don’t move in next to a club, major highway, or any other noisy area.
- Accessibility: look for a condo that’s easy to access. Does the building have elevators or stairs? Is the building secure?
There are plenty of inexpensive condos out there – under 700 square feet. If size is a big deal to you, make sure that any condo you look at has enough space. Some realtors will try to list a two bedroom apartment as a three bedroom condo, and then tell you that you can make it a three bedroom condo by knocking down a wall or two. Don’t settle for the tales that a realtor tries to spin.
Instead, look at the actual floor plan of a condo. Find out the exact square footage of each room, and determine whether or not a condo has enough space for you. If you are looking at lofts, double-check the square footage listed, since some realtors may consider closet space as actual floor space.