Interested In Buying A Condo? Understanding The Uniqueness Of Ownership

Interested In Buying A Condo? Understanding The Uniqueness Of Ownership

Even if you are an experienced homebuyer who has purchased several properties in your adult life, you may be unprepared for the experience of buying a condo. Although the net result of the process is putting you in a new home, there are unique things to consider when you buy a condominium in Halifax. It pays to have an experienced realtor by your side can educate you on what is different about buying a condo, as well as a help you find a great property that will meet your current needs.

Considerations in Buying A Condo – Monthly Fees


If you are a Baby Boomer or retiree, a condo unit can give you the satisfaction of home ownership without some of the maintenance. Whether you buy a condo in a high-rise building, or a rancher style unit, you pay an association fee that covers maintenance for common areas. The monthly association fee is only one of the costs involved in your purchase. Before deciding which condo you want to buy, you need to consider both your monthly fees and your out-of-pocket upfront costs and include both closing costs and other expenses to make sure that the home is within your budget.

Condo fees vary widely, depending on what they include and where the condo is located. Some may include basics, such as roof and building and lawn and garden maintenance, amenities such as a pool or gym, parking, party rooms, or even basics such as heat. The more the fees include, the more costly they are, so they can range from a few hundred dollars a month to well over $1,000.

Upfront Costs Of Ownership


Your closing costs are likely to include:


  • Mortgage broker or application fee
  • Bank appraisal fee
  • Land transfer tax
  • Legal fees
  • High ratio mortgage insurance fee
  • Prepaid tax reimbursement
  • Prepaid condo fee reimbursement
  • 2 months of condo fees

For new units, you may also have to pay:

  • Harmonized Sales Tax (HST). You will not have to pay this on most resale units unless the previous owner acquired it for business, made substantial renovations, or claimed input tax credits for improvements
  • Development charges
  • Discharge of developer’s mortgage fee
  • Prepaid occupancy fee payment

When you buy a new condo, built to your specifications from floor plans, your property first closes when you occupy the unit, but you do not become an owner until the building registers with the city, which may take about six months. During this time, you pay occupancy fees to the developer, which includes simple interest in your purchase price, estimated monthly tax, and monthly condo fees.

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To make sure you do not waste your time looking at condos that will be outside your budget, you should first get a mortgage preapproval letter from your lending institution. Armed with this information, you and your Realtor® can zero in on affordable properties you’ll love.

To make sure what you are getting into, you should first seek the council of an agent like myself who is experienced in selling condos and can offer you the in-depth information you need to consider on condo ownership. Call me today 902-497-3031

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When you are buying or selling a home, don’t waste time. Give me a call for experience, market knowledge, correct pricing, and a sincere interest in helping you fulfill your real estate goals. If you are ready to sell your home for maximum value, the best place to start is by clicking here and scheduling an appointment.

Roy Thomas SRES is a Senior’s Real Estate Specialist and a REALTOR® with Sutton Group-Professional Realty. Licensed since 1991, much of Roy’s practice is helping retirees with their later in life moves. Roy can be reached at 902-497-3031, by email: or read other articles online at

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 Interested In Buying A Condo? Understanding The Uniqueness Of Ownership

 Interested In Buying A Condo? Understanding The Uniqueness Of OwnershipRoy Thomas SRES® (Senior’s Real Estate Specialist) is a REALTOR® with Sutton Group Professional Realty. Since 1991 Roy specializes in helping retirees with their later in life real estate transactions. If you are contemplating a move and would like a complimentary copy of Roy’s guide to downsizing entitled “Preparing to Downsize” please click here