Owning your own home is such a proud feeling. It can also be a significant investment, which is why it’s so important to ask yourself a few key questions when it comes to purchasing a condo that reflects your needs—both inside your unit as well as in the space shared by everyone. Here are a few tips to help you choose the right condo project for you.
What are you looking for
When you find the condo you want to purchase, you’re also choosing where you want to live. That’s why you should take the time to think about your day-to-day needs and what the ideal condo life looks like to you.
- Do you want to live in a fun, busy area or a quiet residential neighbourhood?
- Do you need to be within walking distance of work or a Metro station?
- Would you prefer an open-living plan or closed rooms?
- Are parking and ample storage must-haves for you?
- Is it important to you that common areas feature a pool, sports centre, or other amenities?
- Do you want to live near shops, restaurants, an elementary school, cultural centres, downtown, your family, or a highway to escape the city?
- Would you sacrifice square footage for a more centrally located condo?
- Is your goal to purchase a home for the long term or do you plan to resell in the near future?
When it comes time to decide where you want to live, ensure that you meet as many requirements on your list as possible—all while keeping in mind that you may need to forgo a little in terms of budget, square footage, or amenities.
Remember: No matter how good a condo project looks on paper or online, it’s not the same as visiting the project in person and getting a feel for the neighbourhood. Pass by Esplanade Cartier’s sales office, speak with one of our sales advisors, tour the facilities, and discover all the options available to you.
What’s your budget?
Choosing where you want to live is important, and so is your borrowing capacity. Be sure to keep the following in mind when it comes time to calculate the total cost of your condo.
Generally speaking, this is how much you’ll need to have on hand before you buy your home:
- A down payment between 15 and 20% of the total condo sales price.
- If your down payment is less than 20% of the total condo price, you will require loan insurance on your mortgage, which requires that you pay a 9% tax on this insurance at the outset.
- Notary fees that can vary between $1,000 and $2,000.
- Transfer duty—also called the Welcome Tax—which must be paid within a few months of your transaction at the notary. This is based on the value of your condo and determined by the city where you live. (For example, you would pay $3,750 for a $350,000 property purchased in Montreal.)
The following are just some of the expenses that need to be paid on an ongoing basis after you have purchased your home:
- Your mortgage loan, which will need to be paid at the frequency you agreed to with your bank (monthly, bimonthly, etc.).
- Monthly condo fees, which vary by property and are based on the square footage of your unit.
- Municipal and school taxes, which are calculated based on the value of your condo and the city where you live.
Incentives to purchase
There are a number of programs available—like the Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP)—that enable those who have not been homeowners in the last 5 years to withdraw up to $35,000 from their RRSP to finance their property, without penalty. You then have 15 years to reimburse the funds.
You may even be eligible for a partial tax rebate on the purchase of a new condo.
Finally, if you’re a first-time buyer, you may also be able to take advantage of the Home Purchase Assistance Plan—a program jointly funded by the City of Montreal and Quebec government.
Living in a co-ownership enables you to:
- share costs, maintenance, and responsibilities
- take advantage of amenities and common areas
- own property for less than the cost of a house
- live in a central location
Things to keep in mind
Living in a co-ownership also means:
- paying condo fees
- respecting the co-ownership rules
- making decisions as a group
- living in close proximity to your neighbours