The prospect of owning amazing condos is an exciting one for most city dwellers. The market is so huge that people are competing to buy, and developers aren't slow to take advantage. They'll have you slavering to buy units in their new condo tower before it's more than a blueprint. This gives you the jump on the competition, but is it worth it? There are risks with buying a condo you haven't even seen yet. Here are some things to think about when you're trawling through the flashy ads from condo developers who want you to get in on the ground floor.
Developers will often heap on the pressure to get you to buy quickly by claiming that there's a lot of competition for the unit and only a snap decision can prevent you from losing it to someone else. These tactics are designed to prevent you from properly looking into the condominiums you're being offered. Refuse to be pressured. Take your time to look at all the materials, to research your developer and builder (their past projects, reputation, etc) Even if you lose this one, there will be more opportunities right behind it.
To keep you from delving too deeply into their plans and contracts, the developers will hire their own experts - mortgage brokers, real estate agents, and lawyers - to convince you that the deal they are offering is better than any Toronto lofts in the listings. But remember, these people are paid for their performance - their goal is to make money for the developer, not to help you get exactly what you want. Make sure you have your own lawyer take a look at the contract and your own real estate agent to advise you.
Floor Plan Switcharoo
When your developer takes you on a tour of the show unit, you naturally assume that your unit will look exactly the same. But that's not necessarily true. Your unit might be a different shape, size, in an undesirable location such as the basement, or not have the views you expected if these things are not written into your contract. Take a hard look at the blueprints before you agree. Remember, some are already built, so if you buy resale you can look at your actual unit.
Many people assume that buying a condo is the same as buying a house - a one time lump sum. But even some lofts for sale come with hidden fees for building maintenance, common areas, closing costs, equipment leases, occupancy fees, and homeowner association dues. Make sure you find out exactly what you'll be paying before you sign anything.