Real Estate – Going From Renter to Home Owner

The current economic crisis has scared all but the most hearty, out of the marketplace. However, signs show that a change is in the wind. Despite the down turn this is a buyer’s market with its low interest rates and low sales prices. In fact, now would be a good time for renters who want to become home owners to turn that dream into reality.

Existing Home or Condo
In order to make the search more rewarding, it’s best to do some homework first. A basic understanding of concepts will help find that dream condo or house. A typical downtown Toronto condominium is a unit in a building that is individually owned, offering lobbies and hallways considered common areas. These units also come with parking spaces and lockers for storage. A first time buyer might be wise to look into buying a condo first, rather than jump into the added expense of an existing home with its accompanying yard in the burbs. Cutting grass is not a fun job, and some may wish to avoid it when possible. Some condos have maintenance crews for that type of work.

The Condominium Act
The Condominium Act provides the first home buyer with protection, requiring the seller to deliver a disclosure statement detailing all features of the condo. The statement contains a basic constitution of owner rights, a first year budget and a listing of all rules and regulations that must be followed. The buyer is allowed to break the deal within ten days of signing it for reasons including, change of mind, or if changes were made to the initial agreement after signing. The budget spells out in detail the costs of maintenance, concierge services, garbage pickup, insurance and other ongoing items. After all details have been gone over and agreed to, then the sale is final and transfer is completed.

To Buy or Not to Buy
Despite the economic downturn, the Toronto real estate market remains relatively strong. Strong condo sales prices and a tight rental market make the present time the right time to become a home owners. Over the long haul homes will increase in value giving better equity and making it more marketable in the future should you choose to sell. The longer you keep the home, be it a condo or free standing house in the suburbs, the better off you will be financially with your investment.

Affording the Dream
The key before searching is to determine first, how much house you can afford. Get a good lawyer and then find a real estate agent who can steer you through those tough and difficult decisions. A good real estate agent will steer you to the right location based on what you want, will help you get the kind of mortgage that fits your lifestyle and help calculate the closing costs. A good agent will be there every step of the way to guide you to your dream.


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