Condos: the good, the bad and the ugly

Condos: the good, the bad and the ugly

Is buying a condo a good idea? It may be, depending on where you’re at in your life and what your goals are. Sitting down with a financial advisor and a mortgage broker can help you figure it out – and so can the resources in our first-time buyer's hub. So keep reading!

But if you’re looking for a quick recap of the pros and cons of getting into the condo market as a first-timer, here’s the scoop:

The good: First-time home buyer plans. The government wants to help, so there are some great federal and local programs and rebates that make buying a little easier. More details here.

The bad: the stress test and mortgage insurance can make life a lot harder for buyers – with a lower down payment, they’re a lot harder to avoid. But one thing to keep in mind: buyers who have insured mortgages can actually qualify for a lower interest rate, which offsets some of these costs.

The (potentially) ugly: There are a lot of costs around buying a condo beyond your down payment and your mortgage – things that can come as an unpleasant surprise to the inexperienced buyer. Like high maintenance fees. Special assessments. “Phantom rent.” But there are a lot of benefits that outweigh those negatives - and one surefire way of avoiding the ugly: educating yourself. Start by reading through some of the other sections in our first-time buyer’s hub, talk to friends who have bought condos – and talk to a realtor for great advice and expertise that will help you figure out if a condo is the right choice for you, right now.

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