The search: what to look for in a condo

The search: what to look for in a condo

Ready to start going beyond the online listing? It's time to go see some places in person. Going on showings is the best way to learn the market - once you have some units in mind, call your Condo Pro, and get ready to do some condo hunting!

Be open to possibilities.
First off, don't get all judgy based on listing photos - you might miss a great place that just doesn't photograph well. Just because the selling agent isn't great with a camera or the sellers have horrifying taste in window coverings doesn't mean it won't be perfect for you. Don't judge a book by its cover - if your agent thinks it's a good fit, give it a chance. Go look.

Focus on your must-haves.
Bring your list of must-haves and nice-to-haves with you, and keep it in mind as you look. Don't just focus on the wow factor of that gorgeous kitchen or the incredible view: factor in everything that's important to you, like the length of your commute, amenities, the size of the unit, high vs. low floor, concierge, finishes like hardwood floors or exposed concrete, etc.

Picture yourself living there.
Use your imagination for some visualization. Where would you put your couch? Your home office? Your favourite plants? Would a little patio set fit on the balcony? What would a dinner party look like? What would it be like to wake up there every morning?

Listen closely.
Don't just use your eyes to look - let your ears in on the action. Stand quietly for a few minutes and just listen. Is there road noise from a nearby highway? Are you near train tracks? Does a streetcar go by your window every 10 minutes? Imagine living with those sounds every day and decide if they're a deal-breaker. And don't forget to open the balcony doors or windows (even if it's cold outside) to see what things might sound like in warmer months when you're looking for a little fresh air.

Go beyond the unit.
Look at the building amenities to see if you'd actually use them (hint: if you're not a swimmer, don't get swayed by a pool, no matter how pretty it is). See how well-maintained the building is: dirt and damage could be a sign it's not being well cared for.

Once you've seen something you like, your Condo Pro will help you get a sense of its value with charts, photos and comparisons to ensure you're making an informed decision. They can offer insights on things you might be overlooking during such an emotional purchase.That's when you decide what you want to do next: make an offer, or keep looking.

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