So you’re buying a condo? You’re making a fantastic decision, but there’s plenty to think about to ensure a smooth transition. You’ve roamed the city and finally sought out a condo that’s just right for you. You’ve made your offer, and the seller has accepted, but the most exciting and essential milestone is still to come. Closing day will come around sooner than you think, and it’s vital that you’re prepared. Read on for our ten top tips before closing the deal on your new condo.
1. Conduct a pre-closing inspection shortly before closing day, to ensure the condition of the property hasn’t changed at all since you last visited.
2. Find out exactly what time the condo will be ready for you to move in, and arrange your move around this. If you require the use of an elevator, contact the building manager to find out if you can reserve one.
3. Ensure that you have taken out fire insurance in advance to cover the full cost of your new home. For condos, you need the policy to cover your liability and contents.
4. Make sure that you are aware of all the costs which apply to you, and that you have the money required. If your deposit is less than 20%, your lender will deduct costs such as appraisal fees, mortgage insurance, and HST. Your lawyer will also receive a statement of adjustments before closing which can add to your expenses. If you purchase a condo pre-construction, you will be required to contribute to the condos emergency reserve fund around closing day.
5. If you are buying a brand new unit, find out from your lawyer if you qualify for an HST rebate. HST rules are confusing so ensure that you seek legal advice. In general, if you are purchasing a condo to live there yourself, there’s a good chance that you will qualify for a rebate. If you are buying as an investor, you most likely won’t be eligible.
6. Inform your lawyer of how you will be taking title to the property if you are purchasing the condo with someone else. This affects who owns the property, should one of the owners pass away. Ask your lawyer to arrange title insurance for you to protect the property against title defects and other issues.
7. At least two days before closing, you need to provide your lawyer with the balance of money required to close.
8. Find out which amenities your new building offers – is there a parking space provided and do you need to pay extra for it? If there is a gym in the building, or if you are moving far away, you may choose to cancel your existing gym membership. The same thing applies to other services such as daycare.
9. Arrange for cable and telephone providers to install services immediately after closing.
10. Contact the utility companies to ensure that you are only paying for charges from closing onwards.