Buying a re-sale condo can be a simple process should you have the right agent. The first step in the process is to get a mortgage approval from your bank. This will help pre-qualify you and determine your price range. The bank will tell you how much you have to put down as a “down payment” and what your bi-weekly payments will be.
Once you have received your mortgage approval and your price range is determined, it’s time to start looking for your condo.
Many FACTORS help determine the price of a condo. Some factors may be important to you and some may not. As your Real Estate Agent, I will advise you accordingly. I will show you all types of different properties to grasp what you are looking for and find you your ideal condo.
Re-sale condos generally have 2 types of buyers:
End-users: Buy re-sale condos for their own personal use. They will commonly live in the unit themselves. In this case, the buyer would be concerned with functionality of the unit and how the property satisfies their personal needs.
Investors: Buy re-sale condos as rental properties or for the purposes of renovating and “selling/flipping”. In either case, their primary focus is profit.
Unlike pre-construction condos, re-sale condo’s have no “10-day cooling period”. With re-sale properties the buyer has the advantage of seeing the unit’s finishes, room layout, and building amenities before making their offer.
Please remember, as a BUYER of a re-sale condo MY SERVICES ARE FREE OF CHARGE TO YOU.
In every condo transaction there are closing costs. These costs cannot be avoided and your lawyer will adjust them on the date of closing. They will give you a breakdown of your expenses in a detailed package at the end of the transaction. The general closing costs are as follows:
Mortgage Penalty: This is a penalty for ending your mortgage early and varies from mortgage to mortgage. Check with your Mortgage broker. Example costs range from 3-month payments to $5000. Please check with your broker.
Real Estate Commissions: This depends on what rate you decided with your realtor. In most cases, it will range from 4% – 5% of the purchase price.
Outstanding Fees: If you have any unpaid fees associated with your unit (maintenance fees, liens, etc. etc.) They will be adjusted on the date of the closing.
Lawyer Fees: Varies from lawyer to lawyer but can total anywhere from $800 – $1400.
Property Taxes: Lawyers will always adjust all costs to make sure their respective client is responsible for they’re portion of the taxes.
Status Certificate: The Seller will be responsible for the charge of ordering the status certificate which costs approximately $100-$125.
Those living abroad and considering investing in the Mississauga Square One Area are often surprised to find out there are no restrictions or limits on the amount of property they can buy in Canada. The process is actually pretty simple. Local lenders such as chartered banks and credit unions will usually finance the purchase subject to credit approval with a minimum down payment of 25%. Depending on where a buyer takes their business, they may need to provide a letter of introduction from their banking facility in their home country; their previous income in the home country will also be verified. For more information on beginning a relationship with a Canadian financial institution, CLICK HERE.
A bonus when seeking full immigration status (as opposed to ‘visitor status’) is the purchase of a home shows a strong connection to Canada, and the property is ultimately treated as a part of your overall net worth in Canada.
Foreign investors looking to purchase solely for investment purposes and plan to sell in the future for a substantial capital gain, would be wise to talk with an accountant about all the tax and financial implications.
Non-residents are required to have 25% of the gross rental income of the property withheld and remitted monthly to the Canada Revenue Agency with 15 days of each month end, either by the tenant, or by a Canadian representative appointed by the foreign investor. Failure to withhold this tact and to file a return can result in major penalties.
Non-resident sellers should be aware of the following tax obligations:
- Non-residents are subject to the same Land Transfer Tax on their sale transactions as paid by Ontario residents (the former 20% non-resident tax has been repealed)
- There are deductions to the Land Transfer Tax that may apply for non-resident first time home buyers who plan to use the property as their principal residence within nine months of completing the purchase
- Non-residents must notify the Canadian government by a sale notice within ten days of the completion of the sale transaction, to obtain a Certificate of Compliance showing that the CRA has received either a prepayment of the taxes owing or appropriate security for the prepayment. If the sale notice isn’t filed, major penalties apply.
- In the next year following completion of the sale, non-resident property sellers can file a tax return and hopefully obtain a refund for a portion of their provable improvement expenses, legal fees, Realtor commissions, survey fees, etc., with respect to the property; consult an Ontario Accountant for assistance in preparation of this return
- Read more about the tax obligations for non-resident vendors disposing of real property in Canada.
- Where an advocate comes into all this, is to help the non-resident property buyer with such things as obtaining fire insurance (a must for mortgage lenders, and something that can be more difficult to obtain for non-residents); providing Power of Attorney services if you will not be in the country for the closing; referring legal and financial representation you can trust; and helping you navigate the ever-changing immigration and tax laws.
Contact Me, and I will find you the property you are looking for and guide you in the right direction to make an informed decision.
In every condo transaction there are closing costs. These costs can’t be avoided and your lawyer will adjust them on the date of the closing. The lawyer will go through all your expenses before the transaction and give you a detailed packaged on the closing date. The general closing costs are as follows:
Land Transfer Tax
$1 – $55,000 X 0.5 % of total property value
$55,000 to $250,000 X 1% of total purchase price, minus $275
$250,000 to $400,000 X 1.5% of total purchase price, minus $1525
From $400,000 up X 2 % of total property value, less $ 3525
Lawyer Fees: Varies from lawyer to lawyer but can total anywhere from $1000 – $1400.
Property Taxes: Lawyers will always adjust all costs to make sure each respective client is responsible for their share of the taxes.
OPERATING COSTS (After you’ve purchased)
When an owner puts his condo up for rent the process is quite simple. He must fill out all the necessary paperwork and accommodate all home showings. Once a tenant decides he/she wants to rent out the unit they will submit an offer. In most cases, the offer must be accompanied by a variety of different paperwork that identify the individual and list personal references. Every landlord will require a different set of criteria to satisfy themselves. Here is a list of some of the things a landlord may request.
1) Credit Check (Equifax.ca)
2) Employment Letter
3) Rental Application (insert Rental Application)
4) Pay Stubs
5) Security Deposit
6) Key Deposit
A tenant will provide first and last months rent to the owner upfront before the commencement of the lease. They will also be required to pay the utilities and insurance. The landlord will be responsible for the maintenance fees, taxes, and his/her mortgage payments.
For your information I have inserted a copy of the Residential Tenancies Act.
What Will I do for you?
As your agent I will provide you a variety of services. I will start by listening to your needs and figure out exactly what you’re looking for. Next, I will take you on a guided tour of the area and give you an idea of where all restaurants, buildings, landmarks and transit are located. At this point, I will book appointments and take you on UNLIMITED SHOWINGS until we have found the perfect unit for you. Once we find what you’re looking for, I will prepare an offer and do all the necessary paperwork. After an offer is accepted I will make sure all the conditions are fulfilled and get all the paperwork ready for your lawyer. MY PERSONAL GUARANTEE is that I will make the process as easy as I can for you (the buyer).
Lastly, I will meet with you on the closing day, make sure everything goes smooth, and be there to hand you the keys to your new home.
For my clients, I will make myself available to you around the clock. Call me at anytime; I’m at your disposal.
BEST OF ALL, WHEN YOU BUY A CONDO WITH ME MY SERVICES ARE ALL FREE TO YOU.
Buyers may prefer to buy preconstruction condos for a variety of different reasons. As of late, it has become a popular vehicle used by investors to capitalize on the condo boom. In a pre-construction transaction the buyer is generally required to put down a 20% deposit of the purchase price. Historically, investors have preferred this method as it has allowed for a healthy RETURN ON INVESTMENT (ROI).
- $300,000 – Purchase Price in 2011
- $ 60,000 – Deposit (20 %)
- $ 10,000 – Closing costs
- $350,000 – Sale price of unit after closing in 2014
In the scenario above the owner bought his unit at an agreed upon purchase price of $300,000 in 2011. Upon finalizing the purchase, he gave a deposit of $60,000 spread over the span of a year. He incurred closing costs of approximately 10,000 upon receiving possession of the unit. He eventually sold the unit in 2014 for $350,000. The buyer sold the unit for an additional $50,000 over the purchase price. Since he only put down a capital deposit of $60,000 and paid an additional 10,000 in closing costs, the buyer had out of pocket expenses of $70,000. The $50,000 he made represents a 71.4% ROI (return on investment).
Please note the example above is a simplistic depiction of a transaction in order to illustrate the capital required and equity to be earned.
The process of buying a pre-construction condo with my support is fairly simple, and would be as follows:
- You and I would arrange a meeting and go to the sales centre together.
- We would review all the project information and tour the site location.
- We would choose a suitable floor plan according to your needs and requirements.
- Once the unit is chosen, I WILL NEGOTIATE WITH THE BUILDER ON YOUR BEHALF so as to ensure you get the BEST POSSIBLE DEAL for your purchase. I will also try to get you as many additional upgrades as possible.
- Once finalized, we would sign all the necessary paperwork and provide the builder with a cheque of $1,000 to hold the unit.
- Next, you will have your lawyer review the Agreement of Purchase and Sale and advise you accordingly.
- You will need to give the builder postdated cheques for the remaining deposit payments.
The buyer will have a period of 10 days to cancel the agreement and have your deposit returned. This is commonly referred to as a 10-day “cooling-off period”. After these 10 days expire, the contract is firm and the builder will contact the buyer with all the necessary follow-up information.
Currently, there are great opportunities to buy Pre-Construction Condo’s in the Mississauga Square One Area. I am a VIP Agent with many of these builders and I receive EXCLUSIVE ACCESS RIGHTS to units before they are even released to the general public. If you are interested in buying a Pre-Construction Condo in the Mississauga area, please e-mail me directy.
Remember, MY SERVICES ARE FREE OF CHARGE TO YOU.
Aside from property taxes and mortgage payments, condo buyers are sometimes confused with a monthly payment associated with their unit called a maintenance fee. This fee is charged on a monthly basis and cannot be avoided by any owner. It’s paid via certified cheque/direct deposit to the property management. The fee may change over the years and owners are notified accordingly.
The purpose of a maintenance fee is to pay for all expenses the building as a whole, incurs. These expenses include but are not limited to, overall expenses associated with running the building, security, concierge, landscaping, repairs, and maintenance of all the common areas. Every building has a different set of items covered under their maintenance fees. For example some buildings may include cable while others don’t. Different utilities may also be covered. Have your lawyer read through the status certificate so they may verify what items are included in your buildings maintenance fee.
The fees are calculated according to the size of your unit. The owner of a 500 sq ft unit would pay less then the owner of a 1000 sq ft. unit. The fees may go up or down reflective of the state of the building – financially and physically. On average, newer buildings start out with a maintenance fee of about $0.50 per sq. ft. These fees usually go up over time as wear and tear costs start to pile up. Owners are notified of the changes in fees and may follow up with the board of directors with any concerns.
Some people may look at maintenance fees as a deterring factor in owning a condominium unit. Don’t let the fees scare you off as they contribute to the upkeep of your property and investment. Maintenance fees are not setup to have the condominium corporation make a profit, their sole purpose is to protect the building and for upkeep of its amenities. Since the owners of the units receive all the benefit from the maintenance fees, the fees are more than justified.
What is a status certificate?
In every condo re-sale purchase there is an important legal document called a status certificate. The status certificate contains tons of basic and vital information that has to do with the specific unit and condominium corporation.
Among many other things, the status certificate will inform the prospective buyer of any outstanding maintenance fees, (http://shawngandhi.com/maintenance-fees) taxes, or special assessments.
In regards to the condominium corporation, it will outline the following;
The condo declaration
Property Management contract
Logs and minutes of all meetings
Lawsuits that involve the corporation
Once a seller accepts an offer, the Agreement of Purchase and Sale (A.P.S) will usually have a couple conditions. The status certificate clause will be one of these conditions. This condition will state the A.P.S will be conditional upon the buyer’s lawyers review of the status certificate. At this point the property will be sold, but sold ‘conditional’. It will be the seller’s responsibility to contact the property management and do the required paperwork to order the certificate. The seller will usually have to provide a certified cheque to the property management or Condo Corporation of approximately $100.00. It usually takes about 7-10 days for the certificate to be drafted. Once the lawyer receives the document he will begin his review of it and advise his client (the buyer) accordingly. Once the lawyer gives the buyer the green light to continue, the condition is waived and the sale may proceed.
The importance of the status certificate cannot be understated. It is a very important document that is usually only seen by the lawyer and explained to the buyer. A buyer should not try to read the document themselves as the lawyer will do all the due diligence and explain the necessary details to their client.
There are many different factors that affect a condo’s value. Buyers should be aware of these specifications when buying their own unit. An informed buyer will make an informed decision. For this reason, I have compiled the list below to give buyers an idea of what’s important.
- Floor – The higher the floor, the more desirable the unit is. Penthouse units are more expensive then units below. Builders charge a premium on the units on higher floors. In high-rise buildings, builders may charge $1000 per floor.
- View – Most Buyers value a nice view. It will affect privacy and the way the sun shines through the unit, among other things. Builders will determine the best views and charge premiums accordingly.
- Parking and Locker – Most buyers want a parking spot and locker. If the unit doesn’t come with the parking or locker potential buyers may not consider the unit because these things are harder to buy after the initial purchase.
- Finishes – Color schemes, flooring, cabinets, and all interior finishes make a big difference in the eyes of a prospective buyer.
- Layout – Layouts will display space differently. Usually, buyers look for units that feel bright, open, and spacious.
- Amenities – All buyers are expected to pay maintenance fees for their units. They should make sure the amenities are up to their standards and justify the subsequent fees associated with the unit.
- Location – Location of the building is very important. The more attractive the location the more a potential buyer is willing to pay for a unit in that building.