Q. What are the benefits of condo living?
A. Condo owners love the lock-up-and-go lifestyle. Everything is low maintenance, as the property manager takes care of the grounds, common areas and the garbage/recycling facilities. Security is enhanced with gated parkades, security cameras in entrances and mail rooms and personalized FOBs that restrict access to the floor you live on. New condos have new technology such as pre-wiring for internet and cable. The variety and quality of amenities is attractive and often includes a fitness facility, a media room, a yoga studio, a lounge or party room, a hot tub, a guest suite or even a concierge. Location is ideal, with easy access to public transit, walking trails, shopping and restaurants, and views can be spectacular from higher levels. Condo living also allows people to live in a more desirable location for a more affordable price.
Q. What is the benefit of buying a pre-sale home?
A. By buying pre-sale, you get a better selection of the type and style of home you desire, often at a better price than you would pay down the road, upon completion. Pre-sale allows you to grow your equity now and wait until completion for any mortgage payments to begin. While you wait for the completion of your home, the value of your home may rise. Attractive interest rates can be capped by some of the major banks so if the rates rise, your rate is protected until completion. If the rates fall, so will yours. Either way, you benefit.
Q. How do I know what can I afford?
A. Your first step is to talk to a mortgage specialist and get pre-approved. Mortgage decisions are based on your ability to carry a certain amount of debt, your income, and your debts and assets which include RRSPs, GICs and stocks. Banks apply two standard rules when qualifying you for a mortgage: gross debt service ratio (GDSR) and total debt service ratio (TDSR). GDSR means a maximum of 32% of your gross income can go toward a mortgage payment and TDSR means a maximum of 40% of your gross income can go toward servicing all your debts.
Q. How much of a deposit will I need to put down?
A. Deposit structures vary from project to project. Typically we require a total of 20% paid in 4 installments over a year’s time. Please ask one of our New Home Sales Representatives for our current deposit structure.
Q. Can I use a Realtor?
A. Of course! We are happy to work with your Realtor if you have one. Realtors bring market experience and professional guidance, and will handle correspondence on your behalf if you are unavailable. If you do not have a Realtor, our friendly and professional New Home Sales Representatives can assist you in every way.
Q. What is a disclosure statement?
A. A disclosure statement is a legal document describing all of the details of the project. Usually this includes information on the developer, information pertaining to the development, information pertaining to the Condominium Corporation (estimated maintenance fees, common properties and facilities, estimated budget, rental disclosure, bylaws, limited common property and parking/storage areas), title and legal matters, construction and warranties, and approvals and finances.
Q. Once I purchase a home, will I be kept up-to-date on the building’s progress?
A. Yes, we will send you letters throughout the construction process, updating you on the progress of your home. We will also provide you with log-in credentials to our online homeowner centre where we’ll post photos and news about the development. The homeowner centre will also have copies of all the important legal documents for download.
Q. What is a condominium corporation?
A. A corporation under the Condominium Act, 1998 (the ‘Act’) refers to the legal entity created when the structure was built and registered. This legal entity consists of by-laws and rules, and is registered as a corporation and given a corporation number. Owners within the condominium building can run for various positions and be elected by their fellow owners to form a condominium board. As Board Directors, with the assistance of Property Management, decisions are made on behalf of owners which affect the health and operation of the building. Additionally, Board Directors have the responsibility of enforcing by-laws and rules that were set out when the corporation was formed.
Q. What are condominium bylaws and rules?
A. Bylaws and rules are guidelines that are specific to your condominium corporation, unlike the Condominium Act. Bylaws and rules govern how the condominium corporation operates and how residents behave. Bylaws are decided upon by a vote of the general ownership; rules are determined by the elected condominium board of directors. Residents must abide by the bylaws and rules or face financial penalties. While Bylaws cannot be easily changed, rules can be amended by the condominium board to promote the safety, security, and well-being of the owners and the property.
Q. What is interim occupancy?
A. Interim occupancy is known as the period from the time when your home is ready to be moved in to and when the condominium building is registered. During the interim occupancy period, you are paying an occupancy fee which is calculated based on the outstanding amount of your purchase price. This fee is treated as rent to the builder because your financial institution will not have released your mortgage funds to the builder but you have possession and use of your home.
Q. Will I be able to rent out my home prior to final closing?
A. Yes, provided that you obtain permission and approval from the builder to rent out your home during the interim occupancy period. You must adhere to the rules which are set out in your Condominium Document such as providing a lease agreement along with a completed Tenant Information Sheet to the Property Management office prior to the tenant moving into your home. Your tenant must also abide by the same rules as an owner would during his/her lease term.
Q. Will I be able to have my pets in the building?
A. Yes. The guidelines are outlined in the Declaration section of your Condominium Document. The rules in the Declaration surrounding household pets can vary from building to building, so it is always advisable for Buyers to review and understand any restrictions that may affect you as a pet owner (i.e. number of pets allowed in your home, weight of your pet, etc.).
Q. Does my home come with a warranty?
A. Your new home is covered by a comprehensive warranty, commonly referred to as the 1 – 2 – 7- year warranty. This is regulated by TARION and is supported by Ontario New Home Warranty Program. The mandatory warranty coverage is broken down as follows:
- 12 months – defects in labour and materials
- 2 years – defects on labour and materials related to the major delivery and distribution systems (electrical, plumbing, heating ventilation and air conditioning)
- 7 years – major structural defects of the building