Are you thinking of purchasing a property in downtown Ottawa? Are you downsizing or do you just want move closer to the downtown area and are contemplating whether to purchase a Condo or Freehold property? Is purchasing a low maintenance freehold townhome/semi-detached or new compact Infill getting the best of both worlds? There are many wonderful new and resale condo, townhome developments and exciting new infill projects to choose from spread throughout the city’s most sought after urban neighbourhoods, such as Lower Town, Sandy Hill, New Edinburgh, Lindenlea, the Glebe, the Golden Triangle, Ottawa East, Old Ottawa South, Centretown, Hintonburg, Mechanicsville and Westboro. Please feel free to contact me with any questions, I have extensive knowledge of the Ottawa condo market and have helped many select the right unit & building, ask me how I can help you.
Condominium living can be appealing to those who plan to downsize or who are seeking a turnkey, maintenance and hassle free lifestyle. Before you decide to buy a condominium, however, it’s a good idea to learn about condo ownership, owner liability and what it’s like to live in one. Condominium ownership means you own the unit you live in and share ownership rights for the common space of the building. Common space includes areas such as corridors, the grounds around the building, and facilities such as a swimming pool and recreation rooms. Condominium owners together control the common areas through an owners’ association. The association makes decisions about using and maintaining the common space.
Condominiums are often thought of as high-rise residential buildings, but “condominium” refers to a form of legal ownership, as opposed to a style of construction. This form of ownership can also apply to townhouse complexes, stacked terrace homes, individual houses and low-rise residential building.
BUYING A CONDO
Should you buy a New or Resale condo? When you purchase a resale unit you have the advantage of seeing what you’re buying. It’s clear how much space you’ll have, what the layout is like and where the common elements are. There are also many advantages & disadvantages to purchasing New vs. Resale, here is a list of :
PROS & CONS
A very common concern for many is the possibility of future Special Assessments, it is very important to do your homework and work with a knowledgeable Real Estate professional with condo experience.
PROS: BUYING A NEW CONDO
CONS: BUYING A NEW CONDO
If construction has not been completed, you cannot “see” what you are buying and must rely on artist sketches and floor plans (which may change). (Be sure to have the unit’s boundaries, location, finishes, materials, chattels, etc. clearly specified in the purchase agreement). Your initial deposit will be tied up for the duration of construction. Financial institutions may not give you a mortgage on an unregistered condominium. Construction of your unit may not be completed by the expected date. You may move into your unit while construction continues in others, which can be noisy and disruptive.
PROS: BUYING A RESALE CONDO
You get what you see. There are no lengthy waiting periods before you can move in unless provided for in the condition of sale. Deposits are often much lower for resale purchases and typically there is no GST/HST In some exceptional situations the GST or federal portion of the HST applies. You can check out the condominium “community” in advance to see if the corporation is well run and the people who live in it are compatible with your needs and lifestyle. Older condominiums sometimes have larger units.
CONS: BUYING A RESALE CONDO
Fewer options with regard to choice of unit (within the building), decorating or upgrades. Older resale condominiums may require more maintenance and repair than new ones. The amenities that you may find desirable (for example, a workout room, whirlpool, security features) may not be available. Older resale units may not be as energy-efficient as newer units. Major repairs may be coming due that will require extra charges to the unit owners if the reserve fund is underfunded. You will receive only the portion of the new home warranty that has not yet expired. (Information Source: CMHC). A very common concern for many is the possibility of future Special Assessments, it is very important to do your homework and work with a knowledgeable Real Estate professional with condo experience.
Some townhome developments, like condos may have common interest areas that are covered by an Association fee for road maintenance, snow removal and lawn care. But unlike the more strictly governed condos, the word "townhome" denotes more of an architectural style than anything else. That architectural style can manifest in a few different ways, but the most common physical feature associated with townhomes, also frequently referred to as townhouses or row houses, is that they share a common wall – but not ceilings and floors – with neighboring dwellings. Instead of side yards, townhomes have what is commonly called a "party wall" that runs the length of the house. They also often share a stretch of rooftop with adjacent properties. Like condos, townhomes are generally owned, not rented. And those owners are typically bound by some basic agreements. For example, if someone owns a unit smack in the middle of a row of townhouses, they can't simply raze the residence and rebuild a smaller, detached house that better strikes their fancy. The owners of the adjacent townhomes have what are known as easement rights. That means that while they don't own their neighbor's half of the party wall, they do have certain rights where it's concerned – and that includes its demolition, which would damage the integrity of their own portion of the wall. The same often goes for stuff like fences and driveways. But unlike condo owners, whose property maintenance is usually covered by condo fees, owners of most townhomes are obliged to care for the upkeep of the exterior of their homes. So in a way, living in a townhome combines condo living with single dwelling living.
BUYING A TOWNHOME
If you're thinking of buying a townhome, be sure to research the age, builder, age of: windows, roof, heating/cooling, just like you would with any other property. You'll need to get a good gauge of the neighborhood, taking a look at everything from (if you commute to work) accessibility to public transportation, and amenities. But there are also a few questions specific to townhomes that you should ask before buying one. Privacy; side, as opposed to on all sides if you live in a condo. So you'll want to explore how easily noise travels through the set of townhomes you're considering. Are transportation sounds an issue? Or is noise pollution at a minimum? It is important to work with a Real Estate professional that is familiar with the various townhome developments when shopping fora townhome, experience and advice is invaluable in finding the best home for your needs, ask me how I can help you find the right towntome in the right neighborhood for you.
The term “infill” correctly describes a form of development where a new home is built on an older lot and the old structure is removed. Hence the existing lot is filled in with something new. These infills are new inner city urban homes that have been constructed in a community with establishment dates back to the early or mid 1900′s. like the Glebe, the Golden Triangle, Ottawa East, Old Ottawa South, Centre Town and Westboro. Development of existing lots in mature communities helps prevent urban sprawl, something that the City of Ottawa is particularly concerned with.
One of the first things associated with infill homes is that they are usually thought of as tall and thin, usually modern in style and in close proximity to the downtown area. Even though this approximation is usually right, there are more kinds of homes included in the category. Bigger homes that occupy larger lots or encompass more than one lot for additional home style and size opportunities can also be categorized as an infill.
BUYING AN INFILL
Buying an infill brings with it many benefits including the finishing's of a brand new home and most importantly, the prime inner city location. Buying this type of home does not mean the floor plan has to be skinny, tall, restrictive or thin. There are numerous floor plans that facilitate a functional use of space and provide a beautiful and optimal living area.