When buying New Condos, make sure you do your own due diligence. I encourage all my clients to double check any facts or statements made by realtors or builders. While I do reccommend having a realtor invovled in this process make sure you choose one that has experience in dealing with new condos.
Below you will find a quick guideline what to watch for when purchasing a new condo.
When builders finally decide to start selling their units, they will most likely first hold a "Family & Friends" event. Just as the name implies, this is usually a closed event only open to friends and family of the stakeholders.
Thereafter comes the VIP event, also a closed event, which is for registered agents and their VIP clients. The builder will have a gathering usually at their sales office. Please note that VIP events can be divided further to mutliple levels, eg. Platinum VIP, VVIP etc. To keep it simple we will just use the general VIP term.
At the VIP event, clients will get the best pricing and selection. The VIP event can last from one day to a few weeks, depending on the builder.
After the VIP event, the sales will go to the general public. At this point anyone can buy it and prices will have most likely have gone up and the good units are already sold. One mistake a lot of clients make is to pre-register on the builders website. This usually disqualifies the agent from receiving commissions from the builder and therefore the agent offering you the VIP incentives.
Owning a condo also means paying a maintenance fee. When looking at a New-Condo look at the maintence fees and what is included with it. Usually having a lot of amenities eg. pool, gym etc. will result in a higher cost. Most newer condos are metered seperately for hydro and some for water as well. This can be a good thing, since you control your bills and your maintenance fee is not affected by it. If you see a very low maintenance fee estimate at the sales centre, be cautious as this can be increased even on your first year of occupancy.
Closing costs are probably the most neglected variables when purchasing a new unit. Be certain to have a good real estate lawyer who can explain and give you an estimate of your closing costs. Closing costs with include, development charges(new condos), land transfer tax, lawyer fees, inspection. It's important to ask these questions now, so there are no unpleasant surprises at the end.
Occupancy fees are paid from the day you move in to your new condo till the building gets registered. Usually the building will start getting occupied from the lower floors to the top. Usually occupancy can last from several weeks to several months. During that time you are expected to pay an occupancy fee(sort of like rent) to the builder, the occupancy fee is not deducted from your mortgage or sale price. When reviewign the condo documents with your lawyer, ask about the occupancy fees.