Buying a condo in pre-sales, either before or during the construction process, can seem intimidating at first (see tips for buying from a floorplan drawing here), but it offers some incredible perks as a buyer. We'll help get you up to speed so you feel confident getting in early, and reaping all the rewards.
Typically, the earlier you buy into a development, the lower the purchase price will be, with gradual increases as the building progresses. In addition, in the time it takes for your unit to be built (anywhere from a few months to a couple of years), market value historically increases – meaning by the time you move in to your new condo, you’ve gained value in more than one way.
On top of being a savvy financial move, buying a pre-sale condo gives you the most selection to get that specific unit or exposure you’d like, and most often, the opportunity to pick out custom finishes and upgrade options. This is your opportunity to truly outfit a bespoke unit to your taste without ever having to lift a paint brush or lay a floor board.
All the advantages to buying pre-sale are sometimes met with certain hesitations – most often the worry of the unknown (not being able to actually see what the home will look like in real life), and of course, the inevitable wait for construction, both of which are enough to damper some buyers' enthusiasm.
So, we’re here to help guide you through the process of buying a new construction pre-sale, and to try to take a lot of the worry and guessing out of the purchase. If this doesn’t answer all of your questions, our sales agents are always on hand to help you through the process.
One of the most important pieces to the pre-sale process is your floor plan. Thankfully, most developers have some sort of rendered or 3-D floor plan image for pre-sale condos that bring a two-dimensional drawing to life. If not, be sure to read our guide on how to read a builder’s floor plan. Taking the time to truly understand the intricacies and layout of your specific unit are paramount to a positive experience. Nobody wants to find out the bulkhead in the dining room means they can’t fit in their extra-tall vintage cabinet. The more you know, the better you can plan or discuss options with the builder when customizing. If you’re unsure about how the space will feel, your best bet is to look at some finished suites with similar square footage or room dimensions in the builder’s inventory (just ask a sales agent – developers like StreetSide have many other projects on the go and can tell you where to go if there is a comparable floor plan or similar-sized unit on display).
While the floor plan is top priority, coming in a very close second are amenities, parking and lockers. What are the building amenities and where are they located? What type of parking is offered and are there additional stalls for purchase? Are storage lockers extra or included – and what are their sizes and locations?
Condo fees cover everything you imagine it would, and probably more. Want to know what condo fees cover? Head over to this post for a comprehensive list and comparison of the cost of living in a non-condo home. Despite their value, it is still very important to find out what the monthly condo fees are, what they cover at that specific development, and get an idea on annual increases. Figuring out what your condo fees are will help you put together a monthly budget and determine your monthly carrying costs. Many people are surprised that most condo fees cover heat and water bills, which helps you avoid juggling multiple utility bills. Beyond your mortgage and condo fees, you’d often just have your hydro and TV/Internet/phone bill to pay!
Timeframe and builder
The scheduled completion date is an incredibly important puzzle piece when buying pre-sale. It is imperative you find out the track record of the builder when it comes to scheduled completions so you can assess your situation and ability to wait. While experienced and reputable builders like StreetSide can have a very consistent track record of hitting possessions right on target, others usually do not. Be prepared to ask questions, ask for examples, and set yourself up with realistic expectations. Know your options if the builder does miss the completion date and make a plan of action for less-than-ideal scenarios.
Upgrades and Custom Selections
While this part is one of the most exciting for buyers, it can also be a source of stress. Make sure to clarify with the sales agents which finishes are included as standard and any potential upgrade options available. The most information will come from your meeting at the design centre, where a professional design consultant will guide you through the process of selecting your finishes and options while working within your budget. Again, if you want to see certain finishes in a real-life application, it never hurts to ask! Often times, another one of our developments may have a display suite with a similar colour scheme or product, so you can see how it will all come together.
When you are making the decision to purchase pre-sale, don't forget to ask about the deposit structure, the deadline for selecting finishes, and when and if you'll have the option for a construction tour. Each project’s sales agents are there to help make this experience a smooth and exciting one – they know that for many, it's a milestone experience, and it's meant to be a celebratory one!