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Should a Condo Be Your First Home Purchase?

The rising price of single detached housing in Greater Victoria means many families and investors are considering the purchase of a condominium – perhaps for the first time in their lives.
And while most of our clients are embracing the idea, some feel a condominium is their “second best” choice after a detached home with a driveway, garage and back yard.

We get it. It’s no fun to be faced with home prices that are outpacing your ability to save a down payment or service the mortgage. It’s hard to give up the white picket fence and big garden. However, we’d like to point out some benefits to owning a condo you might not be aware of, and help you jump into the real estate market.

In Greater Victoria, condominiums are simply more affordable than owning a detached home. You’ll likely find your mortgage plus condo fees are equivalent to how much you pay for rent. If you end up paying more, be assured it’s less than what you’re going to be paying for a detached home mortgage plus maintenance fees. In a condo, those fees are budgeted for and included in your monthly amount. In a detached home, they are often not accounted for until the roof or the deck needs to be replaced.

It’s hard to beat living on the edge of a bustling city with easy access to work, dining, activities, public transportation and other amenities. Langford is full of hard working professionals and young families.

Condos are simply more secure than a detached home. Every building has a secure front door and a built in “neighbourhood watch” with residents keeping an eye on who is entering the building. Having neighbours close at hand if there is ever an emergency isn’t a bad thing.

Freedom from maintenance is one of the biggest attractions to condo ownership. After all, aren’t there better things to do than mow your lawn or repair outside structures? Your monthly condo fees take care of it.

Tired of waiting for your landlord to get things done? Now you can stop asking permission to paint your walls and renovate as you choose. Not that there’s going to be much to renovate in your brand new, beautiful condo.

With everything going for condo ownership, some people are still hesitant. Two of their biggest concerns are noisy neighbours and a lack of parking.

Noisy neighbours
Did you know Canada's National Building Code (NBC) was updated in 2015 to change how builders and architects design for acoustics to ensure you have quieter neighbours? That means new condos must use building materials that do a better job at dampening the noise coming through the walls, floors and ceilings. Less noise = happier neighbours!

Lack of parking
Our remaining suites all have two parking spots. Can’t do better than that.

Still prefer a detached home?
If owning a detached dwelling is still your ultimate goal, a condo purchase is a good interim step. It’s better to start putting your hard-earned money towards paying down your own mortgage and building up your own equity rather than your landlord’s. The alternative is to keep trying to save enough down as you chase the market.

Fair warning, though. Once you’ve been living the condo lifestyle for a while, you might find it difficult to give up! The Dalai Lama once said, “not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.”

*There are a few two-bedroom, two-bathroom condos left. Give us a call to discuss how to purchase one.


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Now that you’ve put a deposit down for your new condominium, make sure you make yourself aware of some expenses you will need to set aside some money to pay before the day that you close if you’re living in or renting your unit.
Closing costs
GST is included with the rebate going to the seller. If the buyer is not living in the unit and not eligible for the rebate they must pay the rebate portion on top of the Selling price. Property Transfer Tax (PTT) is similar in that it is included if you are living in the unit. Those not living in the unit they must pay the PTT on top of the Selling price net of the GST.
You will need insurance for the unit whether living in it or renting it out.
Utility Hook ups. When you …

How Quiet is my Condo?

“What about the noise?”
We hear this question time and again. It’s one of the larger concerns our customers have when they are considering a condo purchase.
“I like the idea of the condo lifestyle,” a customer told us. “I’m just not excited about hearing my noisy neighbours on all sides. I like a quiet space.”
We get it. And we feel the same way.
“Did you know there have been recent changes to the National Building Code (NBC) to reduce noise transmission” we asked?
In 2015, the NBC, which is Canada's building code that sets technical provisions for the construction of buildings, was updated to change how builders and architects design for acoustics to ensure you have quieter neighbours.
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The measure of how much material can reduce noise transmission is called the Sound Transmission Class (STC). The higher the STC number, the less sound transmitted. The NBC now requires an STC rating of 50. For our technically incl…