Buying a Condo in London Ontario & Area


  Buying a condo can be an emotional experience. It’s also time consuming and comes with a myriad of details. Some buyers, (and even their Realtor), can get caught up in the excitement of buying a place and then tend to overlook a few things. Their condo experience then could turn into an unpleasant turn of events, such as:

  • Paying too much

  • Losing the perfect condo to another buyer

  • Not buying in the right neighbourhood or building

  • Feeling rushed

  • Not enough due diligence done through the process and omitting a few steps

 

                                        Looking to buy a condo through the internet on MLS

 

                          Make Buying a Condo in London More Pleasant

  The specific way you progress through a condo buying transaction varies but there are many  buying steps that are standard, even though they might not be accomplished in the same order in every location.

  You'll feel more confident about your condo buying journey when you understand what is required of you and every other person who is involved in the transaction.

  I believe that there should be a thorough plan BEFORE a  buyer even starts looking  because when there is a systematic plan in place before you shop, you’ll know what to expect and if any unforseen events occur, you will know how to overcome them.Here are some tips on making the most of your apartment or townhouse purchase in London..

                             Working to ensure you find the right condo for you

 I know there are buyers who prefer to search MLS real estate listings, go to lots of open houses, spend weekends & evenings looking and looking and trying to find the right place or perhaps, even a bargain. As a professional Realtor , I have helped hundreds of house & condo buyers in London Ontario and I can veify that buying a home can take an enormous amount of time, even patience,  I do it every day, so for the 'lone rangers', go for it!

  search condos in London Ontario on MLS

 For those of you who are looking for that ideal condo, perhaps one not even on MLS yet & would like professional real estate guidance, negotiation, diligence and care, our "Dedicated Home Buyer Program" may be something that you have been looking for.

  Buying a Condo As an Investment?

 Over the years I have help investors buy properties and one of the better investments are condo townhouses, especially for out of town buyers and those who wish to be less hands on. Here are a few ideas.


Some of The Best Condos For Sale in London Ontario


    If you are finding it confusing searching MLS, newspapers and magazines or agent websites for a condo in London Ontario, I get it!

Top picks London Ontario Condos

  Knowing the price, styles, location and amenities that every condo apartment or town home or townhouse complex has in London can be daunting and my goal when working with a buyer  is to first educate about what is available, then assist in narrowing down the search and then offer  guidance and experience & negotiating skills to get the best property that fits.

  In London at present there are these apartment condos for sale in London Ontario:

  • 8 under $100,000
  • 27  $100,000 - $150,000
  • 19  $150,000 - $200,000
  • 24  $200,000 - $300,000
  • 6    $300,000 - $400,000
  • 16 over $400,000

Top 10

    Top 10 Apartment Condos For Sale in London  (My Picks)
Bedrooms Bathrooms Price Description
2 1+1 $169,850 near Western
2 2 $179,000 insuite laundry, freshly painted
2 1+1 $181,900 Downtown, hardwood, fireplace, 5 appliances
2 2 $239,000 5 appliances, pool, underground parking
2 2 $259,900 9' ceilings, hardwood, ceramic, master ensuite
2 2 $299,900 Luxury, green space, underground parking
2+1 2 $389,000 Downtown, luxurious, spacious
2 2 $479,000 1850 square feet +, a wow factor
2 2+1 $678,000 Great View
    Top 10 Townhouses

 

 

 Top 10 Townhouse Condos For Sale in London (My Picks)
Bedrooms Bathrooms Price Description
3 1+1 $149,900 Forced air, finished basement
3 2 $179,900 Finished Basement, Patio, 5 appliances
3 2 $189,900 Master ensuite, garage, bus route UWO
4 2+1 $199,000 garage, finished basement, large rooms

3

2+1 $259,000

Walk to UWO, garage

2+1 2+1 $339,000

one floor, double garage, finished basement

2+1 2+1 $399,900 one floor, detached, double garage, finished basement
2+1 2+1 $449,000 End unit, park like setting, one floor, double garage
2+1 2+1 $579,900

Exclusive area, 3500 square feet +, double garage

 

  Townhouse Condos that are currently for sale:

  • 0 under $100,000
  • 11 $100,000 -$150,000
  • 20 $150,000 - $200,000
  • 35 $200,000 - $300,000
  • 31 $300,000 - $400,000
  • 16 $4000,000 - $500,000
  • 11 over $500,000

So, looking for a condo in London Ontario that is right for you should not be guess work or by luck. I know condos, where they are, the best locations, the better built ones,  the better managed ones, the best values, the safest ones, and buildings or complexes to stay away from.

  Because of the volume of business I do, I also from time to time have listings that are not on MLS yet, it could be because they are doing last minute touch ups or I have clients that will be listing soon.

 Buying a condo takes much more diligence than buying a house, protect yourself and your bank account by having some one with condo skills help you.


Buying a Condo In London Ontario? Decisions?


  Condominium living is a popular option for many Canadians as it can be a relatively carefree housing option. Currently, in some parts of the country, one out of three new homes built is a condominium and London Ontario is one

          Couple buying a condo in London Ontario

    Most  newspapers now include a condominium section which recognizes the increasing number of people who already live in—or aspire to live in—a condominium.

  The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has created a  guide to help you become an informed condominium buyer and to help you make the best choice. At the end of the CMHC Guide you will find full definitions of some of the terms used.

   It will identify important questions to ask—and the people you should be asking—before you make this important purchase.

  Searching to buy a condo in London Ontario

 At the end of the report, there is a selection checklist to help you narrow down the choice between the different types of condominiums you might see.

  Another great Condos in London guide is one that I have been providing to Londoners for the last 15 years, in it you will see price ranges and styles of condos, neighbourhoods, specific buildings or complexes, local London Ontario links and telephone numbers, maps and tips.

I hope you will find it as helpful as hundreds of clients have.

   Try this Tool Kit if you are looking for tips and ideas when buying real estate

 homebuyers toolkit      

 

I have helped hundreds of buyers over the years and especially when buying a condo in London or St.Thomas, I would say most were a little intimidated with the process or not sure where to start.

I put together a few guides for condo buyers to help them clarify in their mind the processes involved, questions to ask and where to start.

Over many pages on this website and our main Envelope Real Estate page, you will find free, no obligation guides and information.

Enjoy.

How to Buy a Condo in London Ontario


Love It Or Leave It


Love it or Leave It” London Ontario’s Only Home Buying Guarantee

100% Home Buyer Guarantee

If you obtain a home through Sutton Group Envelope Real Estate Brokerage and you are not 100% pleased with it, we will sell your home for you for FREE! We offer this guarantee within the first 24 months after you purchase the home.

Why? 

We want you to be totally satisfied with your home and will do everything to get you into a home that you will love…Guaranteed!

We are confident that we have the ability to listen to you and to being dedicated in finding the “Perfect Home” for you.  We take 100% responsibility; we offer no excuses and no finger pointing.

That’s why we are willing to work for FREE if your home isn’t everything you expected it to be.  You have nothing to lose,

There is some fine print and here it is:

This home buying guarantee excludes commercial properties, investors & students.


A Nice Story of a Couple Who Thought Things Through


I will call this couple Bill and Mary to protect their identity and their 'keeping up with the Jone's ' previous lifestyle.

               unhappy house owners

They were referred to me by their accountant who asked me if I could help them out. Here is the outline:

  • $460,000 house with a $370,000 mortgage
  • two car loans $37,800
  • $21,500 credit card debt
  • $18,000 line of credit
  • two chidren under 10
  • $102,000 combined salary income
  • $31,000 in RSP's
  • $900 in savings!

 

A very nice hard working couple in their 30's who realized they were getting deeper in debt, working hard to keep afloat and if something happen to one of them such as a lay-off or sickness, they were in trouble!

They finally came to the reality that though they had a beautiful home and on that on the outside looking prosperous and happy, the reality was that they were treading water, just keeping afloat was a chore. 

I asked them how serious they were to re-invent their lifestyle, build for their future and if they could discipline their ego and self-worth by not doing what their friends were all doing.

It took a few months of soul searching and to get to the end of the story, here is what happen after two years and one month.

  • I sold their home for $466,000
  • Paid off the credit card debt & line of credit
  • Bought a $149,000 townhouse with a $125,000 mortgage
  • one car loan at $11,500 left
  • $55,000 in RSP's
  • $11,000 in a TFSA
  • $119,000 combined salary income
  • Three family vacations
  • A plan to pay off their mortgage in 4 years

                              happy real estate clients

Are they happier? Have less stress? Lose any friends? How is their ego's and self-esteem?

Yes to very happy and no stress,  new appreciation of true friends and their new found self-esteem of being finacially disciplined.

Was it easy? Was it hard?

Fear of the unknown is one of the strongest fears we can have so facing reality and knowing that in this case, 'what could be the worst thing that could have happened to this couple when they downsized'? 

I will let your perspective decide.


What is a Freehold Condo in London Ontario?


With a freehold condominium, the owner not only owns the unit he or she purchased but also the land on which the building stands. The property improvements, roof and windows etc. are the owner's responsibility.

There are several advantages to owning a freehold condominium. First off, the investment is much more valuable, since land is a very valuable part of real estate . A freehold condominium may allow you to make some improvements in the lawn and other landscaping areas, however,  the condo corporation will retain some control over what the freehold owner can or can't do with the property.

Regular condo ownership means that the cost of improvements or repairs is shared by all the owners, freehold means the individual owner bears the cost alone.

Keep in mind that while the ownership and upkeep of land and buildings is up to the freehold owner, maintenance of common property elements such as green areas, ponds, parking, etc. is shared among the owners, as determined by the condo corporation and the fee is usually a lot less than a regular condo fee.

It is very important that when considering buying a free hold condominium and putting in an offer, that you have a clause allowing your lawyer review what is called the "Status Certificate" It will disclose many things but you should know up front, such as,  how much the fee is, what it covers and what you can and cannot do to your property!


Free Condo Buyer Subscription


Would you like a free home buyer subscription that will help you further in your buying decisions? This series of e-zines are about tips on saving when buying, some great strategies as well. At no time are you under any obligation and you will never, ever be spammed by me!




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What is a Status Certificate & Why You Need One


  When people think of the financial position of a condominium, they think in terms of the amount of money in the reserve fund. The myth that has grown up around this is that a condominium with a large amount of money is in better shape than a condominium with a much smaller sum of money in it.

   Money in the reserve fund

   A Status Certificate is a document containing information regarding the operational, legal, and financial dimensions of the condominium corporation. The corporation is required to give each person so requesting, a status certificate with respect to a unit in the corporation.

A request for a Status Certificate is given to the property manager. The property manager on behalf of the condominium corporation is allowed ten days to deliver the Status Certificate to the requester. The cost is generally around $100.

The enjoyment of owners is most directly affected by the By-laws and House Rules of the condominium that they live in. The by-laws explain to owners how a building is run on a general level.

The following are the types of matters by-laws deal with.

  • The Board of Directors – how many, how they are nominated, elected or removed and how long they can serve for.
  • How the condominium corporation can borrow money.
  • The assessment and collection of contributions to common expenses.
  • What constitutes a standard unit? This covers what the condominium is or is not responsible for in a unit when it comes to damage, repair or replacement. Owners need to know this in order to properly insure their unit.
  • How the units and common elements are to be maintained, used and managed.
  • Members' meetings and annual general meetings. The appointment, remuneration, functions, and duties of agents, officers and employees of the condominium.

By-laws must be reasonable and consistent with the Condominium Act and the condominiums own declaration.

By-laws can be added to, amended or removed. Changing a by-law requires a majority vote of the owners (i.e. 50% of Unit Owners plus one). That vote must take place at a meeting of the owners that must be specifically called for. All owners should be given at least 15 days written notice of that meeting.

The 1998 Condominium Act requires that a minimum of 3 directors be appointed. Generally boards will have between 3 and 7 directors depending on the size and type of Condominium Corporation. More often than not, within a board, there will be a President, Vice-President, Treasurer and Secretary.


 


In most condominiums, directors of boards restrict their activity to making decisions and advising the Unit Owners with respect to maintaining or improving the affairs of the condominium. They deal with the financial, legal and physical aspects of running the building as well as with the concerns of the Unit Owners.

It is not usually the job of the board to actually carry out the day-to-day running of the building – that job is normally delegated to the property manager. However, the board is responsible for ensuring that the building is being run properly by the property manager

Board of Directors for a condominium

A Board of Directors is well advised to seek expert advice and opinions from professionals such as lawyers, accountants, contractors, architects, and designers before making decisions or communicating advice to the Unit Owners.

Once a year (must be within 6 months of the end of each fiscal year of the corporation), the corporation will hold an annual general meeting for all the Unit Owners.

The involvement of as many Unit Owners as possible at an annual general meeting or generally in the affairs of the corporation (whether on the board or on committees) is important for the welfare of a condominium. More input can

If a unit holder does not want to or cannot attend an A.G.M. or other special meeting, they can appoint, in writing, another person to represent them as a proxy and vote at the meeting in accordance with their wishes.

Unit Owners can call their own special meeting provided they can obtain 15% of Unit Owners willing to sign the request for the meeting.

The property manager has a variety of responsibilities including the following:

  • Enforce By-laws and House Rules.
  • Ensure the building is properly maintained.
  • Deal with contractors and oversee the work being done by them on the building.
  • Hire and supervise employees of the condominium such as cleaning staff, concierge and doormen.
  • Advise the board with respect to the by-laws, house rules, renovations, security and problems arising from the unit holders or such things as damage to common elements.
  • Communicate and deal with unit holders. For example they must advise unit holders of fire alarm drills and window cleaning as well as deal with unit holders' complaints. Depending on the nature of a complaint, a property manager may want to bring the complaint forward to a Board Meeting for resolution.
  • Prepare monthly and annual financial budgets and statements.
  • Manage the receipt of monthly maintenance fees and the payment of expenses.

The Condominium Act puts the following obligations on the owner and the condominium corporation:

  • Owners must, within 30 days of leasing or renewing a lease, notify the corporation of this fact and provide the lessee's and owner's names. Within this same time period they must also provide a copy of the lease and furnish the lessee with a copy of the Declaration, by-laws, and rules of the corporation.
  • Owners must notify the corporation of lease terminations.
  • The Corporation is required to maintain a record of all notices required regarding leased units.

A check should be made of the Condominium Declaration, by-laws or house rules as very often they may contain restrictions on leasing/renting. The following are some typical restrictions:

  • The owner is still responsible for the monthly maintenance fees and for any damage caused by the tenant.
  • The suite cannot be used for hotel purposes or leased for less than one year.
  • The details of the lease and information about the tenant must be provided to the property manager prior to the commencement of the lease.
  • The property manager must inspect the unit prior to the lease to ensure it is in a good state of repair.
  • A tenant cannot sublet a unit.
  • An owner must notify the property manager within 7 days that the unit is no longer being rented or occupied.

 

 

 

 


Sutton Group Envelope Real Estate Brokerage Inc.


181 Commissioners Road W. London Ontario N6J 1X9

Phone 519-435-1600 Fax 519-435-050

www.enveloperealestate.com

www.condosinlondon.com

Ty Lacroix Realtor

Sutton Group Envelope Real Estate Brokerage Inc.                  Condos in London Ontario



              MLS