Let’s say you’ve been renting the same Toronto condo for the past three years. You love it there and it’s suited you well, however, you’ve been considering making the jump into home ownership and have just been told that your landlord is planning on selling your condo. Should you buy it?

BE SURE TO EXPLORE YOUR OPTIONS

I know it seems like the perfect scenario: your landlord wants to list the condo you rent at the same time you’ve been thinking about buying a place. Talk about convenience. If you buy their condo from them, you get to save on moving expenses and the onus of house hunting in Toronto.

Don’t limit your options for the ease of this scenario. Just because the timing seems uncanny, doesn’t mean it’s the right choice to make. While this condo you’ve been renting has served you well, it doesn’t mean there isn’t something better suited for you out there.

HAVE YOUR REALTOR SET UP A PROSPECT MATCH

When you’re ready to purchase, it’s important to explore your options. You’d be doing yourself a disservice by not exploring what else you could buy within your budget. Remember, this is the biggest purchase of your life, so make sure that you know what else is out there.

Tell your realtor about your budget, wish-list items, and preferred Toronto neighbourhood and have them send you daily prospect matches. This will give you an idea of the different condos hitting the market that you could qualify for. There are lots of different condos in Toronto, you may be surprised by the possibilities out there that you hadn’t been considering.

You can start browsing Toronto listings here

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE BUILDING YOU’RE IN

Get into the homeowner mind-set. Just because you’ve enjoyed your condo as a renter, doesn’t mean it will necessarily benefit you as an owner. Find out from your realtor what the reputation of the builder is, especially when it comes to resale values down the line.

What is the tenant-mix? If the building is largely dominated by renters, that may be an indicator of the building’s overall reputation. You may not be as inclined to be a purchaser in that building as tenants may not care for the building in the same way that a largely owner-occupied building will. This isn’t always the case, but your realtor can help provide guidance on these aspects affiliated with this and other buildings.

JUST BECAUSE THEY KNOW YOU, DOESN’T MEAN YOU’LL GET IT

If you’ve really got your heart set on your landlord’s condo, don’t presume that they’ll just hand it over to you. On the flip side of this equation they, too, would be doing themselves a disservice by limiting their offers to a single purchaser — you.

Remember, sellers want to earn the most money for their property, so it’s in their best interest to put it on the market and strategize for attractive offers. So be ready to compete with the rest and the best of them.

So while it may seem serendipitous that your landlord wants to sell, take it as more of a sign that you really are ready to buy. Explore your options, do your research, and take pride in the search. This is a big purchase and you want to make sure that you’re getting the condo that’s right for you.

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