Are you looking to buy a new condo in Toronto but don’t know where to begin? I’ve got you. I have been investing in the Toronto real estate market for nearly 20 years. Be it downtown Toronto or elsewhere in the Greater Toronto Area – I have studied all the neighborhoods and I know where you can get a deal. If that’s what you’re after, book a call – and help me, help you!
Table of Contents
There are many guides out there with detailed step-by-step processes teaching you how to buy a condo. They help, no doubt. But I have structured this blog post differently. I am cutting out all the fluff and giving you only what you really, really need to know before buying a condo in Toronto. I hope it helps!
Breaking Down The Process Of Buying A Condo In Toronto
Is It Worth Buying A Condo In Toronto?
Long story short – yes, I strongly believe that it’s worth buying a condo in Toronto in 2023. The fact is there is a lack of supply in Toronto’s housing market that’s coinciding with a population boom spurred by a growing number of immigrants. A cumulation of such factors has made housing very expensive in Toronto. As housing prices rise – condominiums are attracting more attention by the day!
For the long story – you can check out this blog that I just updated last month on ‘Why It’s [Actually] A Great Time To Invest In Toronto’s Condo Market’
When’s The Best Time To Buy A Condo In Toronto
Winter is the best time for condo buyers to make their move. Stay active on your condo search – December through February – as those are the months you may be able to get a good deal. A condo owner who is not waiting until spring to list is typically motivated to sell immediately. In winter months, the Toronto condo market is slower and listings will be on the market for longer than they normally would compare to the spring or fall markets. When the angsty condo owner meets the motivated condo buyer in winter – often, a deal is struck!
How Much Does It Cost To Buy A Condo In Toronto?
The cost of buying a condo in Toronto differs by neighbourhood. As of March 2023 – the average cost of a condo in Toronto is approximately $856,299 [E03, E01, W02, C08, W01, C01, E02, C02, C09].
There are a lot of hidden costs that go into buying a condo in Toronto. Toronto neighbourhoods also play a huge role in the cost of condos. I’ve studied the neighborhoods and unexpected costs in this blog titled ‘How Much Does It Cost to Buy a Condo in Toronto?’
How Much Do You Need To Earn To Buy A Condo In Toronto
I said Toronto is expensive right? Sorry, that’s the last of it. So yes, as of 2023, despite a fall in the average price of condos in Toronto – you will need to earn more than $150,000 annually to enter the condo market, but that said, the help of a family member with either the deposit or by simply co-signing can make a considerable difference.
If you need a mortgage to help you buy a condo, you will need to pass the stress test. To pass the stress test in 2023, you will need to be earning approximately $200,000 annually!
7 Expert Tips To Help You Buy A Condo In Toronto In 2023
1. Get your finances in order
When you are buying a condo in Toronto it’s important to ensure that your wish list is aligned with your budget. When you pair the continuing price growth of Toronto condos with our rising interest rates you can expect your carrying costs to be higher than they were a few months ago. With that in mind, especially if you’ve been shopping for a Toronto condo for some time now, the first thing you should do is recalculate your budget.
If you’re just starting your search for a condo in Toronto, we highly recommend getting the proper paperwork and your downpayment together. Start off by getting pre-approved for a mortgage from a lender. Getting a mortgage pre-approval will let you know how much money you can borrow, how much you can pay back per month, and what your interest rate will be. When you go to get a pre-approval, your lender will ask for the following:
Your credit check
An employment letter that states your status, employment start date, your position, and your salary
A T4 from the previous year that verifies your income
A Notice of Assessment (NOI) that confirms your income taxes were paid
Once you have gotten pre-approved for a mortgage, get your downpayment together.
|Purchase price of your home||Minimum amount of down payment|
|$500000 or less||5% of the purchase price|
|$500000 to $999999||5% of the first $500000 of the purchase price; 10% for the portion of the purchase price above $500000|
|$1 million or more||20% of the purchase price|
Make sure this money is easily accessible. If it isn’t, put a plan to liquidate it so that you will have access to it when the property closes. If you are an international investor and your downpayment will be coming from outside of Canada, make sure the money is in your bank account for at least 90 days before the closing.
There are also many government programs and rebates available for buyers:
The First-Time Home Buyer Credit
CMHC loan insurance
2. Buying your Toronto condo in winter could help you save money!
The peak seasons for real estate listing are spring and fall when most sellers wait to list their property to take advantage of the inevitable price surge that comes with it. What that means is that there’s more choice for you as a buyer but there are also more buyers competing, giving sellers the upper hand. As a buyer, the best time to buy a condo in Toronto might just be during the winter when there is a little less competition.
3. Consider buying Toronto pre-construction condos on assignment
While we always advise our investors not to buy a pre-construction condo with the intention of selling it on assignment; the very reasons we tell them not to sell are the reasons why you may be inclined to buy a Toronto condo on assignment.
An assignment is when the purchaser of a pre-construction condo chooses to sell their Agreement of Purchase and Sale with the builder to a new condo buyer before they officially take possession of the property. So if you’re looking at buying a Toronto condo that is a new, never-been-lived-in, book a call with me or any other realtor to find out which pre-construction condos are nearing completion that may have available assignments for sale.
As a buyer, you have leverage with your price because the building’s amenities and common spaces are not completely finished. This means you are able to buy a new condo for less than fair market value and have some potential equity built in as well. Your realtor will be your best advocate in sourcing good assignment deals. Trust their guidance.
4. Yesterday is the best day to buy a condo in Toronto!
The biggest thing to keep in mind when it comes to buying real estate in Toronto is timing. The sooner you can buy, the further your money will go. Since Toronto’s real estate market has been experiencing incredible price growth, the money you have today is worth more than tomorrow. So if you’re waiting for the right deal, remember that prices will continue to climb, so try to get into the Toronto condo market soon so you can start capitalizing on the equity gains properties in Toronto have been earning.
Read “The Best Day to Buy is Yesterday” for more on this topic
5. Teamwork makes the dream work!
Buying a condo in Toronto without any help can feel overwhelming. So what do you do? You ask for help. You build a team of real estate professionals and use their experience and expertise to help you through the process. Surround yourself with people who you trust and can communicate with transparently. Real estate agents have access to tons of data that’s not publicly available. This data helps them informed decisions and if you’re working with one of them – you too, can leverage their data to make the best decisions for yourself!
If you’re looking to add a real estate agent to your team, book a call with me or somebody from my team and let’s assess our fit!
6. Know your neighbourhoods
In my experience, a must-have for most condo buyers is the location. Toronto neighbourhoods are like little cities in themselves. We have a Greek Town, a Chinatown, a Little India, and Little Italy.
Condo prices differ from neighbourhood to neighbourhood. Rely on the expertise, local experience, and data of your real estate agent to help you understand the social and economic trajectory of the neighbourhood that you’re interested in. This data will help you identify steals and avoid over-priced units in the neighbourhood. Plus, it will help you understand the potential future value of your investment.
I also recommend my clients to physically visit the neighbourhood – not once but multiple times. Check out the vibe of the neighbourhood on weekdays vs weekends, mornings vs nights, etc. to see if it aligns with your lifestyle and expectations!
7. Study the condo developer
A condo developer’s reputation usually precedes them and in Toronto – we have some of the best condo developers in the world! Do your due diligence though. Check if the property that you like has a high turnover rate and if yes, find out why. Same thing with maintenance issues. Check if there are any and find out why. Your real estate agent should be able to give you this information. You don’t want to end up buying a condominium apartment that nobody else wants to live in due to poor management.
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