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  1. #21
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    Originally posted by Speed_69
    I'm new to the whole purchasing a property as well.

    When purchasing a new property, is it necessary to hire a realtor? and how much comission would they normally charge you?
    if you are buying then using a realtor is probably a good idea, since the seller pays the realtors commissions.

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    Originally posted by turbotrip


    if you are buying then using a realtor is probably a good idea, since the seller pays the realtors commissions.
    Let's say I walk into one of the new builders to check out the condos, will the seller in this case still pay the realtor if I use a realtor to buy? Will it still be the same price for the condo? For example, if the condo is selling for $240K brand new, will it be the same price if I used a realtor?

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    Originally posted by extm88
    anyone else realize op is banned lol?
    at least i think
    Meh, it doesn't really matter if the OP is banned or not. Other people are still using this thread to get help and advice from the people in the industry. There's no need to make another thread just because the OP is banned, especially when it's the same subject.

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    Does anyone have experiences with the Chocolate building in the Beltline? (1st St. SW) - I am serious about purchasing a unit there.

    Any board minutes, issues with the building itself, maintenance, landlord... shoot me a PM... I will buy you a case of good beer or a bottle of scotch if I get in there.

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    Originally posted by JordanAndrew


    Let's say I walk into one of the new builders to check out the condos, will the seller in this case still pay the realtor if I use a realtor to buy? Will it still be the same price for the condo? For example, if the condo is selling for $240K brand new, will it be the same price if I used a realtor?
    Yes and No...its a grey area.

    I actually have a meeting with a group on Friday who basically wants to list 1 unit in a few different buildings that they have several suites in. What they do is then sell other units and keep the original listing on the market. Having this 1 unit on the MLS will sell other units they do not have listed.
    Builders are not really big on having a realtor come in with a buyer and will typically negotiate with the buyers realtor. In many cases it is not going to be full commission.
    As a buyers realtor, your going to take what they give you if your client is head over heals for the specific building.

    Hope this helps a bit.

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    Originally posted by extm88


    Yes and No...its a grey area.

    I actually have a meeting with a group on Friday who basically wants to list 1 unit in a few different buildings that they have several suites in. What they do is then sell other units and keep the original listing on the market. Having this 1 unit on the MLS will sell other units they do not have listed.
    Builders are not really big on having a realtor come in with a buyer and will typically negotiate with the buyers realtor. In many cases it is not going to be full commission.
    As a buyers realtor, your going to take what they give you if your client is head over heals for the specific building.

    Hope this helps a bit.
    It sorta answers my question, but I'm still unclear with the final price question. Let's say the builders want $240K all in for their unit, if I was using a realtor would the price remain the same or not?

    Also how hard is it to bargain a price on new units? I know it depends on the demand and the current market, but is it possible? I've seen postings on new units and how much they sold for and most of the time I see that the buyers paid the asking price.

    If they don't move on the asking price, do most of them throw extra upgrades instead? If so, who has experienced this and how did you guys get it? Which builders did you go to? I wouldn't mind a free upgrade on my counter top, better appliances, etc.

    I still have a lot of questions and the time to buy is definitely coming soon so the more information I get the better.

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    Originally posted by barmanjay
    *edit*

    Point form

    Get a pre-approval:
    - bank or
    - mortgage broker
    * lock in your rate for 90 days

    Find a realtor (realtor will help you with most of the leg-work in this whole section):
    - interview at least 2
    * search for properties
    * view properties
    * feel comfortable with condo fees
    * place offer
    ^ need a deposit (will be part of DP) $5k is good
    ^ Conditional to:
    > site inspection
    + hire a property inspector
    > financing final approval
    + forward purchase contract to bank/mortgagebroker for final approval
    > satisfactory review of condo docs, rules/bylaws and agm minutes
    + aquire the current condo docs
    - reserve fund study/current reserve fund balance
    - special assessments?
    - bylaws and current AGM minutes
    + hire a condo doc review company to sit down with you to review the condo docs (ask realtor for one)
    ^ sign off on conditions if satisfied
    > if not satisfied, sign the non-waiver notice and start back at search properties again

    Find a real estate Lawyer (ask realtor if you don't have one):
    - forward all documents of the purchase
    - inform bank/mortgage broker who the lawyer is
    - get property insurance (your auto insurance provider can help)
    * forward insurance policy to lawyer

    Utils:
    - Electricity
    - Gas (unless it's included in condo fees)
    - cable/internet (unless...."...)
    - phone

    Moving:
    - contact condo management
    * use of elevator
    - Moving truck?
    - supply friends with pizza and pop, then beer after
    - Pimp out condo/become a pimp/pimp out yourself
    - Profit???
    Hi How much usually will the realtor charge if i get one? Or should they get the payment/commission instead from the seller?
    How much usually will the real estate lawyer charge?
    Thanks

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    Builder's decide how they deal with Realtor representation, so it can vary widely from one building to another. Where one builder may offer a full commission, another may offer a flat rate.

    Generally speaking, good builders will offer compensation as they realise the importance of getting as many people through the doors as possible, and Realtors often have large pools of qualified buyers on their client lists. Speaking from my experience, most builders will not offer a different price on a suite based on whether a realtor is used or not. Either you have the realtor representation, or you don't. Either the builder makes some money, or more money.

    I do know of a couple builders, once-upon-a-time and in a much more bouyant market, that offered a discount to people who did not use professional real estate representation. All-in-all, I would say that move likely alienated that builder from most agents in the city and probably cost more in optics/opinion than they would have saved on fees. If the builder does not offer compensation, your Realtor may ask you to pay a fee for their service, but that would be handled in the form of a contract.

    As far as negotiation on new suites go, the standard practice for builder's these days seems to be "the price is the price, take it or leave it." From the developers standpoint, many of the new suites being sold today were constructed in a boom market and are being sold in the "bust," so their margins, if not already non-existent, are probably much thinner than they would have liked. We're far enough along in the "bust" now that most new-build units out there have come down significantly in price to get them moving, so price movement has already been accomplished by the market.

    Keep in mind, most (if not all) of my experience is with inner-city (Beltline/Downtown) builders, so the process may differ with the suburban condo market (different players, different scale of construction, different buyer pool, different construction timelines....).

    As far as the free upgrades go - my opinion would be - tricky... Units already built are, already built, and anything to be built will likely have already been price adjusted for the market.

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    Originally posted by desmond


    Hi How much usually will the realtor charge if i get one? Or should they get the payment/commission instead from the seller?
    How much usually will the real estate lawyer charge?
    Thanks
    Costs:

    Buyers realtor is paid by the selling realtors commission (split)

    RE Lawyer: anywhere from $600-1500 - based on how big your mortgage is
    Home Inspector: $350-525
    Condo Doc review co: $300-600
    Insurance - varies - inquire with your insurance provider

    Again I'll edit and add to my first post for easy read
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    What happens if I get a realtor to help me look for a home to purchase but at the end of the 4 months when my mortgage rate is no longer locked, I decide not to purchase a home and wait it out.

    Do I have to end up paying the realtor some fees? because he/she no longer gets a portion of the selling relator's commission.

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    Originally posted by JordanAndrew


    It sorta answers my question, but I'm still unclear with the final price question. Let's say the builders want $240K all in for their unit, if I was using a realtor would the price remain the same or not?

    Also how hard is it to bargain a price on new units? I know it depends on the demand and the current market, but is it possible? I've seen postings on new units and how much they sold for and most of the time I see that the buyers paid the asking price.

    If they don't move on the asking price, do most of them throw extra upgrades instead? If so, who has experienced this and how did you guys get it? Which builders did you go to? I wouldn't mind a free upgrade on my counter top, better appliances, etc.

    I still have a lot of questions and the time to buy is definitely coming soon so the more information I get the better.
    It all depends on the developer, there isn't any regulation in terms of how developers negotiate. Some will negotiate on their prices and some will not. Same with upgrades, some will offer upgrade incentives and others will not. It also depends on where the developer is on the project. Typically at the very beginning and at the end of the project a buyer will get the "best" deals. Trouble with buying at the very end though, is you end up with the unit(s) that nobody else wanted.

    Buying new from a developer is a little bit of a different game

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    Originally posted by Speed_69
    What happens if I get a realtor to help me look for a home to purchase but at the end of the 4 months when my mortgage rate is no longer locked, I decide not to purchase a home and wait it out.

    Do I have to end up paying the realtor some fees? because he/she no longer gets a portion of the selling relator's commission.
    No, its all part of working in a commission based industry. I've never heard of anyone charging a buyer who decided to put off buying until a little later. If you've signed a Buyer's Agency Agreement and while under that agreement, end up purchasing without your Realtor you could be on the hook for your Realtor's commission. But in general no, if you decide not to purchase for the time being there is no commissions due to your Realtor.

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    Real Estate
    Is a condo a good investment?
    Condominiums. Jeff Vinnick for The Globe and Mail

    Young professionals and retirees should beware of steep maintenance and other costs that can erode their cash flow and limit their desired lifestyle, says Manulife's Kurt Rosentreter



    Globe and Mail Update
    Published on Monday, Nov. 02, 2009 6:29AM EST

    Last updated on Monday, Nov. 02, 2009 7:21AM EST


    Condominiums seem like an attractive real estate option, but buyers who don't do their homework could quickly find themselves stuck with a volatile investment and buried under mounting maintenance and unexpected costs.

    “Too many Canadians are being seduced by the pretty pictures and stories of easy lifestyle and they end up buying into a building that is a time bomb of costs ...,” says Kurt Rosentreter, a senior financial adviser at Manulife Securities Inc.

    In a controversial newsletter, Mr. Rosentreter lays out his position on how, from a financial perspective, condos often don't make good sense. He argues that far from being less expensive than a regular house, urban condos with high property taxes and steep monthly maintenance costs, not to mention unforeseen expenses such as fixing a broken pool valve, can carve a surprisingly big chunk from a person's budget.

    Condo shoppers generally fall into three categories: young professionals looking for a cheaper entry-point into the red-hot Canadian housing market; retirees aiming to downsize from a big family home; and established investors who want to buy a unit and rent it out for profit.


    “ Too many Canadians are being seduced by the pretty pictures and stories of easy lifestyle and they end up buying into a building that is a time bomb of costs. ”
    — Manulife's Kurt Rosentreter



    Although first-time, urbon condo buyers are lured by short work commutes, minimal upkeep and amenities such as pools and exercise rooms, many still see a condo as a stepping stone to owning a house later in life, when they have a family, says Mr. Rosentreter.

    The problem is that most young people don't have enough of a down payment – they should have saved at least 10 per cent – and haven't left themselves enough wiggle room in their cash flow to cover bills and unanticipated costs and to also live the life they desire, he said.

    In addition, condo owners should not assume they will be able to sell their unit at a profit. Mr. Rosentreter believes that the “sheer number of new condos being built almost guarantees that in the event of a market correction, the condos will fall faster and deeper” than a townhome or a bricks-and-mortar house.

    “I tell all my young professional clients that they should not buy a condo unless they plan to own it for 10 years and have solid, sustainable cash flow,” he said.

    John Pasalis, the broker owner of Toronto-based Realosophy Realty Inc., says it depends on location. “Condos do appreciate and, depending on which neighbourhood you buy, it can be a great investment.”

    Adrian Mastracci, portfolio manager with KCM Wealth Management Inc. in Vancouver, says real estate is always a risky venture when taken with a short-term view. “You might not be able to sell it when you want to for what you want.”

    However, in big cities such as Vancouver and Toronto, skyrocketing housing prices have left people with little choice but to enter the real estate market through the condo segment, he says.


    “ Generally people buy a condo because of a lifestyle it gives them but you can not buy it on emotion alone –you need the numbers to work too. ”
    — Portfolio manager Adrian Mastracci



    The allure of condo living is another major driver in the decision-making process. “Generally people buy a condo because of a lifestyle it gives them but you can not buy it on emotion alone –you need the numbers to work too,” Mr. Mastracci said.

    For retirees on a fixed income, the numbers often don't add up for condo life, Mr. Rosentreter says. While the idea of moving into a smaller space where you don't have to shovel the driveway or clean the eaves troughs is appealing, retirees should think twice about committing their limited pension dollars to a rising array of maintenance and other costs that are needed to operate a multimillion-dollar building.

    He cites an example of one client whose maintenance fees rose 15 per cent over the last five years to $900 a month – as much as it could be rented for. Another client was hit with a special one-time assessment bill of $12,500 as her share of fixing a crack in the underground parking garage.

    Making a rental income from condos is also getting tougher, since Canada Revenue Agency is cracking down on landlords who repeatedly claim rental losses and deduct them against their regular income to trim their income tax bill, Mr. Rosentreter said. So unless you are putting down a large deposit and getting a small mortgage, a rental condo should not be claimed as a tax loss.

    Condo buyers who rent out their unit and are not making 10 per cent or more might be better off with other forms of real estate investments, he added.

    Before buying a condo unit, make sure that you, your lawyer and your accountant carefully review the building's status certificate to ensure it is being run well and is in good financial health. Find out how much is in the building's reserve fund; managed properly, the fund should have the money to cover major expenses such as cracked parking garages.

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    Can anyone recommend the following to me?

    Condo inspector
    Lawyer for condo purchase
    Condo doc reviewer?

    PM me if necessary

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    Originally posted by cannondale1
    Can anyone recommend the following to me?

    Condo inspector
    Lawyer for condo purchase
    Condo doc reviewer?

    PM me if necessary

    pm'd
    Burn some serious rubber on your Wedding Night!!


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    Originally posted by barmanjay



    pm'd
    thanks mang!

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    One other thing I will add.....

    If you can get a house for around the same price.. in a similiar area.. do it. Instead of paying condo fees (which are more then just utilities etc) you can use that money to actually pay off your mortgage.


    I bought a condo ~4 years ago... and granted I've been hit with more assesments and higher fees then most.. end result is you can pay off more of your mortgage with a house.

    I would have way rather had a 500sq ft 100 year old house then deal with the shit I've had to with my condo in the last 4 years...

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    How can one (if possible) obtain documents on a condo's reserve fund, building assessments? Can a "regular joe" get access to this?

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    Originally posted by cannondale1
    How can one (if possible) obtain documents on a condo's reserve fund, building assessments? Can a "regular joe" get access to this?
    You can get the information from the management company. As for who can obtain the documents, that would probably depend on the management companies policy. Most management companies will only release the information to an owner or a representative on the owner's behalf.

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    Looking for advice from all those who've purchased before:

    I'm looking into buying my first home, a townhouse condo in Chestermere (The Cascades by Truman Homes). I've put a deposit on an end unit ($1000).

    I've gone to the bank and am waiting to here back from them on a pre-approval. Yes I know I did it kinda backwards, but that doesn't matter now. I'm not worried about the pre-approval as I have great credit and a good income.

    So now I know the next step is to give the pre-approval to the developers, then put the rest of the minimum 5% down payment on the house.

    For a brand new townhouse condo do we still need to do the following:

    1. Condo Inspector
    2. Lawyer for condo purchase
    3. Condo Document Reviewer

    Note: We have the condo documents already as well with the proposed plan on how they're going to spend the condo funds and etc. Condo fees are $174/month by the way (includes all the usual stuff, no utilities).

    Any guidance or direction would be great. If someone can recommend me people to do the above 3 that would be great as well. Much appreciated!

    -Thinh

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