Considering Buying a New-Construction Condo? Avoid These 4 Common Mistakes

Posted by on Sep 23, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Considering Buying a New-Construction Condo? Avoid These 4 Common Mistakes

If you like the idea of owning your own property, but you don’t want to have to keep up with a lawn and exterior work, then purchasing a condo may seem like the ideal choice. Especially when you purchase a new-construction condo, you generally get a beautiful interior living area that you can customize as you wish, set on property that is cared for by a homeowner’s association. Unfortunately, a lot of people who opt to buy new-construction condos make some mistakes that end up costing them money or happiness along the way. Avoid these mistakes for a more positive buying and living experience. Mistake #1: Assuming that everything included in the model home will be included in yours. When you go to see the model home, it is generally dressed to the nines with the highest quality dishwasher, refrigerator, countertops and other elements. Many shoppers assume that the condo they are purchasing will come with the same elements. However, this is not always the case. If you read the fine print in your contract, you may find that the options displayed in the model home were optional upgrades. Unless you specifically request them, lower-end appliances and accessories may be included in the condo you’re buying. To avoid being surprised when your condo looks different from the model, always check with your real estate agent to be sure you know exactly what appliances and specialty elements will be included in your condo. Be prepared to pay a little more if you want the upgrades seen in the model home. Mistake #2: Not getting a home inspection. You might assume that since the condo will be brand new, you’ll be safe buying it without having it inspected by a building inspector first. While there may be a lower risk of hidden problems with a new home than an older one, this does not mean there is no risk at all. You should always have a building inspection conducted by a reputable inspector before signing on the dotted line for your new-construction condo. The inspector may identify mistakes that were made during building that would compromise safety if left alone. It’s better to discover these early on than later, when your home is collapsing around you or your walls have begun to crack. Mistake #3: Not accounting for closing costs. Closing costs vary widely by region; in some areas they are substantial, and in other areas they may be just a few hundred dollars. However, it’s common for buyers to overlook the fact that when it comes time to close on their condo, they’ll own more than the down payment. There will also be lawyer fees, funds owed to your real estate agent, and perhaps some tax fees owed to your municipality. Ask your real estate agent for an estimate of your closing costs up front, and then set that money aside, so you’re not struggling to find cash when it’s time to close. Mistake #4: Not working with your own real estate agent. There is generally a real estate agent working with the builder of the condos. He or she is the representative of the builder. If you show up to inquire about purchasing a condo without your own agent, the builder’s agent may offer to represent you as well....

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2 Requirements You Need to Make Sure Are Included in Your Basement Apartment

Posted by on Sep 17, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2 Requirements You Need to Make Sure Are Included in Your Basement Apartment

Before you can convert your home’s basement into something like Wynn residential Toronto apartments and begin renting it out, you need to make sure you are following all the regulations for legal basement apartments in your municipality. It is important to make sure your apartment is constructed for safety and meets the regulations in size and ceiling height. Here are some rules you need to follow about fire protection and and the apartment’s size when you complete the construction. Fireproof Ceiling and Walls When a tenant is living within the walls of your home’s structure and a fire starts in their unit, you and your home will be at risk of damage from a fire that is outside your control. If a fire starts in your part of the home, your tenant is at risk of the fire that is outside their control. A proper fire wall can help protect you and your tenant to give you both time to escape the home in the event of a fire.  You need to make sure the materials separating your home from the basement apartment follow the proper requirements. The type of wall and ceiling building materials you use to separate the apartment from your part of the home are important. According to the Ontario Fire Code, the drywall or lath and plaster you use to separate the units need to be at least a 30 minute fire resistance rating for walls and ceilings. Also, the penalty for violating the fire code is a fine of up to $25,000 or a prison term of up to one year, or both. For walls in your basement apartment, it is recommended to install one layer of 1/2-inch regular drywall on each side of the wall. For the ceiling, you need at least one layer of 1/2-inch Type X drywall or two layers of 1/2-inch regular drywall installed or one layer of 5/8-inch regular drywall installed. The use of these fire protection materials will slow down the speed with which the fire spreads from one unit to the other, allowing you or your tenant time to escape. Doorways through any fire protection separation walls need to be protected with self closing fire rated doors installed in hollow metal or solid wood frames. Always let your home owner’s insurance know you are converting your basement into an apartment. If a fire occurs in your home and your home owner’s insurance doesn’t know about the apartment, they can deny your fire insurance claim.  Apartment Size and Ceiling Height When you are turning your basement into an apartment, you want to provide adequate space and area to increase the apartment’s value to renters. Just be sure to keep the apartment’s square footage less than the upstairs unit. Depending on the municipality you live in, there can be different requirements for the total size you can give your basement apartment. For example, North Vancouver requires you to make the apartment at least 400 square feet, but no more than 968 square feet. Then, the total size of the basement apartment cannot be more than 40 percent of the entire livable space in the dwelling.  The ceiling height of your basement apartment also needs to meet certain requirements, depending upon which municipality you live in. According to The Ontario Building Code, a basement apartment’s ceiling heights needs to be at least 6-feet 11-inches and can be lowered to 6-feet 5-inches under beams...

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