Real Estate FAQ for Mississauga Condos

 

Mississauga Condos General FAQ

What exactly is a CONDO?

A condominium is a form of ownership. The owner has title to a single unit, as well as a share in the common elements such as building amenities, elevators or surrounding land.

Condo Housing Types

Row or townhouse

Several single family homes joined by common walls. These can be condominium or freehold units.

Link

Houses, freehold or condominium, joined by garages or carports which provide access between the front and rear yards. Builders sometimes join basement walls so that link houses appear to be single family homes on small lots.

High-rise condominium

Are multi-story residential buildings containing condominium units. A condominium is not a type of house but a form of ownership.

 

What type of home ownership is right for you?

There are three categories of home ownership: freehold, condominium and cooperative. In Mississauga the most common types are home owner ship are freehold and condominium.

Freehold Home

Freehold homes offer privacy and freedom of choice compared to any other type of home. As owner of the entire structure and grounds, you are free to decorate and renovate as you please. Along with this freedom, comes a lot of responsibility. All of the maintenance (indoors and out) is the lone responsibility of the owner, which can be costly in terms of money and time. However, this is the most common home ownership.

Condominiums

Condominiums are usually less costly. With a condominium, you own and are responsible for the interior area of your unit. Everything that is outside of your unit, including grounds, is handled by the condominium association, which is funded by monthly maintenance fees. Condominiums often have strict rules regarding noise, use of common areas, renovations etc. There is also less privacy, compared to a single detached home.

Cooperatives

Cooperatives (or co-ops) are comparable to condominiums, except that instead of owning your unit, you own a percentage of shares in the entire building (or complex). As with condominium ownership, maintenance and repairs are paid for through the collection of monthly maintenance fees and you are subject to the rules and regulations of the co-op board. One drawback to living in a cooperative is that if you decide to sell your shares and move out, the co-op board has the right to reject your prospective buyer.

 

What is a better real estate investment in Mississauga, a house or a condo?

It depends on your investment goals and strategy. A house gives one the option to live in and rent out, meaning that one can live and rent the basement space or maybe an entire floor, while a well-located condo would end up paying for itself.

 

Why do prices in Mississauga for the same type of unit vary so much within the building?

There are a number of factors that influence prices, such as: ceiling height, finishes, extras or upgrades, exterior access, parking etc. We should also keep in mind that the higher the floor within the building, the higher the price (i.e. penthouse suites can sell for significantly more than ground floor suites). Another important factor that we should keep in mind is that the listing or asking price is not always what the units will actually sell for!

 

What is the average cost of parking for a condo in Mississauga?

It is important to remember that this will vary from building to building. However, an average ballpark figure is $15,000 – $25,000 for downtown Mississauga condominiums. Some condos do not offer a parking space with a condo unit. Nonetheless, there might be the option to purchase or rent one of these spaces separately.

 

What is the difference between occupancy date and registration date?

In newly constructed condos, there is something called an occupancy date. At this time you will be charged occupancy fees, whether or not you have moved into the unit. It is the time at which the condo is considered to be completed, excluding perhaps all your finishes. When the building is fully registered and has closed, the suite is legally yours to occupy or dispose of as you please.

 

What is a common element?

You own a condo unit yourself. It is your unit. Common elements within a condo include such things as building amenities (gym, sauna, party rooms etc.) the hallways, elevators and the like – anything that is shared by unit owners for common use.

 

How come the parking and locker numbers on the MLS listing for my condo are totally different from the actual spaces the building has assigned me?

Good question! Some condos have an internal labeling system for their parking spaces and lockers. This means there could be three different descriptions of these spaces: the legal descriptions as found in Land Registry, the numbers stated on the MLS listings and the condo building’s own designations. In order to prevent confusion, ask the property manager to visit these spaces prior to moving in.

 

Why do I see condos on the Mississauga MLS listed for only $15,000 – $25,000?

You’re not hallucinating! The only unfortunate thing is that it’s not condo units being sold here, but parking spaces being sold separately from condo units.

 

What is the difference between owned parking, exclusive parking and rental parking?

Owned parking means that you are purchasing a parking space along with or separate from your condo unit. It’s yours to sell as you please. Exclusive use means you are assigned a parking space that’s yours, and only yours, to use as long as you own your condo. Rental parking is sometimes available for units that don’t come with owned or exclusive parking – inquire with the property manager!

 

If something breaks in my Mississauga condo, am I responsible to fix it or does the condo corporation take care of it?

Your unit is considered to be your property – one of the benefits of ownership! Anything to be repaired within the unit is your responsibility. Anything outside the unit is covered in your monthly maintenance fees.

 

What happens if you do not pay your condo maintenance fee? Will they kick you out? What are the rules/laws regarding this?

The condominium corporation collects these fees and pools them for maintenance & repairs. If you do not pay them, then you are breaching the corporation’s by-laws and they will take action.

 

Are pets allowed in Mississauga condos?

Without a doubt, this is a reoccurring question and concern many buyers have. This depends solely on the condominium building and their regulations.

 

How can I get a copy of the status certificate for my Mississauga condo?

This document is available through the property manager and will cost $100 plus HST. If you decide on buying in this particular condo building then getting this document is vital. This document provides you with a breakdown of all the costs and rules that apply to living in the building including the state of the reserve fund.

 

Does my new Mississauga condo come with warranty?

All new homes sold in Ontario are backed by the seven-year Tarion “New Home Warranty Program.” The only exceptions are conversion buildings. The coverage provides protection against delayed occupancies (without notice), unauthorized substitutions, and defects in material. They also provide deposit protection and cover the common areas of your condo building.

 

What are “closing costs” and how much are closing costs for a Mississauga condo?

A closing cost is an extra fee you have to pay in addition to the purchase price of your unit. The closing costs are charged at the closing date. The fees may include: land transfer tax, education levies, new home warranty certificate, legal fees, and utility hook-ups. It is important to remember that if you have a knowledgeable representative on your side, they can negotiate on your behalf and reduce these costs at the builder’s discretion.

 

When can I move into my new Mississauga condo?

You can move in on the closing date stated on the Assignment Agreement. This is considered your possession or occupancy date.

 

How much deposit do I need for a Mississauga condo?

In general the deposit is anywhere from 10-20% of the New Purchase Price. Ever builder in Mississauga has different rules about down payments and deposit structures.  It is possible to negotiate a lower amount based on your financial situation. One can obtain something that is called a pre-approved mortgage certificate to validate a lower down payment.

 

What’s the benefit of a locker?

Lockers can store a lot of inconvenient items that are invading valuable space within the unit and that are not used on a regular basis. Seeing as how scarce the space in a condo is, it might be a good option to ask for a locker or rent one out if it does not come with your unit.

 

Should I buy first or sell first?

This is not a simple answer. There are two situations you wish to avoid. The first is – buying your dream home before you have sold your current home, leaving you with two mortgages for a while, which will get expensive. The second is – having an excellent purchaser for your existing home before you were able to find your next home. This might lead to living with the in-laws for a few months.

It is good to search the market and to decide which neighborhood you wish to live in and I will help you decide what is best for your needs. You may want to put your home up for sale first, and then start your search for a new home. However, the best solution I find, is to sell first with a long (3-4 month) closing. This way you:

1. Know the exactly how much money you will have for your next home purchase.

2. You will know the closing date, allowing you to make a firm offer to purchase, which will possibly result in getting your next home at a lower price.

3. It gives you less of a headache.

4. It allows you to maximize your sale price and get your next home at a lower price- so it’s a financial win-win situation.

 

What is the benefit of working with a Mississauga condo realtor?

Click here to find out for condo buyers and for sellers.

 

What is a condo status certificate and why do I need one?

Read all about condo status certificates.

 

What is the best layout for a Mississauga condo?

Read all about Mississauga condo layouts.

 

How do taxes work for Mississauga condos?

Read all about Mississauga condo taxes.

 

Which upgrade are worth it for Mississauga condos?

Here are the best construction upgrades you can make

 

 

Selling Your Mississauga Condo FAQ

 

How much commission are Realtors paid?

There is no set amount. However, the common commission is 5% of the selling price, that is split between the listing agent and buying agent (2.5% for each). Some owners choose to offer more, which acts as an added encouragement for agents to show your property.

 

What do I get for my money?

You get an experienced formally trained professional at your side. Some of the money will be directed towards direct marketing and advertising: such as flyers, ads, virtual tours, access to MLS and to be insured.  An agent will often know of properties that are coming onto the market before they are listed. Due to the agent’s experience, he will be able to advise you on the selling price, which will help prevent over pricing and not attracting buyers, as well as, underpricing and selling at a lower price than you could have. An agent will also have active lists of potential buyers looking in your area and lists of agents active in the area. These lists will be useful during the marketing of your Mississauga condo.

 

Is it safe to have a lockbox on my condo during showings?

Access via lockbox is certainly the industry standard. The code to your lockbox is only released by our office to real estate agents in order to minimize any risk to you. Prospective buyers don’t have direct access to your home and are always accompanied by their representative agent.

 

Do I have to spend a lot of money renovating my condo or can I sell my condo as-is?

I will recommend that you undertake certain basic repairs & fixes, along with cleaning, de-cluttering etc.  Big renovations are beyond many sellers’ desire since they are selling their home anyway! When pricing your Mississauga property, I may let you know my expert opinion of what your home’s market value would be if you undertook big renovations. Sometimes the value of your home may jump a lot.

 

What is MLS and what is it good for?

The Multiple Listing Service provides a large database where Homes for sale are displayed. The database provides information on properties that are listed for sale. Over 30,000 Realtors have in depth access to information on MLS. However, anyone can search the public site of MLS.

 

I’ve signed the final papers but I want to change my mind?

Once a deal is firm it is a contract which cannot be modified without consent from both parties. It is not uncommon to change the closing date. A formal request has to be made and the other party may accept or decline. After both parties have agreed and signed the document, the change then becomes binding.

 

Will agents showing my home treat my condo with respect?

Certainly! Agents are subject to the Real Estate Council of Ontario’s Code of Ethics designed for your protection. I will ask you for the showing instructions that are important to you – such as ‘please remove your shoes’ or ‘don’t let the dog out’ and these will be sent to every agent showing your home in order to safeguard it. I will also place the appropriate signage at the house as a reminder to those showing, to ensure your home’s systems are kept as you’d like them.

 

How do I figure out the correct price for my Mississauga Condo?

The pricing of your home is a complex subject and this is where your realtor comes in question.

A realtor inspects your home and looks at special features or upgrades that have been made.  He will also note any potential problems. He will look at the location, the neighborhood and homes in this neighborhood.  A good realtor will do research by looking up similar properties in the area that have been sold recently and compare them to your home, keeping in mind your features and upgrades. Using this knowledge and his experience he will arrive at the right value for your home.

 

Can I list my Mississauga condo high and drop it later if it doesn’t sell?

When a new listing is offered it sparks immediate interest.  If the home is overpriced and people are looking with a realtor and realize this, they will walk away as they have a set price limit. If the home stays too long on the market and the price keeps changing, it might suggest that there is something wrong with your home. In the long run this strategy is highly discouraged as it may have a negative impact on the value of your house.

 

Can I get some tips for selling my Mississauga condo?

Here are 9 tips for selling your mississauga condo.

 

What to look for in a agent when trying selling my Mississauga condo?

Here some point too look for when selecting a listing agent.

 

Buying Your Mississauga Condo FAQ

 

Can I get a lockbox code from you and just visit a house myself?

You must be accompanied by your Buyer Representative when visiting a property, unless the seller is holding a public open house. This is for the protection of all parties.

 

 If I’m interested in a condo unit, how can I determine if the list price is fair?

I will look at the sales history of your property and look at recent sales to help assess true market value.

 

Should I get a high floor or low floor Mississauga condo?

Read all about Mississauga condo floor premiums.

 

Should I buy first or sell first?

Each strategy has its advantages & disadvantages depending on your unique situation. You may contact me to compose a strategic plan that works best for you.

 

How does multiple offers work in Mississauga condos?

Bidding wars are known as multiple offers in our industry. These occur when there is more than one offer on a property. I can tell you in advance whether a condo unit is likely to have multiple offers.

 

Should I buy new or re-sale condo in Mississauga?

We can discuss whether your needs are best served by re-sale or brand new properties when we meet!

 

When should I make my offer conditional?

Conditional offers are not firmly set and are considered weaker than firm offers, and may harm your chances of getting your dream property. A conditional offer means that some things are still not fulfilled ie. You getting a mortgage approval etc.

 

How long should a closing take – how soon before I can move in?

Most closings are from 30-60 days from the date of acceptance of an offer. Though, this may vary based on the needs and other practical concerns of the buyer & seller.

 

If I just want to get in to see some condos, why do I need a Buyer Representative?

Check out the advantages of buying with Eric.

 

Do I need a real estate lawyer?

Yes! Your lawyer will need to search title for the property to ensure it is free from any nuisances. They also provide other important services.

 

How much do I have to put down on a Mississauga property when making an offer?

Generally offers of 5% of the offer price, rounded up are put down. Sometimes $5,000 is sufficient. Getting a certified cheque or bank draft saves a lot of headache and shows that you are serious and confident about purchasing the property. This might also be good in a multiple offer situation.

 

What happens if I buy a Mississauga condo and the sellers don’t deliver on their promises?

Occasionally this may happen and is very unfortunate. This depends on what kind of a promise this is. If the seller didn’t leave the house in a broom swept condition, then I will contact the seller. If more difficult issues arise, then it is a good idea to contact your lawyer.

 

Do I get a better deal if I buy a condo being sold by the bank?

Sometimes condos are listed as “Power of Sale,” which means that the mortgage holder has obtained all rights- to sell the home and retain proceeds when mortgage is in default. These homes are listed at fair market prices, although there might be a possibility to negotiate.

 

Can I get some tips for buying my next Mississauga condo?

Here are 9 tips for buying a Mississauga Condo.

 

Mortgage FAQ

How can you pay off your mortgage sooner?

There are ways to reduce the number of years to pay down your mortgage. You’ll enjoy significant savings by:

Selecting a non-monthly or accelerated payment schedule

Increasing your payment frequency schedule

Making principal prepayments

Making Double-Up Payments

Selecting a shorter amortization at renewal

 

What should the length of my mortgage term be?

Mortgage terms vary widely from 6months right up to 25 years. Keep in mind that, the shorter the term, the lower the interest rate the longer the term, the higher the rate.

 

What are my monthly costs of owning a condo?

Below are some expenses:

Mortgage Payment for most condo owners, this is the largest monthly expense. This can vary widely, since it depends on factors like Mortgage term or amortization.

Property Tax this can be paid in two ways – directly to the municipality by you (where you just might have to hold on to the proof of payment to show your financial institution); or paid as part of your monthly mortgage.

Maintenance fees and utilities As a condo owner, you are responsible for all utility bills, which include- heating, gas, electricity, water, telephone and cable.  Most of the time, a good portion of the utilities are included within the monthly maintenance fee.

Insurance – ask about which insurance coverage is right for you.

 

What’s the difference between Pre-qualification, Pre-approval and Full Loan approval?

Pre-qualification

Pre-qualification is the first step in obtaining the mortgage that you need to purchase the home of your dreams. It’s a simple step where an institution examines your financial situation in terms of income and liabilities in order to establish your lending potential in terms of GDS and TDS.

This is accomplished through the review of a simple application process that includes the pertinent information. It is important to note that this is not the same as a pre-approval, as credit has not been reviewed and income has not been verified and funds for closing are not verified.

Pre-approval

This refers to the verification of the applicant’s ability to borrow. A pre-approval gives a potential home-buyer the advantage of knowing how big a mortgage they will qualify for and the ability to use this information in negotiating the final selling price of a home.

Parts of the pre-approval process include an analysis of borrowers’ credit history, a review of the client’s employment history, and a verification of down payment funds.

Approval

Full loan approval occurs when the lender has underwritten the application, and is satisfied that all conditions have been met. Furthermore, full loan approval refers to the approval of a mortgage for a specific property. Once full approval has been received, arrangements will be made by the lender to have the funds appropriately forwarded.

 

What is a mortgage agent?

A mortgage agent is an independent real estate financing professional who specializes in the origination of residential and/or commercial mortgages.

 

 

General Questions to ask a Mississauga Real Estate Agent

 

How many sales have you handled in my target neighborhoods?

You want someone who knows the local market, with a few recent deals in your target neighborhoods

 

Best Marketing Plan / Strategy

As a buyer, you should expect to see up to 5 to 7 condos a day. All the homes should fit your factors, and the agent should preview those homes for you. The agent should also agree to solely represent you and not represent other buyers who are competing for the same inventory.

As a seller, you would like your agent to advertise weekly for you through: direct mail, send e-flyers, produce four-color brochures, and present you with a marketing campaign designed specifically for you.

 

Top Three Things That Make the Agent Different

Examples can range from marketing to knowledge. Acceptable answers are:

•Strong repeat record of satisfied customers

•Extensive online marketing

•Good negotiation skills

•Assertive, doesn’t take no for an answer

•Strong communicator.

 

Review of Documents

As a condo buyer, ask to see a sample purchase agreement and ask the agent to point out your cancellation rights in this document. If the agent hesitates to explain the purchase agreement to you, hire another agent.

As a seller, ask to see the listing agreement. Ask about reserving the right to sell the home yourself. If there is a fee that you do not understand, question it.

 

Other Questions

You might ask the agent to reiterate your goals and objectives. If the agent does not appear to have a thorough understanding of what you want, despite your attempts to explain what you want, then hire somebody else. Some agents do not listen very well. You want an agent who will listen to you and communicate with you. The best way to find out if the agent comprehends your desires is to ask the agent to repeat it back to you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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