Buying a resale

Buying a resale detached house has many obvious advantages over buying a pre-constructed one. The previous owners paid for the fence, gardens, trees, window coverings, paved driveway, air conditioner, central vacuum, they painted over the cheap builder paint, finished the basement and built a back deck. You are tens of thousands of dollars ahead.

In a condo, the advantages are not so obvious but are just as real. Instead of getting more "physical stuff" you get more piece of mind.

First of all, units in older condos are far bigger than in the new ones and usually have better sound-proofing.

Then you have the financial statements from previous years, the current and past Reserve Fund Studies and the status certificate to examine as they can tell you how seriously the past and current owners took care of the corporation's finances and if they were/are concerned about the property's future value.

You can see and get a true feeling for the finished building and the grounds. The construction defects have been discovered and dealt with, or at least you  can hope so.

You can compare the number of renters to the number of owner-residents and judge the social class, ages and income levels of the residents that are attracted to the condominium. You can also get an idea of how many dogs, children and students live there.

The selling prices, tracked over time, gives you a good idea of how much the units may appreciate in the future.

You can and should have a friend and a home inspector come in and examine the finished product before you buy so that you are not surprised later by unexpected defects.

You don't get any of these assurances, imperfect though they are, when you buy a unit in a new building.

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