Buying a Condo in East Vancouver!
Buying a home (whether that be condo, townhome or house) is a very emotional process, especially for a First Time Home Buyer! Whether those emotions are excitement or nerves, it’s all part of the process. Owning your own home has so many benefits, including: pride of home ownership, investment appreciation, equity (through paying off your mortgage rather than paying rent) and the freedom to design and live in it as you like (within strata bylaws if you live in a condo or townhouse). We, as your Realtors, as here to make the process as low pressure, fun and educational as we can.
A lot of people make assumptions about real estate that isn’t necessarily true: newer buildings are always better than older buildings (not always!), the value of the home will increase (this depends on the type of market you bought in, the type of market your sell in, any further construction or development in the area, the upgrades you make on the home, the maintenance of the building and more), 1 bedroom + den is always better than 1 bedroom (depends on the floor plan), etc.
We want to help you get started on looking for your first home (and second home, and third home..).
What to Look for in Your New Home
When you’re looking for condos in East Van, think about how you live on a daily basis and consider the typical features available in homes within your price range, and how those work with your lifestyle. Which features fall into these categories?
- Needs / Deal Breakers
- Definitely Not
As you begin to tour condos for sale or go to Open Houses in East Van, you’ll get a sense of different areas of town (and how that affects lifestyle), finishings (like hardwood vs laminate floors) and what your budget can comfortably afford.
Some things to consider would be a what it’s like to live in a new building (like The Block townhouses) vs and old building (a majority of buildings in East Van), or the area (like condos on Main St vs condos on Hastings vs condos in Mount Pleasant). Check out our (always growing) list of Favourite Condo Buildings in East Van.
Talk to us, your realtors, about your list of needs and wants (and don’t wants). We’ll better be able to show you properties you’ll seriously consider rather than waste your time with properties that just aren’t right.
Some of the things to consider in a home (whether condo, townhome or house) include:
- Number of bedrooms?
- Number of bathrooms? Do you need a tub?
- Will an office nook be sufficient, or do you want a dedicated room?
- Do you need Air Conditioning? Is a fireplace necessary?
- Do you need a separate storage locker or will in suite closets be big enough?
- Do you need outdoor space? Covered? For a BBQ? Big enough for a table? Grassy or with a garden?
- What direction do you want to face – North for the Mountains? South for the Sun? East for the morning sun or west for the evening sun?
- Are you willing to remodel (at some point)? Do you want it new and modern? Do you want “character”?
- Would you rather bigger bedrooms and a smaller living space, or a big living space and smaller bedrooms? (if you had to choose)
- How many parking stalls do you need?
- Do you want a gas stove?
- Do you want the bedrooms beside each other, or at opposite ends of the apartment? How many levels do you want in the home?
- Is in suite laundry necessary? (I always suggest buying a home with in suite laundry, especially for re-sale purposes).
- Do you need building amenities, like a pool or gym or art studio? Remember, these features typically call for higher monthly strata fees which you’ll have to budget for
- Do you need something wheelchair/stroller accessible?
- Do you want a townhome with a private entrance? Do you want to live on a high floor?
- Do you have any pets?
- Do you want to be able to rent the unit out?
- Do you need to be within a few blocks of a Skytrain or Canada Line station? or a School?
- What school will your children attend?
- Are you okay with facing a busy road?
- Are you okay with the demographics of the neighbourhood?
- Are there parks nearby?
- Will anything be built in the next few years to block your view? Or take away from the enjoyment of the area?
- Do you know much about the neighbourhood?
When you’re viewing properties, ask questions and spend time looking around inside. Ask to see it at night if that’s when you’ll be living in the space most often. Ask what the neighbours are like. You’ll be spending at least a few years in your new home so you should be very comfortable.
We are here to offer our professional Real Estate opinion, including information on the building, area, how much it may cost for certain renovations and what the entire home buying process entails.