The condo looks great, but what about the building?

When buying a condo one of the first things you want to do, prior to offering on a place is evaluating the condominium as a whole.   If we are talking about a house here, it would be similar to driving around a neighbourhood, talking to neighbours, and inspecting the building.

Here are a few things you can do to get started in evaluating a condo building:
– Have a good look at the outside of the building – does it look well maintained, does anything look like it is in a state of disrepair, how clean are the grounds kept, can you spot any potential problem areas?
– Look at the common areas – further to looking at the outside, do a similar visual inspection inside, look at the hallways, the foyer, common areas etc., to get a feel for it – has it been recently updated, is it cosmetically dated?
Is there room for improvement, if so, is this reflected in the condo prices (believe it or not, this can sometimes be a good thing!)
– Talk to the super, security, or maintenance staff – these people often have insider information on a building, and may share with you – unbiased opinions that you may not get from residents
– Chat with residents – hang around the lobby for a few minutes, or if you’re with someone in an elevator, ask them some questions – if they don’t have a hidden agenda maybe you’ll get some great info! –

– Evaluate the amenities – do they fit with what you’re needs are? If you’re not a swimmer, and your building has a pool, you’re paying for something you’ll never use – keep these things in mind, as maintenance of amenities have a direct impact on condo fees! (you can check out our condo matchmaker to help determine which buildings meet your needs).

 – Location, location, location – how does the location fit with what you’re looking for, how is the walkability, (check out

– Get a status certificate – during the purchase process of a condo, we always recommend ordering a status certificate prior to purchasing a condo, however in most cases, it is better to do this after you have secured the condo with a conditional offer, before you spend the money to have a status certificate made up for you.

– These are just some of the items to make sure you consider when buying a condo.  Seek the advice of professionals for help along the way, as this is a major investment decision.

Travis Gordon is a sales representative with Remax Metro-City Realty Ltd., Brokerage, an experienced Ottawa real estate agent, and co-founder of the Ottawa Condo Guide, a resource for buyers and sellers of condominium properties in Ottawa. Our goal is to help educate buyers and sellers in the Ottawa real estate market, and provide professional advice when helping them buy and sell properties, including Ottawa Condos and Homes.


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