The most important part of shopping for townhomes lies in the quality of the questions you ask. You’re moving into a community, so you need to be aware of what that means for you as the homebuyer. Furthermore, because you want to avoid any buyer’s remorse (especially when it comes to buying Toronto real estate), the quality of your questions are paramount to finding the perfect home for you. Below are the questions you need to ask before committing to that prospective townhome.
“How’s the neighbourhood?”
The old saying goes that, “when you marry your spouse, you’re marrying the entire family.” The same holds true with your townhome and neighbourhood – when you move into a new townhome, you’re also moving into the neighbourhood. Thus, it’s important for the neighbourhood to be just as perfect of a match as your townhome. Research the area’s crime rate, education rating, traffic congestion, and the like as you browse the townhome. A good realtor will can get this data for you. Also be aware of any zoning laws, coming construction(s), parking arrangements, and more. Get a good idea of what the state of the neighbourhood will be in five, ten, even 15 years and beyond. For example, if you don’t want to deal with construction yet the neighbourhood is slated to grow in the next decade, you may want to look elsewhere.
Understand your condo documents (if you are in Condo Townhouse)
Think of the details and bylaws in your condo documents as the fine details that decide what happens if ‘X’ occurs (and yes, they will detail the steps your condo board can take at their discretion if you’re found in violation of a rule). Ask your sales representative to explain the condo documents for the townhouse development and to provide you with a copy so you can look at it for yourself when you get home.
While condo board rules may seem like they only exist to make things difficult for homeowners, that isn’t the case. These condo documents protect you and provide rights that you may not have if you lived in a property without a condo board. For example, without a condo board your neighbours could theoretically let your pets run all over your yard when you’re not at home; with the condo board, a stop would be placed to this inconvenience immediately. They also ensure that your neighbourhood continues to look beautiful, and a change made by one homeowner does not disrupt the look and feel of the neighbourhood. While condo boards can be a pain, they exist for a reason.
Also inquire about how private the community is. Your sales representative should be able to tell you something about their experience in showing other new townhomes they have built in the past. They can also go over the privacy policies of the community, such as a mandatory noise cap after a certain time of the night.
Ask people that actually live in homes from the builder what they think of the privacy as well (in fact, ask them other questions if they’re open to answering them). There’s no better way to gauge exactly how private the community is than speaking with the homeowners that live in their townhome every day.
Every Canadian home must have insurance – there’s no way around it. Because you need it, it’s a good idea to go ahead and ask your insurance company what kinds of disasters are covered and ensure that your belongings will be covered if the unthinkable were to ever happen to your townhome. The last thing you want to deal with is walking into your home and discovering that your home has flooded only to find out that you were never properly covered in the first place. An ounce of prevention through insurance goes a long, long way – and that’s why it’s the law! You’ll also want to know what warranty comes with your new townhome
This question is straightforward. Who is responsible for maintaining and repairing your property? Either way, find out before committing to anything.
If you are looking for new townhomes in the GTA, take a look at Dunpar’s communities of Lakeshore Village in Etobicoke, Trafalgar Ridge in Oakville and Streetsville Centre in Mississauga.