Avoiding a bad buy in Condos: Handy tips to help you identify bad condos

Avoiding a bad buy in Condos: Handy tips to help you identify bad condos

Dec 4, 2019, 5:15:13 PM Business

Buying a faulty property is not a good thing to do especially when it comes to homes and condos in real estate. Condos aren’t usually cheap and can come in quite expensive. If you are buying it in Vancouver, you need really deep pockets and if you’re buying one in Toronto, then you still need really deep pockets.

It isn’t impossible to find Toronto Condos for sale under 500k in Toronto because Micro-condo construction is booming and there are some really nice condos available under that price tag. Still, no one can afford to buy a condo that has numerous faults in its structure and system.

When you are going to buy a condo, you are not just buying just the unit; you are staking a claim in the whole building. You are responsible for your own unit individually and you are collectively responsible for the condo complex’s maintenance and repairs (with other residents of the building too).

It is always important to have a status certificate condition included in the condo’s purchase agreement. This document fives your legal representative a chance to catch out any financial, legal and other associated issues of a condo (provided if there are any) before the deal is sealed.

Hence, it is imperative for a condo buyer like you to be aware and diligent about what you will buy. You must also be able to recognize the signs that can help you identify a bad condo.

1.Have a look at the building’s security

Do not forget to check the condo’s security and that of the building too. Is it easy to get inside? Are the windows accessible? Are the maintenance doors secured? Is it easy to get inside via the garage unchecked? Is the security staff doing its job?

If answers to these are a big NO, then don’t go for that condo complex.

2.High number of Airbnb Rentals in a particular condo complex is a big no

This is another important factor to note because a bad condo and a large presence of Airbnb rentals in a condo complex are directly proportional to each other. People owning condos with flexible Airbnb policies tend to be not very happy.

It’s nothing new. Most tourists and short-term guests using Airbnb staying in those rented condos for a short time period are not concerned about the property. They are no doubt messy but are also noisy and be destructive because they would treat the property badly.

3.It has pretty much bad online reviews

You would never know how useful online reviews are. In fact, when it comes to purchasing real estate or buying it through the aid of a realtor, these reviews come in handy. Using experiences of people living or having lived in the condominium you are about to buy helps you judge the kind of investment it will be.

It helps you obtain a good idea about it, from those who have lived there instead of falling for the views of those who are trying hard to sell it to you. There are numerous realtors and real estate review sites that can help people learn more about them. They can also use Google reviews and other online registries.

4.Architectural workmanship not up to the mark

There are a lot of small things that will inform the buyer (and you especially) of the poor-quality workmanship put in the building. Such is visible from the cracks on walls, floors and ceiling, drywall, in room corners, gaps between laminating coat on the floor, buckled floorboards, doors not fitting well, peeling paint and the like.

If the architectural craftmanship of the building is equivalent to that of a condemned building or nearer to that, I would suggest you go for another condominium that is worth your investment.

5.Check the elevator by appearance and function

Elevators are known to be the very first indicators of a building’s quality. If they are dented, smashed and vandalized then they indicate the condo’s management team to be inefficient and poor. If new buildings have elevators that look like they have been used for a long time with little or no maintenance, then that Condo is a no-go area.

If anyone can access the condo either through a bad door or by sneaking under the security’s noses, then it means the security is not doing its job properly. It also means that chances of an adverse event happening are quite high.

6.How long do you have to wait for the elevator?

Pay attention to the elevators’ waiting times and check that in the evening when everyone is returning back from work. Visiting a condo during the weekend is a good proxy as well because on a typical basis, one elevator will be blocked as things are moved in and out. This will give you an idea of the elevator situation.

7.A noisy complex is undesirable

It would be wise to visit the condominium complex in the evening. It is a time when most of the potential neighbors will be home. Check for the level of noise from other units as well as odor coming out from them. If any or both of these factors are high, then it indicates that the level of isolation between both units is bad.

About condo units located near the elevator: It is worth checking if they can hear the elevator coming up or going down. This indicates that it is undesirable to buy that particular condo unit as such sounds are regrettable.

8.Does the building have too many parties?

Check it later in the evening on a given Friday or Saturday to check the condo’s party vibes. Nice parties with respectable neighbors are not an issue. But if there are too many frat parties going up to 3 in the morning then do not buy a condo in that building.

This indicates that such a building is a bad investment as it not only deprives one of a good night’s sleep but also elevators, hallways and parking lot will have loads of beer bottles, beer cans and other trash piled up as a big mess.

9.Have a close look at the floor plans

Do have a close look at the floor plan of the condo and the complex. Never buy those that make you wonder how their floor plans ever got approved. There are many that waste a lot of square feet on corridors, bad corners, small bedrooms, hardly accessible wardrobes, bathrooms not attached, bedrooms without windows and the like.

10.Check the building’s distance from neighboring buildings

Clearly, one building must not be glued to the other. Generally, a lot of condominiums take pride in providing breath taking views but there are those in great numbers that are facing a wall or another condo close by.

When you are visiting that particular condo for a checkup, have a look out of the window and check what you see. Is it the city, Lake Ontario, Vancouver beach, St. Lawrence seaway, Toronto-Pearson International Airport, Scotiabank center, the mountains or another condominium complex at a near distance?

It is also worth inquiring with the city council about construction plans in discussion. You would rather no invest in a unit which has another building right in front of it.

11. Small & crowded gym/tennis/pool/recreational facilities

Again, it is best to check for these areas in the evening when everyone is returning back home from work. This will give you a good idea about the way that amenity is being used and its availability as well. Are machines in the gym available? Is there rush? Is it crowded? What about the other facilities, are they well maintained? If the answer to these questions is a big NO, then do not buy a condo in that complex.

12.Gym/tennis/pool/recreational facilities are not connected to the building

This can be held as an acceptable factor in Miami, Tampa, Houston or New Orleans but not in Toronto. Unfortunately, in Toronto, there are some condominium complexes that do not have these facilities connected directly to the building.

Given the fact that Toronto’s winter is among the coldest in the northern hemisphere, this is an extremely inconvenient factor and in turn, will definitely tell you not to buy a condo in that complex.

13.Amenities under constant repair

If the amenities in the condo are in constant need of repair, are repaired constantly or are not fixed when broken, then it shows the incompetency of the condo management. Not only are they not interested in fixing them but also you should not buy a condo in that kind of building have an unprofessional management team.

14.Check if the parking spots are congested

Let’s face it; we need to breathe and out cars need to breathe. Sadly, there are condominium complexes that place austerity measures on space and do not leave condo owners with space to park the cars. This is an inconvenience indeed; it also results in damages to your vehicle and possible injuries to you.

Check how far is the vehicle parking slot from the elevator on an additional basis. Combine that with less parking space and your purchase decision for a condo in such a building is, hence, No.



Whether you wish to buy a Toronto loft, an apartment or a condominium; it is best that you note down the aforementioned points and make them your checklist. Buying a poorly managed and poorly maintained condo at an exorbitant price will make you regret such an investment decision. Take your time, inspect your desired condos thoroughly and do not rush into purchasing it.

Published by Syed Mohammad Anwer


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