Monday, December 5, 2011

My New Condo!

My first condo, purchased just this past February, see here, was a palatial 373 sq ft!  No closets, no bedroom, no bathtub, it had a few dowfalls.  I did manage to make use of every square inch, but I knew that my Ottawa condo purchase would be at least a 1 bedroom.

I was pre-approved for a purchase price of between $200,000 - $210,000 if I went with a less than 5-year fixed rate, or $240,000 - $250,000 pricetag if I chose a 5-year fixed mortgage.  Since any figure begining with a 2 scared me, considering my new lower income in addition to the added expense of a car, my realtor and I went on the hunt for a home between $175,000 and $190,000.

Through my online home search before the househunt began I knew exactly what type of place we'd be looking building outside of downtown with 1 or 2 bed condos with 1 parking spot or a 2+1 semi-detatched or townhouse either in Ottawa or surrounding areas (read: Orleans, Kanata) with parking for about 2 vehicles. 

My realtor sent me about 10 listings we were going to see on "house hunting day".  They were exactly the type of home I'd expected.....except one.  Let's start with the nine other listings.  Only 2 had air conditioning....and not the central air I'm used to, but a large built-in window unit.  All had baseboard heating. 

Two of the listings I liked and could see myself in.  The first was a recently renovated 1 bedroom listed for $168,500 (yey, under budget!).  Condo fees were $269 and taxes were $1,507.  Hydro extra.  The building was older (as I'd expected), but it had a pool and an gym, although the machines were really old.  The vibe I got of the building was less than screamed RENTERS.  I don't have anything against renters, but in this condo it didn't feel as though the owners were doing everything they could to make the building presentable.  Monthly cost of this condo: approximately $1,065 incl. insurance (10% down, 30 year amortization @ 2.6%).

The second listing I liked was a 2+1 townhouse located in Bell's Corners near Kanata.  The condo was very clean, recently updated, and located in a good complex.  List price for this unit was $189,900. Condo fees were $230 and taxes were $1,800.  Hydro extra.  Hydro bills for this 3-level home were estimated at $165/month.  Monthly cost of this condo/townhouse: approximately $1,250 incl. insurance (10% down, 30 year amortization @ 2.6%).

The condo I fell in love with was our last visit of the day.  All I could think about all day was this condo.  It is a new construction boutique style complex with 16 units.  My unit is a 593 sq. ft. 1 bedroom including the balcony.  Finishing standards of the condo were hardwood floors throughout, 6 appliances, and granite counters in both the kitchen and bathroom.  The condo is about 11km from work and about 400m from what will be the largest Ikea in North America, and my favourite store, Chapters!  I paid an additional $1,500 to upgrade to stainless steel appliances, bringing the final price of the condo to $191,400.  Condo fees are $75/month, and taxes will likely fall between $1,700 - $2,100 (I'll have to wait until MPAC assesses the condos and it's determined by the City of Ottawa.  My only issue with the condo is that it doesn't come with parking, so I'll have to get a permit from the city.  Coming from Toronto though, where so many 1 bedroom condos built now don't have parking, it's something I can live with.

My monthly costs including mortgage, estimated taxes, insurance, gas/hydro/water will be approximately $1,083 -- an amount I can definitely live with!

Artist rendering of my reality the brick is much lighter....That'll be me at the bottom right hand corner!


  1. Congratulations! Sounds like a great deal :)

  2. How's your condo as of now? Your realtor must be a very experienced one because he managed to give you ten listings as your option! And, it's a bonus that the monthly amount you need to pay is affordable. If that is the case, you will never miss your payments and at the same time, enjoy your condo to the fullest! :)

  3. Those are pretty good deals you have there. So, how is it now? Have you completed buying all the necessary furniture for your condo? If you have, can you post some of the pictures here? I would love to see the complete changes in it. :)

  4. How is it now? I hope you are having a great time living in your condo. Your agent really did a great job because has was able to provide you with the listings and help you find the best condo for you.

  5. It's been a year since this blog post of yours! I hope you're still kicking there, in your condo. From the safety, comfort, and convenience standpoints, condo-living is one of the best means to live. Features and payment terms may differ from each other though. The important thing is to take your time, and search for as many prospects as possible. :)


  6. Hope when I get my condo from, it will result great!:)

  7. The deal you had sounds great at the time but this time around having a definite parking space is a must have. I'm saying security at Ottawa is at its lowest but just to be sure, a safe and secured parking should be a priority. Like this one I found in Greenhills San Juan, the condo was great. There are 4 units for each floors so you'll be sure to have quite the natural light coming in your home.