Downtown Nanaimo harbour. Pacifica condos in the background.

Purchasing a condo or townhouse in Nanaimo in 2023

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Cameron Island Nanaimo, BCIn 2023, condos for sale in Nanaimo are in high demand, and it’s no wonder; the city offers a mild climate and a diverse range of activities, from outdoor adventures in the surrounding mountains, forests and beaches to cultural events, entertainment, dining , shopping, as well as it’s close proximity to so many great points of interest and nearby cities and towns. When it comes to purchasing a condo in Nanaimo, there are several things to consider so you can make an informed purchase and to ensure a smooth purchase process.

Nanaimo Condo Real Estate Market Conditions

In recent years, the Nanaimo real estate market experienced unprecedented sales and growth, which in turn led to a strong sellers’ market, with low inventory and high demand. With the average price for single-family homes being out of reach for many average income earners, many were and still are now opting for the low maintenance lifestyle that a condo, apartment or townhome has to offer.

Buying a Condo vs Renting

In Nanaimo, where rental shortages persist and rents reach historically high levels, the decision between buying and renting a condo requires careful consideration. While renting offers flexibility and avoids the burden of maintenance costs, the high demand drives rental prices up. Conversely, purchasing a condo grants stability, potential equity growth, and the freedom to customize your space. However, it requires an upfront investment in the form of a down payment and assumes responsibility for maintenance. In the context of Nanaimo’s rental shortages and soaring rents, aspiring homeowners may find buying a condo a more viable long-term solution.

First time home owners

Generally speaking, condos in Nanaimo are often more affordable than single-family homes, making homeownership more accessible for many people as they often require less of a down payment, making it easier for first time home buyers to get into the housing market.

How to buy a condo for the first-time

  1. Determine your budget: Assess your finances, including down payment, monthly mortgage payments, and additional costs like maintenance fees and property taxes.
  2. Get pre-approved for a mortgage: Consult with lenders to determine the amount you can borrow and obtain a pre-approval letter, which strengthens your offer.
  3. Engage a real estate agent: Find a knowledgeable agent specializing in condos who can guide you through the process and negotiate on your behalf.
  4. Research and prioritize: Explore different condo complexes, considering location, amenities, and pricing. Prioritize your preferences and requirements.
  5. Review condominium documents: Ask your REALTOR® to obtain copies of the condominium association’s bylaws, rules, financial statements, and any other relevant documents. Carefully read and understand the rules and regulations, as well as any upcoming maintenance in the complex. This can be a lot to comb through, so be sure to ask your agent to do the same and discuss any potential “red flags” that might come up.
  6. Make an offer: Work with your real estate agent to prepare a competitive offer that considers market conditions and any necessary contingencies.
  7. Complete the purchase: Once your offer is accepted, work with your lender to finalize your mortgage, review the contract, and arrange for a closing date.
  8. Conduct a final walk-through: Inspect the condo one last time before closing to ensure it’s in the expected condition.
  9. Close the deal: Attend the closing meeting, sign the necessary paperwork, and transfer the funds. Congratulations, you are now a condo owner!

Remember, it’s crucial to seek professional advice and thoroughly understand the process before making any decisions. If you aren’t currently working with an agent, contact us and we are more than happy to answer any questions along the way.

Benefits of living in a condo or townhouse

Condo living has many benefits, including:

  1. Low maintenance: Condos typically have shared common areas and grounds, which means that the maintenance and upkeep of these areas is the responsibility of the condo association, rather than the individual unit owners. This can save homeowners a significant amount of time and money.
  2. Safety: Condos often have security features such as gated entrances, security cameras, and on-site security personnel that can help to keep residents safe and deter crime.
  3. Investment opportunity: Condos can be a great investment opportunity as they are often a more affordable option than a single-family home, and the cost of living is usually lower.
  4. Community: Living in a condo community can provide a great sense of community and belonging, and can provide opportunities to meet new people and make friends.
  5. Flexibility: Condos can be great for those who like to travel or move around frequently as they are easy to lock up and leave, and often have on-site management that can take care of any necessary maintenance or repairs while you are away.

What do you own when you buy a condo

Buying a condo in Nanaimo | Channel View Seaside Homes and Marina.When you buy a condo, you become the owner of a specific unit within a larger building or complex. This ownership includes both the interior space of the unit itself as well as a share of the common areas and amenities of the condominium. The exact extent of ownership can vary depending on the specific condominium’s bylaws and regulations. Generally, you have control over the interior space, such as walls, floors, and fixtures, allowing you to decorate, renovate, or customize it according to your preferences. Additionally, you typically have voting rights and a say in the management and decision-making processes of the condominium community.

Living in a “Strata” Complex

When purchasing a condo or townhome, it’s also important to remember that you will be part of a self-governed, Strata Corporation which is subject to the B.C. Strata Property Act. This means that you will be responsible for paying monthly or annual strata fees, which go towards maintaining common areas, amenities, and the overall upkeep of the building. So with this in mind you will need to factor these costs into your budget when considering condos for sale in Nanaimo. These fees typically range from $200-$500 per month, but can be more or less depending on the building or complex.

Strata Bylaws

Modern luxury condo Interior. It’s important to review the strata bylaws before making a purchase. These rules and regulations can vary widely and can be easily obtained by your real estate agent from the strata. You’ll want to ensure that you’re comfortable with the restrictions and responsibilities outlined in the bylaws before buying. These rules can include pet policies, rental restrictions, age restrictions, as well as rules surrounding noise, bbq’s and more.

With these things in mind, it’s important to work with a real estate agent who is familiar with condos for sale in Nanaimo and experienced reviewing the strata documents to ensure that you understand any potential rules that may affect you.

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