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In big cities like Toronto and Vancouver, buying real estate for newbies is increasingly a matter of finding a property that one can live with. The big cities are just too densely populated to allow for many detached homes at prices people can afford to pay. If you're moving to a big city and you know you're going to have to look for a condo, your best bet is to find a condo agent, as condo buying differs quite a lot from buying detached properties.
The biggest difference between a condo agent and a regular one is that he or she will have a lot of experience dealing with the condo boards and can advise you whether or not you will fit in with a certain condo community. Some condo communities are very uptight and restrictive while others are more like a commune, open to anyone and accepting of diversity. Choosing the right community is just as important as choosing the right condo.
Buying a condo in town is not like buying detached dwelling real estate, and not just because your neighbors' homes are attached to yours. It's also because you'll have more financial obligations than you would if you owned the whole building. Condos always come with monthly condo fees. A condo agent will be able to tell you if the fees charged by a certain condo building are reasonable given what you get for them or not, which is particularly useful for a newbie. You especially want a dedicated condo agent if you're buying a unit that's not yet completed, as they can find loopholes in the contract.
Condo agents are also more likely to have a condo tour available for you to go on where you join up with a party of interested buyers and the agent takes you around to several available Luxury condos. Toronto waterfront views and distances to transit can best be calculated by visiting the unit, and the more you can pack into one day the more time you save and the more information you collect, even if you don't like all the units.
So how do you find a dedicated condo agent? The internet is a good place to start, as agents know that people who buy condos are young and therefore most likely to start their search online. You will also see their ads in neighborhoods where condos are being built.