Let’s talk real estate


Lynda Cox

Sandy Hill Real Estate update

Nov 29, 2019-.March 17, 2020


Active 10; Conditional sale 2

Sold 13 (7 sold over list price—range $1K – $114K)


Active 15; Conditional sale 2;

Sold 30 (17 sold  over list—range $3K – $53K)


As you can see the condo market is booming and we expect this to continue. We also continue to be in a seller’s market evidenced by the bidding wars on over half of Sandy Hill listings.

Perhaps there will be a pause to watch the coronavirus situation and reassess finances. Only time will tell how many buyers and sellers pushed that pause button.

But, if you are considering downsizing to a condo what do you need to know?

1. You need an idea of where you want to live. Walk the streets you like best. Take down addresses of buildings that impress you.

2. You need to get a good sense of the prices and the pace of the market in those buildings. It is helpful to ask your realtor to start you on an MLS email feed. That way you can see daily everything that is available and selling in your preferred buildings. On MLS the initials DOM stands for Days on Market, which will help you understand how long things are taking to sell.

Watch closely the comment section regarding a specific offer date. Usually “hot listings” (“hot” meaning well priced and/or in a very desirable building) are placed on MLS for three to seven days before offers are considered. If you fall in love with something you visit you might have a few days to decide before having to submit an offer. Those few days can be crucial in helping you and your agent draft a great offer. Parking and lockers are always outlined on MLS. Always check to see if they are owned or just “exclusive use.”

3. Once your offer is accepted you typically have 5 business days to do an inspection and arrange financing. If competing with other offers always remember that you have the option to waive or shorten those conditions if you feel confident to do so. (Not recommended but often helpful to make your offer more appealing.) In the case of a “hot” property you are encouraged to arrange financing and complete the inspection prior to putting in your offer. This will keep your offer “cleaner,” meaning fewer conditions, and be ultimately more desirable.

4. You and your lawyer then have approximately 13 days to order, receive, and review the condominium documents. This is called the Status Package. They detail the financial status of the unit as well as the reserve fund health of the condominium corporation. You also receive all the bylaws that all owners must live by. Do they allow pets? If so, is there a size restriction? Can you rent extra parking spaces? Is there visitors’ parking? Are you allowed to rent your parking space? Is the building cannabis/smoke free? Does the building allow short-term tenants like Airbnb? Can you remodel freely or are there restrictions? You also want to know if there any pending law suits and/or special assessments. Before offering, you or your realtor can call the management company and ask these questions. Sometimes the listing realtor has pre-ordered a copy and will make it available to all interested buyers prior to the offer date.

5. A special assessment is a levy for each condo owner above and beyond the condo fee. This is used for large repair items that the board has decided should be funded separately rather than come out of the reserve fund and/or raised condo fees. NB: There should always be a clause in your offer to purchase that states that the present owner is responsible for any special assessment levied prior to the closing date.

The transition to condo living is a great time to purge all your unnecessary “stuff.” I speak from experience. We moved to our condo in 2013 and now feel free to travel and enjoy our freedom from the “stuff” that had accumulated in our home’s basement and closets. Moving to a condo was our best move ever.