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Condo Scene: Create a checklist for the best buying experience


OTTAWA — Compiling a condo checklist is an excellent way of keeping track of the “must haves” of your future building and unit. Condo shopping can be overwhelming; a pre-shopping checklist can help limit your stress and visits to showrooms.

To create such a list, start by visiting showrooms and model units in person. Although the Internet is a great place to do some basic research, you will learn much more by assessing the quality of materials and construction in person. This will also give you a chance to ask your questions and evaluate the quality of the responses you get. Be consistent with the questions you ask in the showrooms so you can make accurate comparisons.

When visiting, try to speak with the showroom’s specialist who assists buyers with their design choices, as they are often present. Take advantage of their expertise regarding upgrades and options. This will be helpful even if you eventually settle on another development.

Before visiting the showrooms, make a list of those amenities that are important to you and that you are likely to use. Remember, the cost of amenities is embedded in the condo price and the cost of maintaining them in the condo fees.

Some questions to be answered:










Flow is very important, especially if you are used to bigger spaces. Make sure the room sizes meet your requirements. This should include the kitchen, which needs to be more comprehensive if you plan to cook or entertain. Of course, some facilities have beautiful entertaining spaces and catering services. You might prefer this format.











This is not an exhaustive list — just some suggestions for starters. I suggest you make up your own list and rate each potential condo from one to seven on each item. This will go a long way toward ensuring you evaluate your choices rationally.

Marilyn Wilson has been selling real estate for more than 24 years and owns Marilyn Wilson Dream Properties Inc. Brokerage, an Exclusive Affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate. She can be reached through or follow her on Twitter@marilyn_wilson.

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