Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a few questions, you’re on the right page. Here we have collected some common questions that buyers and sellers might have. If you have any questions please just ask – we might even add your answer here.

What is a condo?

Its not a type of building, but a type of ownership. You own your unit and a share of the common elements.

There are different types of condos – High-rise, Town, Link or Row.

What is the best real estate investment?

There is no right or wrong answer it depends on your investment goals. Typically detached homes return more, however the initial investment is a bit much for most. Hamilton has some great condos and lofts – A condo with a great location can generate income when rented.

What about Parking

Most condos in Hamilton include one parking spot. If you’re looking for another it depends on the building, but the average is from 17,500 – 25,000. Most of the time you will also have the option to rent one from an existing owner or from management.

Registration date vs Occupancy Date

You only need to worry about this if you’re being a new build. Occupancy date come first and that means you will be charged occupancy fees. Imagine it similar to rent. The unit is complete, but some of the final touches in the common area (example: pool) are not done yet. Once everything is done that is called the registration date. Then the unit is legally all yours to do with as you like.

What is a condo common element?

Common elements are anything that is shared amongst your neighbours like the amenities (pool, gym and so on), the hallways and so on.

What is with assigned parking or locker numbers compared to the MLS listing?
Many condos have an internal numbering system that differs from that on MLS. MLS follows the legal descriptions of the Land Registry. To avoid confusion ask us or your property management to see the space prior to moving in.

There are condos for sale in Hamilton for $15000 to $25000?
Too good to be true, sorry. That’s most likely just for a parking spot.

Parking types – Owned / Exclusive / Rental

Owned – its your to use and if you like sell.
Exclusive – Its is assigned to you and only you can use if for along as your own the condo.
Rental – Belongs to someone else but you are able to use it for the assigned duration most likely accompanied with a monthly fee

If someone damages or breaks into my Hamilton Condo, who is responsible to fix it?

Anything inside the unit will have to be covered by you or your insurance. Anything outside the suite is covered by your maintenance fees.

What happens if I don’t pay my condo maintenance fees?

We recommend against it. You are in breach of the corporation’s by-laws and they will take action. The action depends how far behind you are and their practises.

Are pets allowed in a Hamilton condo?

Each building is different, its best to make the point when speaking to us so that we can take that into consideration when looking.

What is a Status Certificate?

It a breakdown of the condo including costs and rules that apply to living in that building including the health of the buildings reserve fund. You can get it from the property management and is usually $100 plus HST.

What kind of warranty does my condo have?

If its a new build then its covered by a Tarrion home warranty for seven years – “New Home Warranty Program” It covers various issues such as material defects, delayed occupancy (without notice), unauthorized substitutions and deposit protection.

What are closing closes? How much are closing costs?

It is an extra fee that you pay prior to the closing date(move in date). This may include: education levies, Land transfer tax, new home warranty certificate, utility hook ups and legal fees. We can make sure to minimize such fees – so make sure you have knowledgeable representation.

When can I move into my Hamilton condo?

Any time after the closing date (occupancy date), but remember some places will not allow you to move in on Sunday. And that you might need to receive the elevator if your moving into a high rise. Talk to your Hamilton Realtor or property management for more information.

For a Hamilton condo how much deposit will I need?

For a new build your looking at 10% on the low side. Each builder is different though. All them will require an entail deposit of about $5000. Once you sign the contact and give that deposit you have 10 days to opt out of the deal and have your contract – cooling off period. After that he builder will have you pay increments usually at 30/90/180 days after that.

For an existing condo you will need atlas 5% as a deposit and your financial institution may require more in the form of a down-payment.

Should I buy first or sell?

It depends on your situation. It best to look at the cons of ether situation. You sell your home, now you’re in the instance that you need to buy. Depending on the market there could be low supply so now your left with the situation that you have to move out but have no home. you have several options you could rent or move in with someone temporarily.

Inverse situation. You buy a second home, but you’re having a tough time selling. You could instead of selling you can rent out the property or see if your financial institution will accommodate a second mortgage.

Both can be very stressful. So its best based of you’re situation to consult a Realtor that can best direct you.

What are property taxes like in Hamilton?

Here is some info about them

What are some upgrades I should consider?

There are a ton of different things you can do to improve the value of your condo read about it here.

Selling your Hamilton Condo

How much does a Realtor get paid?
Typically the common commission rate is 5% of the sold price. Emphasis on sold, you don’t pay a realtor anything prior to the suite being sold. Of that commission half goes to the listing agent to other to the buyers agent.

What do I get for that amount?

You will have someone that will guide you through, especially the first time a complicated process. A realtor that is familiar with the area will be able to guide on the selling price. Along with that some of the funds will be used toward direct marketing and advertising. Such as professional photography, virtual tours, access to MLS and web marketing.

What is the right price for my Hamilton Condo?

That depends on many different factors including location, layout and upgrades. Speaking in generality Under pricing your condo can have just as many negative effects as over pricing.

Most realtors and potential buyers search based of price as the key criteria. If they are searching for condos that are under 400,000 and yours is listed at 401,000. You are missing out on that potential buyer.

If your unit is underpriced buyers might think that there is something wrong with it or that you’re desperate.

Pricing it right assures a quick sale and in most cases yields the greatest return. This is where a good realtor will do their research based on current market conditions and give you the right value.

Is having a lockbox on my condo safe?

Only licensed Realtor have access to the lock boxes to minimize risk. Potential buyers never have access to lock boxes and are alway accompanied by their Realtor.

What is the best way to increase sale price?

The simple things are usually the inexpensive ones like cleaning and de-cluttering. Having a clean unit shows pride of ownership and will entice buyers. When selling your Hamilton condo we will look over the unit and give our opinion as to the best undertakings that will maximize your return.

What is MLS?

MLS is an acronym for the Multiple Listing Service, it is the database where homes for sale are listed. Anyone can view listings on the public MLS via but only agents can post, modify information, and look at information that is not available to the public.

I’ve signed the final documents, but I changed my mind.

Once the deal is consider firm you are locked into the terms of the contract. You can through your realtor approach the other party and request changes. They have the final say in whether a changes accepted or rejected.

What is a firm deal?

Some deals will have conditions attached to them such as financing or home inspection. Once these conditions have been satisfied the deal is considered firm and both parties are just waiting for the closing date.

Buying your Hamilton Condo

Can I visit the condo myself?
For the protection of all parties you need to be accompanied by your Realtor, unless there is a public open house.

How do I know if the list/selling price is fair?

We will look over the most recent sales in that area with similar floor plans to help assess if the price is right.

What floor should I look for?

This is a matter of personal opinion but check out this document all about Hamilton condo floor premiums.

What is a multiple offer and how does it work?

Otherwise known as bidding wars is when two buyers submit offers on a property.

Should I buy a new or existing condo in Hamilton?

Thats something that depends on your current situation and should be discussed with us in person

Sell first or buy?

Both have their pros and cons, contact us and we can come up with a plan that works best for you.

Should my offer be conditional?

Conditional offers in a “hot market especially if there are multiple offers could sway the seller to another offer. This is should be consider on a case by case situation.

Do I need a real estate lawyer?

If you purchase a property, yes you do. Don’t know one? thats ok we can point in the direction of some great lawyers that specialize in real estate.

How much money do I need to put down on a Hamilton condo?

Could be as low as $5000 but its best to offer as much as you can. This shows the seller that you’re taking the offer serious. Its always a good idea to have your finances in order so that the deposit can be obtained quickly.

Property sold by the bank / repossessed

Banks are not in the business of losing money. All condos listed as Power of Sale, the lender has taken control of the property will be sold at fair market value. As with all listing there might be the possibility to negotiate the price.

Mortgage FAQ

How can I pay off my mortgage sooner?

-There many ways to reduce the number of years to pay down your mortgage.
Consider selecting a payment plan that makes multiple payments a month as apposed to the usually monthly payments.

-Make Principal payments as often as you can.

-Select a short amortization at renewal

How long should my mortgage be?

That depends on your situation. That being said the shorter the term the less you’ll pay in interest.

What are other monthly costs for a condo?

Mortgage Payments – Most likely the largest expense will vary from person to person based off many factors

Property Tax – You have two ways for paying for this tax which is assessed usually every four years by the government. Included in your mortgage or directly to the municipality.

Maintenance fees and utilities – As an owner of a condo suite you’re responsible for all utility bills. Such as hydro, heating, gas, water, cable and so on. In most cases some of these fees are included in your maintenance fees.

Insurance – Usually mediatory, ask which option is best for you.

Pre-qualified vs Pre-approval vs Full loan approval


is the first step in attaining a mortgage The financial institution will examine your income and liabilities in order to establish if you meet their requirements.


Goes one step further and will check the applicants credit rating and verify income. A pre-approval gives the buyer the knowledge of how much they borrow for the purchase.


occurs when the financial institution has been satisfied that all the conditions have been met. This approval only pertains to a certain property, the lender at this time will forward the funds to the appropriate party.

What is a mortgage agent.

An individual that specializes in mortgages and works with financial institutions to secure you a rate.

Questions to ask you Hamilton condo real estate agent

Who is the best real estate agent.

That depends on my factors most of which pertain to your personality. However every good agent has a few things in common. The ability to listen, no one knows better then you regarding what your looking for. A good agent will take that info and find you the best place based off inventory.

Real estate red flags

Good agents are confident in their ability to sell and buy. If an agent is urging you to sign representation documents for longer then 60 that is a red flag and they should be avoided. Also ask what is their policy regarding early termination. The simple and correct answer is that you can cancel any time.