How do I buy pre-construction?

Pre-construction is great if you want to capitalize on today’s market prices but can’t quite commit to a full-blown mortgage and carrying costs.


  1. PRE-QUALIFY! Figuring out what you can afford is still the first step, but you will likely require a larger deposit depending on the builder’s requirement. Pre-construction condos require 20 to 25 per cent down payment paid in installments usually over a 12- to 18-month period.
  2. KNOW YOUR TIMELINE. Some condos won’t be ready for another four years! Can you really wait that long to get your own space? Figure out your ideal timeframe and look for developments that match your requirements.
  3. UNDERSTAND OCCUPANCY VS. CLOSING. Occupancy is the date you get your keys. As the builder finishes the building floor by floor, purchasers move into their units but everyone has to wait until the building is completed so it can be registered with the city. You will close on your unit within a few weeks after registration. During this occupancy period, you have to pay fees that don’t go towards your mortgage, but towards estimated condo fees, taxes, etc.
  4. FIND A REALTOR WHO REALLY KNOWS PRE-CONSTRUCTION. Some brokerages have close ties with developers, gaining them and their clients “first dibs” to the developments’ most sought-after units. And your realtor should guide you through the whole process — you need to be proactively armed with knowledge, as the surprises (a.k.a. money out of your pocket) are more frequent and bigger than buying resale.
  5. SIGN AND LEARN! It’s exciting to go to the sales office to finally sign your very own contract — but you will also find an incredibly cumbersome document you may not fully understand. Good news: you will have a 10-day cool-off period to walk away from the deal if you are not comfortable for any reason.



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