Taking Possession of Your New Condo!

Condos | October 9, 2008

The papers were signed in July, and soon after, the excitement fizzled out.

There was nothing to do but wait….and wait…

But October 8th has rolled around, and my client was just given the keys to his new 2-bedroom condo!


Between July 21st when the papers were first signed, and last night when my client, Damir, got the keys to his new condo, there really wasn’t all that much for him to do but wait.

The financing was already in place when we signed the deal, so Damir had 2 1/2 months to wait for his new condo.

So when does the fun part begin?

In my experience, the most exciting and rewarding part is shopping for furniture!  There are several different routes you can go on this one, ranging from buying gently-used furniture to brand-new showroom duds, but perhaps the perfect plan lays somewhere in the middle.

I told Damir to head over to G.H. Johnstons’son Dupont Ave but he insisted on walking into Urban Barn and buying a floor model sectional couch at the inflated $2000 price.

To each their own!

But furnishing your condo is undoubtedly the most rewarding pre-possession task you’ll have to undertake.  You spend weeks and weeks furnishing the space in your mind, perhaps even drawing out a floor plan (maybe even to scale!) and deciding what goes where.  If you’re a first-time buyer, see if you can take a few pieces from home, and don’t be afraid to get the odds-and-ends from second-hand stores rather than pay $350 for a “really nice” end-table that will sit in the corner of the room and never get used.

Along with planning the furniture purchases comes painting.  You’ll spend weeks running around your office with paint-chips asking people if they prefer “Midnight Green” to “Leafy Wave” or if you should just throw caution to the wind and create a feature wall with “Caribbean Turquoise.”  Now obviously you’re not painting the house or condo until you take possession, but this is all part of the preparation.

The final two elements of the pre-possession checklist have to do with renting.  Are you going to rent out your parking space, or do you have a car?  Are you looking for a roommate for that second bedroom, or are you going to make it into your walk-in closet?

My client posted an ad on the condo bulletin board offering his parking space for $150/month and he got two phone calls the very first day.  He is still looking for a roommate, but once the painting and cleaning is done, the property will be much easier to show.

So with the preparation out of the way, we were finally ready to check out Damir’s new home!

There are two revelations people have when they first set foot into their new house or condo, and it never fails: 1) It looks much smaller without any furniture, 2) It’s dirty and there is garbage left behind.

Last night was no different.

The walls were all mucked up from the previous owners moving their furniture in and out, and at this point Damir has no choice but to repaint.  Look at the baseboards and the marks on the wall in this picture:


Maybe the picture doesn’t do it justice, but take me at my word when I say that those baseboards might need to be replaced!  In another area that isn’t shown in the photo, the wall where we first walked inside looked like it had been smashed with a hammer and a few large chunks of drywall were missing.

Welcome home!

This is nothing new, in fact, it’s usually a question of, “How bad is the place going to look when I take possession?”  Maybe I have no faith in mankind, but I find that once the papers are signed and people are on their way out, they no longer take pride in what used to be “their house” and while moving that large chest of drawers, they don’t say “Careful…pivot…pivot…” like they did when they moved in, but rather, “Hurry up, just push it, hard” when they move out.

People often leave garbage behind, like the pile of boxes and empty cleaning products that were left in the den:


I found it ironic that the place was such a mess yet there was a bin of empty cleaning products left behind, but I digress…

The kitchen and living room looked like they just needed a good once-over with a broom and a Swiffer, but then I entered the bedroom!  I was unable to hide my laughter when I saw the mess of feathersthat lay all over the broadloom.  It was like a mattress exploded as the previous owners moved out!  I told Damir to just assume that two classy ladies had a pillow fight in here right before they handed over the keys, but he wasn’t laughing.  This would take a while to clean up:


On the whole, the condo was about what I expected, maybe a little worse.  It’s always a bit of a letdown when you see the empty shell of what was perhaps a gorgeous showroom home when it was listed for sale.  Peoples nerves often get the best of them when they see the condo and all its emptiness and think to themselves, “How am I supposed to make this livable again?”

But that’s where the real fun takes place!

You’ve got to enjoy the reward of a job well done, as Damir will be vacuuming and steam cleaning those carpets tonight and polishing the hardwood flooring on his hands and knees.

On Friday, the painters come in for a full day’s work, and then on Saturday some of the furniture arrives.

Monday will bring the ever-loveable people from Rogers Cable, and then it’s time to sit down with the property manager and work out the pre-payment for maintenance fees and sign documentation pertaining to the parking spot, locker, which key-cards you have been assigned, and of course putting your name on the building directory outside so you can buzz-in guests!

So after all is said and done, the only thing left to do…..is actually live in the condo…

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One thought on “Taking Possession of Your New Condo!

  1. Damir

    at 10:57 am

    Hahaha, I loved the pillow fight analogy!!
    It was actually in better condition than I expected. And the reason why I bought it is because it needed some work and design. I didn’t want to buy something that had all kinds of interior designer bells and whistles and already priced in. That’s why I got a good deal!
    Maybe you should do another blog entry after I’ve torn the place apart and furnished it. And you know how fast I do things, it might be sooner than you think…
    Anyway, thanks Dave, great job

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