Pre-construction condos are purchased before they’re ready to be lived in. Depending on the reason you’re buying the unit, this might not matter. Investors, for example, usually consider property as a mid or long term asset, so not taking immediate possession is no big deal.
It can be a different story for those who want to live in the unit, or rent it out. While buying pre-construction offers either type of buyer considerable benefits, it’s important to know how long it will take before the date of occupancy arrives.
How long do pre-construction projects take?
Projects vary in length, depending on the developer and the scope of the development. You will be given an estimate abefore you make a purchase. You can buy a unit at different points of the development - from before it breaks ground right up until it is nearly complete, availability permitting. Typically, projects take between three and five years, with four being a common middle ground.
How will the timeline impact me?
How much of an impact the build time has on you depends on your reason for purchasing a condo. For investors, the longer project length allows for staggered contributions towards a down payment, and allows a sale to be made in a future market.
For landlords, a longer build period means you can’t make rental income for a while. On the other hand, newer units rent for more money, so a longer build time can mean a higher rate of return.
If you are hoping to live in the condo, then you will need to plan for the long term and make sure you have somewhere to live until your unit is ready.
Can I move in before the project is finished?
Tenants are often able to move into their condo before the entire building is complete. It’s common for residents on lower floors to move in while upper floors are incomplete. It’s equally common for residents to move in while lobbies and external amenities and still under construction.
What about delays?
You should know upfront, timelines are not set in stone. Although your developer will give you an estimated completion date, this could end up being dragged out. In rare cases, the date of completion could actually be sooner than anticipated.