Nov. 12, 2020

Condo Market Report - Condo Mortgage Questions - Sample Condo Bldg. - EP: 140

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 In this episode we will give you the condo market stats for the past month, what makes condo mortgages different from house mortgages, and a look at one condo building in the south end of Winnipeg.


🏞️ Winnipeg Real Estate News 📰


Available condo listings are down from last year, while sales are up. Not at the same rate as houses in Winnipeg, but still an increase in activity against a backdrop of lower inventory levels.


👫 Phone call with Mortgage Mike ❓

If a buyer is pre-approved for a $250K house, can they just go and buy a $250K condo? Not so fast....condo mortgages have a few unique requirements. We need to consider the condo fees, whether the condo building is an apartment-conversion and whether the condo is self-managed.

Find Mike at


🔦 Spotlight on Local Business 🏪


Whether you're buying or selling, a house or a condo in Winnipeg, you will need a real estate lawyer. I recommend Brad McClelland of McRoberts Law Office. Here is a link to his website


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👪 Spotlight on Tower 180 Condo in St Vital 🖥


180 Beliveau Rd is the location for a condo known as Tower 180 Condos. Originally built as an apartment block in 1970, it was converted into condos by A&S Homes in 2014.

1 and 2-BR suites, priced bet 160-220k. Generally about 20K to $40K below the price when they were new.


See more details on this building here


Here is my post on Condo Fees vs. House Expenses


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Cert. Luxury Home Marketing Specialist

Accredited Buyer Representative

Direct:  204-333-2202

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Today, we're going to talk about all things condo. We're going to look at the condo market in Winnipeg as it is right now. We're going to have a phone call with Mortgage Mike about the intricacies of getting approved for a mortgage for condos, which is slightly different than houses. And we're going to look at a sample condo building in a south end of Winnipeg with those five units for sale. We're just going to put the whole thing into perspective on this episode of Winnipeg real estate podcast.



You're listening to the Bo Knows Real Estate podcast tips and advice for home buyers, sellers and owners with award winning Remax agent Bo Kauffmann. Hello, everybody, it's Bo Kauffmann Remax performance, REALTOR®. Well, if you listen to last week's episode, you know that the housing market right now, the houses are in very short supply. Last year this time, we had about seventeen hundred houses for sale. Right now we've got about a thousand, which means that every house that goes up has a chance of having like a bidding war, multiple offers on it.



So if you're a buyer, things are really kind of tough right now. It's tough to find something. And if you do find something you like, chances are that there's going to be several other people lining up for it as well. So what about condos? Are condos an alternative for you if you're looking for your first home, if you're looking to downsize? Well, condo, I've always said is is a lifestyle choice, not so much a financial choice, because with condos, definitely you don't have the freedom that you have with the house.



However, you also don't have some of the some of the requirements. Like you don't have the maintenance, you don't have the yard and the snow shoveling, you don't have the exterior maintenance, a roof and stuff like that. So definitely it's a lifestyle choice. If you want to travel, if you want to concentrate on your business, condos might be a good option for you. So let's start this by taking a look at the at the condo market and compare it housing.



As I said, things are tight condos. You will see that condo sales are up over last year and condo listings are also down over last year, but not at the same rate as what houses are. So let's take a look at the condo market right now.



So during the month of October, we sold ninety eight condos and Winnipeg. That compares. It's down a little bit. It's down about five condos from the previous month, but it's way up from last year the same time. And I consider the comparison from last year to this year more important than from last month to this month, because condo markets change month over month. It's how do they compare to the last year, same time that I find more valuable and more important.



And the most expensive condo sold during that month was one point one million dollars in the waterfront district. So let's take a look at available condos in Winnipeg and compare that over the years, just like houses, inventory levels have gone down, but not as dramatically as houses. So currently on November 1st, we have five hundred and sixty six condos available compared to six forty one last year. So that's about eighty seventy five. Eighty condos fewer than last year.



How that breaks down along price ranges in under a quarter million dollars. Right now we have three hundred and twenty four available compared to three sixty one last year. And those condos that are quarter million and more, we have two hundred and forty two available compared to two eighty last year. Again similar to houses.



Sales are also higher than they were last year in in in the condo market. Over the past month we have sold sixty condos under a quarter million. That compares to forty six same time last year. And in the more luxurious condos of a quarter million dollars and more, we sold thirty eight. That compares to twenty eight last year, same time. So we to look at this now is to combine the sales and the available listings and will be come up with is what I call the inventory quotient.



So the lower the numbers, the hotter the market. Last year at this time, condos under two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. That number was two hundred and forty three days. That's how long it would take to sell everything that's out there. Two hundred and forty three days this month, same time as last year is one hundred and sixty seven days. So from two forty three to one sixty seven it's quite a jump making it up much more active market condos over a quarter million dollars.



Similar story last year. The inventory level was three hundred and ten days. This year it's under two hundred. So again, a jump in that direction that it's it's a it's a hotter market still when you compare this hundred and ninety seven days compared to the mid-range of houses which are at twenty nine days, houses are definitely a much hotter demand than condos, which makes condos really an opportunity for that first time buyer or that investor who wants to maybe buy some rental property or people that want to downsize.



Or like I said, first time buyers would be a perfect option for them to look at it. Also, take a look at how many new condo listings came to market during the month of October. And this past month, like October. Twenty twenty, we listed two hundred and thirty four condos into the MLS system to thirty four compared to two. Sixty four last. Yea, same time or compared to two ninety four during the month of September this year.



So that's that month over a month change that's much more dramatic than the yearly change. September still. There was a lot of new listings coming to market. And you can see there are 60 fewer in October. And I think we're going to see that trend continue to some point for November and December as fewer people list their condos or their houses for sale during the month, during the winter months. We'll be right back after this short announcement. Are you looking to buy a house or a condo in Winnipeg work with the agent who takes the time to explain the process to you, guiding you through every step for service beyond the sale book, your home buying consultation with Bo Kauffmann, a Remax performance today, Bo Knows Real Estate.



OK, so up next, we're going to make a phone call with Mortgage Mike. That's Mike Schroeder of Mortgage Architects. We're going to talk about the differences between getting a mortgage for a house and getting a condo. And what he's going to explain is that if you're pre-approved for a mortgage, for a house, let's say for two hundred and fifty thousand dollars, and you decide to change your mind and look at a condo instead, we should actually go back to the mortgage lender and get you pre-approved for that amount because they will give you less money for a mortgage simply because of the condo fees that are involved in it as well.



So let's see what he has to say. Good afternoon.



Hey, Mike, it's Bo Kauffmann calling. Hey, how are you doing this fine day? Excellent.



Excellent. Listen, today we're going to talk about my episode. It's going to be a little bit about condos. And I understand that getting a pre-approved for a condo is a little bit different than getting pre-approved for a house. That's correct.



So the biggest the single biggest difference is that when you buy a house to figure out if you can afford the property, you just have to know what your purchase price is going to be. And we can calculate the mortgage payment when you figure out if you get pre-approved for a condo, we also have to factor in the condo fees. And so if you're buying a condo that has very high fees, you might be able to afford less condo than you could for a house of the same value because.



That's right. Because of the condo fees. Exactly. Is there is there a kind of a formula, for example, if somebody starts out looking for a house, they may not know that they want to look at a condo if they're pre-approved for a two hundred fifty thousand dollar house, is there a ballpark that you can say, OK, if you're approved for that, you can get this much for a condo?



Sure. So a good rule of thumb is for every four hundred dollars a month you have of expense, you lose about one hundred thousand dollars of purchasing power. So, for example, the condo has Kadafi a four hundred dollars a month. We factor in half of that. So two hundred dollars a month, meaning you can afford a fifty thousand dollar purchase price less than you could offer a similar house now.



That's good to know. What can work in your favor, though, is that a sheet is included in the condo fees. Then that actually can help you forward a little bit more because we have to factor in the calculation for buying a house so you can actually cut both ways of it. OK, excellent.



It's good to know. It's it's good to know that they can be pre-approved for a house and it's really just a calculation. And they have to be aware that just because it's the three hundred thousand dollar house they're pre-approved for, they're not likely going to be able to get a three hundred thousand dollar condo. Correct.



And just explain upfront to your mortgage professional what you're looking at doing. And so if you're thinking of looking at condos, just let them know they can run some new numbers for you. And that way you're prepared to look at the places that within your budget.



Awesome. Was there any other differences? Yes, there's a few things to pay attention to. If the condo was ever a condo conversion, meaning that it was a rental building that was covered for condo usage and pass, fewer lenders will offer mortgages on those properties. And as well, if it's a self managed condo, in other words, if they don't hire a property management company to actually manage the condo, if it's just managed by the board, get your lender is on those type of properties so you might not get the absolute lowest rate you see advertised.



So the higher rate, because you might be living in a switching lender.



OK, that's actually good information for me, too, especially that first part about condo conversion. Is there a time limit, for example, if it was a conversion 15 years ago, is there still a limitation?



There is. And a lot of that has to do with the concerns over the quality of the condo conversion itself and of the size of the reserve fund. So we definitely can make the deal work, which is limited as to which lenders will actually take a look at it.



OK, good to know. Good to know. I think that's that's all I need it for today. Thanks a lot. OK, bye bye.



So whether you're buying or selling a house or condo in Winnipeg, you are going to need a lawyer. Lots of good lawyers out there. No doubt what you're looking for in a lawyer is somebody who is well versed and experienced in real estate because real estate law really is its own little subject. I've had buyers in the past saying I want to use my family lawyer. And in the end it ended up being like a wills and the state's type of lawyer who didn't know real estate and he shuffled it off to somebody else.



So you may as well pick a lawyer that knows their stuff in real estate. You want somebody that's personable, somebody that returns phone calls, well organized, somebody that answers your calls. I have just such a lawyer. It's Brad MacLellan of McRoberts Law Office in Madison Square on Ness Avenue. If you're going to buy or sell a house or a condo, I would say give him a call. His office number is two or four nine four four seven nine two three.



And that's Brad McLeland of McRoberts Law. OK, let's take a look at an example condo in the south end of Winnipeg, but I'm talking about is one Beliveau Road. This is called Tower 180 condos. This was a an apartment building built in 1970, and it was converted to condos by A&S homes in 2014. So this is one of these apartment conversions that Mike was talking about. Not every lender will do a mortgage for this. So there's a there's a more limited option for mortgage lenders for this because it is a conversion.



I know this building fairly well. I sold a couple of units in there. And this building, as an example, really goes to show my point and my reasoning behind telling my clients to kind of stay away from buying brand new condos because in Winnipeg you buy a brand new condo and it's similar to buying a brand new car. It's great. But since you drive it off the lot, what happens? Well, it's the same thing that happens with brand new condos.



These units here, this building here has one and two bedroom units. And they when they were new in 2013, the one bedrooms were selling for around 180 to 190. And they are now reselling closer to 160. And the two bedrooms, we're selling four to 20 to 30 and are now selling at below two hundred for the most cases, unless unless it's really decked out in really special.



The average ones now are going actually for less than two hundred. So that's about a twenty five, thirty thousand dollar drop on the two bedrooms and twenty thousand dollar drops on the one bedroom. That really makes these a pretty good option for first time buyer because they are really nice condos, no question about it, and did a nice job, clean hallways, nice layouts and their large units, the one bedrooms. Quite often you go into a one bedroom condo and it's like six hundred and fifty square feet.



These are more like seven hundred and fifty square feet, two bedrooms. If you go to those like the walk up the town hall style, two bedrooms are generally eight to eight. These on Beliveau are actually over a thousand square feet. Most of them have like they have nice kitchens. I do believe they have granite counters, stainless steel appliances, that kind of stuff. So condo fees. Now, here's an example as well. A two bedroom condo right now, the condo fees for 40 a month for some people will say, well, that's that's a lot of wasted money.



But it's not, because $ 440 includes heat, includes electricity and water and all your condo perks. So to put this in another perspective, if you buy a two bedroom condo for, let's say, two hundred thousand dollars instead of a condo, if you buy a two hundred thousand dollar house, I'm going to argue that, first of all, that thing is going to bleed and heat like crazy. Your heating bills are going to be well over one hundred dollars a month, whereas here it's included in the condo fee insurance.



The home insurance is included in this condo. All you have to do is buy your your upgraded content insurance, which is running in the neighborhood of twenty dollars a month, as opposed to spending close to one hundred a month on a house. Insurance, as I said, electricity included. Water is included. So that eats up a lot of that. Four hundred and forty dollars that's in condo fees. So I'm not as down on condos as as maybe some people are.



Definitely. I think it's an option if you're looking for a nice, clean place with secure underground parking. And if, as I mentioned earlier, if your lifestyle demands it, if you're spending 16 hours a day at work and you just need a place to to call home in between going to work and going on vacation and a condo is really a pretty desirable, a pretty good option for you. So in the show notes below, you're going to find a link to an article I've written about explaining about why condo fees really aren't the boogeyman.



They're they're not as bad as some people think they are, as well as a link to further details on the condo 180 tower on Beliveau. I really hope you've enjoyed this episode of Winnipeg as well as a podcast. If you are looking to buy or sell a house or a condo, please give me a shot at any time. That's Bo Kauffmann Remax Performance Realty 204-333-2202 until next week. Bye bye.


Mike Schroeder - Mortgage Architects

Mortgage Specialist with Mortgage Architects, Mortgage Brokers