If you have purchased a new condominium suite and the fresh spring air has you itching to move into your new condominium suite, I understand. But some of you may have to wait – up to two or three years, if you purchased at the onset of sales. The GREAT news is that you can use that wait time to your advantage, and have fun in the process.

Take shopping, for example. Look at your suite floorplan and decide what furnishings and accessories you feel will fit in well in your new surroundings – and start looking around for new items. Look for furniture that has a dual purpose to save you space. Shopping will also awaken new ideas when it comes to selecting your features and finishes, which is one of the most exciting steps in buying new. Use your wait time to do other things like thumbing through magazines and visiting condominium model suites for ideas. Design consultants suggest that buyers create a folder of looks they like and bring it to their colour selection appointment. This helps to narrow down the thousands of choices to those most appropriate for you.

On the practical side, the wait from purchase to occupancy means you have more time to save money toward your down payment. One strategy is to deposit the equivalent of your maintenance fee in the bank each month for that purpose. In addition to adding up, this will make it easier for you to plan your monthly carrying costs.

If you are moving down, this is the perfect time to de-clutter your large home. In addition to paring down your possessions to fit into your new streamlined space, this extra time enables you to make the psychological transition to condo ownership more gradually. De-cluttering can result in a wonderfully free feeling, especially when you can pass along possessions to younger family members or people in the community who need them.

Oh, and if you will be moving to a new area, why not take some time now to explore the local amenities if you have not already done so. Figure out what you can walk to, where you can catch public transportation, and where you can pop out to eat when you do not feel like cooking. Spend some time in your new neighbourhood so it will feel more like “home” even before you move in.