Buying a Condo
Condominium owners make up more than 50% of the current homeowners today. Facts that should be considered when buying this type of real estate, beyond just the general state of the building or unit, are the amount of the Contingency Reserve Fund of the strata plan, the Minutes of Annual General Meetings and….and at least the most recent two years of Minutes of the Strata Council meetings.
There are definitely advantages to owning a Strata unit, such as purchase affordability, having the ongoing maintenance looked after and the security of being in a ‘community’ who share your concerns in these matters. But, there are also some drawbacks to this type of ownership, such as, limitations imposed by the Strata’s governing by-laws, rules and regulations on parking, exterior appearance of the units, use of the amenities and limited common property.
One of the most well-known issues concerning condos today is the unhappy fact of the ‘leaky condo’. There are ongoing maintenance issues with many of these buildings, even after the remediation of the leaks are completed. Make sure you get full disclosure from any seller of such a unit, making sure to request all documentation from your realtor or the property manager.
And, once you are the proud owner of either an apartment or a townhouse, do consider becoming a member of your Strata Council. These voluntary positions are made up of owners in your Strata who are charged with the job of making sure the buildings and facilities are maintained, either through self-management or by engaging the services of a professional property management company.