Let’s Talk about Condominiums

A condominium is a style of ownership that can come in many different shapes and sizes.  Most people immediately think of an apartment style building, but a condo can also be in the form of a townhouse, duplex, detached house or plot of land. 

When you buy a condo, you are purchasing a private dwelling called a “Unit” as well as sharing ownership of the common areas and assets of the corporation.  These common areas and assets vary from condo to condo, so it is important to do the proper research to discover what exactly you are buying into.

Along with purchasing a condominium, you will also have to pay your portion of condo fees.  The condo fees can include items such as upkeep and replacement (when necessary) of common elements, an insurance policy, utilities and services such as snow removal and professional management.  What is included in your condo fees varies for each condo project, so research is necessary to confirm what exactly you are getting for your payments.

Reserve Fund Study & Plan is possibly the single most important thing to understand if you are considering a condo.  Every 5 years, a third party will evaluate the components of the complex and make a plan for when each item will need replacement.  This plan allows the condo corporation to start saving for each item to ensure when it comes time to replace something there is money already saved to do it. 

Special Assessments are issued when an unforeseen expense occurs, or there is a shortage in the reserve fund, a special assessment is levied.  This can range widely in cost, depending on the issue and can come in many scheduled intervals or all at once.  At the end of the day, you will want to know if there is any talk of one coming your way before you buy into the complex. 

Bylaws & Rules govern how you will live in your condo.  They can specify regulations on things such as pets, noise tolerance, parking, maximum number of occupants in a unit, items that can be on a balcony etc.  It is important for you to personally read the rules and bylaws so you can determine if your lifestyle is a fit for the complex. 

Condominium Document Review is STRONGLY advised!  You should make an offer conditional to a document review and hire a professional to do it.  This is the best way to know what you are getting yourself into. 


Additional Condominium Costs

Condominium Document Inspection is one of the most important things you can do when purchasing a condo, and I highly recommend making your offer conditional to it.  Think of the condo building as a business you are buying into.  You will need to know what the financial position for the building is, if it’s secure and if there are any issues you need to know about.  The cost for the document inspection can range from $400-$600+/-

Move In/Out Policies vary for each condo, some may even have a policy that requires people to pay a fee. This may or may not be refundable depending on the policy, and can cost approximately $100-$200+/-, or even higher.  Check in advance. 

I am a Certified Condominium Specialist, reach out to me anytime with your questions.  

For more information on the Condominium Property Act: Click HERE

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