5 Tips For Condo Buyers

Buying a condo can seem a bit overwhelming at first but the condo lifestyle can be much less responsibility than traditional home ownership. You won’t have to worry about shovelling snow or mowing the lawn plus condos are typically more affordable than houses.

Location is a key consideration. What neighbourhood do you want to live in? Trendy? Rural? Downtown? What amenities are nearby? Shopping? Transit? How long is the commute to work? Are property values increasing or decreasing in this area?

Amenities are the extra perks that make all the difference.  Does the condo include a gym, party room, swimming pool, concierge, guest suites, professional property management and visitor parking? Consider all the amenities the condo has and whether you’ll make good use of them.

Condo Rules and Bylaws. Condos have restrictions on the activities of the residents. Parking may be limited or restricted. There may be an age restriction.  Pet restrictions are common and they differ from condo to condo. Renovations usually require permission from the strata council. Make sure to ask your Real Estate Professional about rules and by-laws before you write an offer.

Contingency Reserve Funds. The contingency reserve fund is used to pay for capital expenses, such as repairs to the exterior windows and doors, repaving the parking lot and repairing the roof. Your real estate professional should review the Strata documents with you to make sure the contingency reserve fund is well managed and that there’s not an immediate concern about maintenance or a special assessment.

Choose the Right Real Estate Professional. Not all real estate professionals are experienced in condos. Are they able to competently review the strata documents with you? Do they understand how condos work? Ask before you start working with someone.

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Mary-Jean Jacobson

Mary-Jean Jacobson

MJ is the Managing Broker & Owner of Pace Realty Corporation.

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