Is a condo the right choice for you?May 3, 2019 Tags: building, buying, co-ownership, Montréal, Property, responsabilities
The appealing lifestyle and affordable cost have made condos an increasingly popular choice in recent years, especially among first-time buyers. But there’s more to condo ownership than that—it makes you a part of a community. Before making a purchase offer, find out if condo living is right for you!
Before you buy
First of all, it’s a good idea to take stock of the financial health of the condominium. You can do this by contacting the manager and asking for:
– The current year budget and the budget forecast
– The reserve fund total*
– Meeting minutes
– Condo association meeting reports for the last three years
Review this information and you’ll know whether the condo community is healthy and well managed. You should also read the co-ownership declaration and the building by-laws carefully. Also remember to ask how much condo fees are (based on the relative value or share of the condo) and whether there are any special assessments. This will tell you more about the building and its upkeep.
*See our article on reserve funds: https://www.bardagi.com/en/condo-financial-statements-and-reserve-funds
The rights and responsibilities of a condo owner
As a condo owner, you have the exclusive right to your unit but you share the right to common spaces. Your responsibilities include complying with the co-ownership declaration and building by-laws, paying shared expenses, and being a good neighbor to the other condo owners.
Living in a condo also brings with it the need to be engaged in community life by going to and voting at condo association meetings. These meetings are held at least once a year and allow condo owners to have their say in collective decisions, express their views on upcoming work or miscellaneous expenses, and elect association members.
Should you buy new?
When you’re the first to buy a condo unit, you can pick out finishes yourself and make sure your new home reflects your personality. What’s more, a new building will be compliant with the latest safety codes and will often have communal amenities such as a swimming pool, patio, or fitness room. You can also rest assured that no work will need to be done for a while. But watch out for higher condo fees, especially when the condo community provides extra services (valet parking, security guard, elevators, and so on). And remember that new condos are subject to GST and QST.
To sum up, if you’re thinking about buying a condo, make sure you read all the condo documents carefully. They’ll give you a clear picture of how the building is managed and a first impression of your future neighbors!