Condo living is a popular choice for Canadians as it is a relatively hassle-free option. Most real estate agents have a list of condominiums for sale in most major cities. This guide will give you some basic information about buying condos and what you should know before taking ownership.
What you will pay
Condo owners often pay the same taxes as other homeowners for garbage pickup, road repairs, and snow removal. However, some municipalities consider condominiums as private communities and may not offer these services in your region. Before buying, it is best to ask the local municipal office about the types of services that are carried out or you may need to pay an independent contractor instead.
Are there any monthly fees?
In addition to municipality taxes, you may also need to pay monthly condo fees as part of your share of the common property. The monthly payment covers upkeep of the communal grounds, building insurance, utilities, and snow removal. Some of the money you pay every month will be put aside as a reserve fund in order to cover the cost of future repairs and maintenance.
Check the boundaries
It is important to know where your unit’s boundaries are situated prior to purchasing. For instance, you should determine whether you will be paying for exterior repairs of your condo’s bricks or window washing as some condominium corporations accept responsibility. Some condo units include the ownership of the land so you would be responsible for a portion of the entire building including the lawn, roof, and walls. Your appointed real estate lawyer can find out this information on your behalf through a professional surveyor.
It is important to know how much you need to set aside to purchase your condo. It is best to shop around and compare the prices of different condominiums as well as the monthly fees for each unit. Be prepared to view a variety of different designs such as low-rise or high-rise units with or without amenities. You should also check the reputation of the builders to ensure the condos are built to the highest standard.
How are prices determined for new condo units?
Most developers sell units at a price based on square footage; however, this is not based on the interior measurements. The measurements of the unit are determined by outside walls as well as the middle partition walls. The difference in size between the footage and the sale price can be between 8 to 12%.
Your role in a condominium community
When you become a condo owner, you have certain responsibilities in the condominium community. One of your main rights is to vote at general meetings that relate to the condominium. There are also regular meetings held by all syndicates which you must attend whenever possible.