Make an Informed Decision
When looking to purchase condominiums buyers have a lot of decisions as to what type of condominium they would like to purchase as well as the amenities / services that they are hoping to obtain. Understanding the ins and outs of purchasing a condominium is essential to have a strong investment in the real estate market. A condominium reputation can sometimes make or break a sale both with potential buyers and lenders. Don’t make the mistake of not having an informed decision prior to purchasing condominiums.
Throughout this page you’ll know what to look out for when purchasing condominiums and what items you should make sure you get a chance to review.
The most important element for any buyer is the status certificate of the condominium corporation when purchasing. Consider that purchasing a condominium similar to purchasing a share in a company, prior to purchasing that share you want to ensure that the company is in good financial health and you know how that company operates. The status certificate is a multipage document stating the financial history, rules and regulations, upcoming expenses and the declaration of the condominium. These are essential items to review prior to securing the property as this can have a significant impact on the future resale of your condominium.
Pet policies are legal when it comes to condominiums. Unlike rentals where landlords cannot prohibit having pets, a condominium corporation can prohibit pets of any kind in the unit or the building if it is in their declaration. If you have a furry friend you’ll want to ask questions about the policy on pets for condominiums. In some condominiums, there may be a size, weight, or quantity limits on the number of pets you can have. Condominiums can enforce with heavy fines and sometimes even forced sale of units.
Condominiums can often include some utilities as part of the condominium fees. Knowing what your condominium fees are paying for when it comes to utilities can make an impact on how much of an effect the condominium fees have on your monthly budget. Keep in mind that when the condominium pays for utilities this can often have a stronger correlation to an increase in condominium fees due to hydro, water, or gas costs. Often, the fewer utilities the better for condominium inclusions.
The status certificate will outline the responsibilities of the owner and the condominiums responsibilities. Having a clear understanding is essential to knowing what items you’ll need to budget for. Some condominiums may only cover road maintenance while some may opt to be responsible for your windows, doors, siding, foundation, and landscaping. You’ll be able to find this information in the declaration portion of the status certificate and should be reviewed prior to purchasing condominiums.
If you’re planning on renting out your condominium in the future, it’s important you look at the rental regulations. Condominiums can prohibit the ability to rent out your unit entirely or they may have stipulations as to the minimum rental period. In most condominiums, renting on a per-bedroom basis is against policy. Often times the condominium association requires that your condominium be rented as a single-family dwelling.