Before you buy a condo.
There are many things that you should consider before buying a condo unit.
The advice of a lawyer, real estate agent or accountant can help you see the full picture and make an informed decision.
Here are some questions that all condo owners should discuss when reviewing the condo declaration, by-laws and rules with their lawyer, real estate agent or accountant (does not include questions related to the agreement of purchase and sale):
- how are my condo fees determined?
- do the declaration, by-laws and rules of the condominium suit my lifestyle? (e.g., some condominiums limit the size and number of pets or prohibit certain pets altogether)
- what are the boundaries of my unit?
- are the windows and doors part of my unit?
- is the roof part of my unit in a townhouse complex?
- are any of the pipes behind the drywall part of my unit? (in most cases, you will be responsible for and required to maintain and repair your own unit)
- what are my repair and maintenance responsibilities?
- am I responsible for the maintenance of my heating and cooling equipment?
- if a pipe leaks behind the wall, is it my responsibility to repair?
- if I have exclusive use of a yard, deck or fence, am I responsible for maintaining and repairing them?
- should I consider getting extra insurance?
- what does the corporation's standard insurance cover? (it is important to understand what you are responsible for and if you would like to get your own insurance coverage)
- is there enough money in the reserve fund?
- are there any planned expenditures? (it is important to know the financial health of the corporation to help assess what your condo fees will be)
- how many rental and/or mixed-use units are there? (remember, condo owners who rent out their units as an investment may not share the same interests as owners who live in the building)
- is there a shared facilities agreement with another condominium or property? (some condominium properties may share amenities with others)
- are there commercial units? (this means that residents will need to share the building with stores and businesses)