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Top 10 things to check when buying a condo

So you’ve decided that living in a condominium is best for you and your lifestyle.

Here are a few questions you might consider asking the board of the condo building before you finalize any deal – and you’ll learn how responsive – and organized – its members are.

What percentage of units is owner-occupied? Generally, the higher the percentage of owner-occupied units, the more marketable the units will be at resale.

What covenants, bylaws, and restrictions govern the property? What grandfather clauses are in place? Ask for a copy of the bylaws to determine if you can live within them. And have a lawyer review all property documents, including the master deed, for you.

How much does the association keep in reserve? How is that money being invested?

Are association assessments keeping pace with the annual rate of inflation? Smart boards raise assessments a certain percentage each year to build reserves to fund future repairs. To determine if the assessment is reasonable, compare the rate to others in the area.

What does and doesn’t the assessment cover – common area maintenance, recreational facilities, trash collection and snow removal?

What special assessments have been mandated in the past five years? How much was each owner responsible? Some special assessments are unavoidable. Repeated, expensive assessments may be a red flag.

How much turnover occurs in the building? Is the condominium in litigation? If the builders or homeowners are involved in a lawsuit, reserves can be depleted quickly.

If brand new or under construction, is the developer reputable? What other projects has the developer built?

Find out the monthly condo maintenance fees and what exactly they include (and don’t include). What are the property taxes? Are they included in the maintenance fees?

Mary Bateman is your trusted single resource in the condominium marketplace in Barrie and Simcoe County.  Call Mary Bateman today at RE/MAX Chay Realty Inc. at (705) 722-7100 or toll free (866) 606-2429. Get to know Mary at www.marybateman.com or on Facebook. A convenient call or a click away.

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Email: [email protected]

Barrie: (705) 722-7100

Toll Free: (866) 606-2429

 

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