Buyers advised to do research
Expert offers tips for purchasers
While a resale condo may provide an opportunity for a more relaxed lifestyle, getting there can be challenging, says the president of the Calgary Real Estate Board.
“Purchasing this convenient condo lifestyle can be an inconvenient and labour-intensive process for a buyer,” says Bonnie Wegerich, adding that a knowledgeable realtor can help guide potential purchasers through the maze of paperwork required.
With condominium living catching on with a growing number of Calgarians, the board saw the need to provide more assistance to those buying a condo.
As a result, CREB introduced Certified Condominium Specialist education for its membership in 2006.
“A big misconception with condominiums is that people tend to think that buying a condo is just a less expensive way of buying a house — not fully understanding all the details pertaining to shared ownership,” says Wegerich, who has answers to the following questions:
What does condo ownership entail?
The first step is to really understand what condo ownership means she says.
By purchasing a condo, you become a part owner with other unit owners in the complex in regard to common elements such as the exterior structure — items like the roof, exterior walls and foundation — and any common areas and amenities (things like hallways and swimming pools).
Operation costs are shared by all owners in the form of condo fees. Your personal ownership space usually extends inward from your unit’s interior walls, floors and ceilings.
Do the condo rules and regulations match your lifestyle?
All condo rules and regulations are set by the development’s independent condo corporation. There are bylaws set forth to ensure that the building is properly operated and maintained to the standard that the condo corporation has agreed upon.
“It’s important to know if the rules and regulations of a particular condo fit your lifestyle now and in the future,” says Wegerich.
“Do you plan to rent out the condo at some point? Do you plan on having pets? Are you paying for extra amenities you don’t use?
“These are questions to ask before you fall in love with a particular condo.”
Condo corporations can also place restrictions on the number of occupants allowed in a unit, as well as pets, noise, parking and when certain amenities can be used.
Bonnie Wegerich, president of the Calgary Real Estate Board.