Buy­ers ad­vised to do re­search

Ex­pert of­fers tips for pur­chasers

Calgary Herald - Calgary Herald New Condos - - New Condos - MARTY HOPE

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.

Cal­gary Her­ald Archive

Bon­nie Wegerich, pres­i­dent of the Cal­gary Real Es­tate Board.

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