What You Need to Know When Buying a Condo

Whether you’re a baby boomer looking to downsize or a first-time homebuyer, condos are a popular option, especially in pricey markets like Vancouver. What’s not to love about a condo? Not only are condos usually more affordable than houses, they don’t come with all the headaches and hard work of owning a house.
Are you worried about major expenses like repairing a leaky roof or do you dread yard work like mowing the lawn? With a condo that’s all taken care of through your condo fees. Although you don’t have the same worries with a condo as a house, there are still some important things to consider when purchasing a condo.
Condo Fees
At the top of your list should be condo fees. Although you won’t have to worry about major expenses like a new roof, you’ll be responsible for paying condo fees on a monthly basis. What exactly are condo fees? They cover a variety of things, including building repairs, maintenance, amenities, and services. Before putting in an offer on a condo, it’s important to look at the condo fees and see if they’re reasonable. Compare the condo fees to comparable units with similar square footage in different buildings to see if they’re in line.
Although all condos come with condo fees, what’s included varies between buildings. In one building your condo fees may cover everything including your cable, while with in another building you may have to pay for your heating on top of your condo fees. Generally, all things equal a well-managed condo will have lower condo fees.
Pride of Ownership
Similar to when you’re buying a house, it’s important to get to know your neighbours. If you’re buying a new condo that can be tough, but when you’re buying a resale condo it’s worth the effort. Noisy neighbours are one of the biggest complaints received by condo management. Do your homework before you move in and find out who will be living beside, above, and below you.
When it comes to condos, pride of ownership can go a long way. With condo values skyrocketing in recent years, buying and renting out a condo has become a popular option for investors. Although this can be a good way to make a quick buck, it can lead to tenants who are noisy and don’t show the same respect an owner would. It’s important to find out the percentage of condo units rented out. If a condo building has more than 25 per cent rent out it should raise a red flag.
Lastly, it’s important to find out the demographics of owners in the condo building. If you’re a baby boomer looking to retire, chances are you don’t want to live with a bunch of noisy Millennials. By finding a condo building with owners in the same age group, not only are you more likely to be happy, but management is most likely to offer amenities that cater to your age group.