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On the road to buying a condo

by Denis Doucet

What you’ll learn

  • How can I streamline the buying experience to make the most of my investment?
  • What are the keys to avoiding unwanted and costly surprises? 
  • Do I have all the right information before I buy?

4 steps to take before buying

There’s no magic pill that allows you to see the future, but the steps below can help bring a little peace of mind on your journey to owning a condo.

1.  Check the building declarations

This will allow you to figure out the exact amount of condo fees (recurring costs) applicable to a unit and your obligations as an owner in the building.

2.  Read the minutes from the annual general assembly meetings

“To get a pulse check of the building in question, ask to see the minutes of the last board meeting. You’ll get a better feel for the concerns of the owners, what they’re complaining about, and what to expect looking ahead,” – Raymond Leclair, Vice President of TitlePLUS, a company specializing in title insurance for condominiums.

3.  Check the financial health of the condo complex

You will be responsible for any major expenses that may occur for building upkeep and maintenance, so insist on obtaining the official financial documents for the building from the board. It’s important to know whether their reserve is sufficiently funded to cover unforeseen expenses in the future.

4.  Evaluate the condition of the building and common areas

Before hiring a building inspector for an independent assessment of the property (which is highly recommended), be proactive by checking the building yourself to see if everything is in satisfactory condition. 

As you can see, buying a condo comes with its share of responsibilities. Before you sign that deed of sale, be sure you get an accurate overall picture of what you’re getting into – particular when it comes to recurring fees and the potential of unforeseen maintenance costs in the future.

Key takeaways

  • Consult the condominium regulations.
  • Evaluate the financial stabilities of the syndicate.
  • Verify the state of the property.
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