Condo Buying Checklist
Buying a condo rather than a house is very popular among buyers these days since it comes with so many advantages that can not be disregarded such as being practical and accessible to the amenities we need, not requiring maintenance and many others. This article will be your road map if you would like to purchase a condo but you don’t know where to start .
What are the most important things to look at when buying a condo?First thing first – Find a Real Estate Agent: There are many assets you should look into when buying a condo and working with a real estate agent who will represent you in the deal will help you avoid making mistakes along the way and focusing on the property rather than a lot of paperwork which you don’t even know where to get them from. The service of a real estate agent for buyers is free. They do have insurance and If something happens after the transaction your right can be defended by the agent. Here are the top Items you and your real estate agent should go over together:
- Read the ByLaws of the Condo Building : It contains all the rules and regulations of the building and it is essential for the buyer to go through it with the real estate agent. For instance: If you have a dog and the animals are not permitted in the building you would be in trouble if you purchase a property without reading the bylaws. Your realtor may already have access to these documents so do not hesitate to ask your agent.
- Read the Declaration of Co-ownership: This is an important document that will tell you all the rules that were set in the past at the moment of the establishment of co- ownership. Check with your real estate agent and ask him if there has been any modification or change in the declaration .
- Review Minutes of The meeting: Reading the notes from the meetings of the syndicate would help you to understand if there is any disagreement between the co-owners, an expected raise in the condo fees for the following years, etc.
- Review Yearly budget : Yearly Budget would show you what is being spent each year. Review the annual operating budget, end-of-year financial statements, etc. You should easily be able to figure out if the condo is well managed.
- Review Monthly Condo Fees: These are the fees you have to pay every month no matter what so it is one of the most important things to be checked out prior to purchase. You should find out what your monthly condo fees include and an increase is anticipated for the future . If you like a condo but its fees are too high , it would be a wise decision for you to find another unit with less condo fees.
- Double Check Past maintenance or improvements in the building: The receipt of past works can tell you a lot about the current condition of the building . You can also understand if the building is well constructed. Buildings that are not well constructed usually have issues like water leakage along the way.
- Find Out if there are any Special Assessments: Check with your agent to see if there are any special assessments: Special assessments reflect on the condo fees so check if there is any special assessment for a work to be conducted in the building.
- Check if Short term Rentals is allowed : If you have a plan of renting out your unit for less than 30 days , you have to make sure it is permitted in the building. Your agent can easily give you this information. Most residential buildings do not allow rentals less than 1 year so it’s a good idea to check this with your real estate agent.
- Review the Certificate Of Location: A transaction can not happen without the existence of a certificate of location. The notary would not let the 2 parties sign the deal if there is no certificate of location, the certificate of location is expired or there has been some changes in the unit and the certificate of location is not up to date.
- Double Check the Type of Co-ownership : Is the condo held under Undivided or divided co-ownership? The difference between them is huge, consisting of where your private portion is.
- Review the Taxes: Ask your agent about one time taxes that are entitled with the purchase of the condo as well as the municipal and school taxes that are paid every year.
- Do a pre-purchase home inspection: Hire a licensed inspector who can deliver a full inspection report outlining the current issues in the unit you are planning to purchase.
What to ask if you are buying a condo:As a buyer, you should always ask yourself if the condo you intend to purchase is the right fit for your situation. Here are the key questions you should ask yourself in order to find the right condo unit.
- Is it located in a strategic location based on my needs and daily routine?
- What are the Building Amenities:
- Is there a Parking Space ? If so, Is it indoor or Outdoor? : This is crucial if you live in Montreal! Your vehicle will eventually rust if you have no interior parking space due to the extreme cold and snow in winter.
- Is it located near Public Transit: Are there any bus stops or metro stations nearby ?
- Are there any grocery stores nearby? Walking with heavy grocery bags can be difficult if you are not on your wheels and there are no grocery stores nearby.
- Is there a mall / shopping center nearby? Be aware that having things like a shopping mall close by adds additional value to your property.
- Are there any elementary schools, high schools in the neighborhood? You want your kids to go to good schools without spending hours on the way. Make sure there are schools near by.
- Are there any English schools in the neighborhood : This is especially important if you are an anglophone living in Montreal
- Is it a safe neighborhood to live in? What is the crime rate? : Check the crime rates in the area to see if it is a livable and safe area for your family.