10 Things to Think About When Buying a Condo – Kitchener Waterloo Condos and Lofts
So you are thinking about buying a condo and don’t know where to start. Before you buy, know the following:
- Condo fees-Know how much they are and what they cover. When are they due and what happens if another owner falls behind? Is there a separate fee for garbage disposal or snow removal? Is landscaping included in the condo fees if there are common yard areas? Ask as many questions as you can. You don’t want to be stuck with, “hidden” expenses after you buy.
- Know Your Neighbors-What are the approximate ages of the other condo owners/tenants? Do they have little kids or teenagers? Are they college kids who come home late and play loud music? Ask the other condo owners about any issues with noise before you purchase
- Check the Reserve-Make Sure the Association has adequate funds to pay for emergency repairs. When you own a condo you should always have an emergency fund. If there are assessments you’ll be responsible for paying for your “share”, whether the damage or repairs impacted your unit or not.
- Condo Association-Does one owner like to throw his/her weight around and dictate how the building is run? Is there a condo association president? Why is his/her role? How often do all of the owners meet to discuss building issues? Is the meeting virtual (skype) or in person? Do you have to host the meeting in your home regularly?
- Read the Association’s Rules-If the association has formal written rules, read them. Many of the important things you’ll need to know about living in the building will be included in the association’s rules. Want to know the policy on pets, allowing renters, and who’s responsible for what? Read the rules.
- Ask About Pets-Does your future neighbor own a dog that barks all the time? Isn’t house-trained and has accidents on the carpet in the common areas? Is aggressive and scares your kids? Our neighbor’s German Sheppard has lunged at survivor dog. Now we know to pick him up whenever, Karma (dog’s real name, go figure!) is around.
- Security-Do your neighbors keep the front doors of the building closed and locked at all times? Is there a security system or a doorman?
- Maintenance-If your condo association doesn’t contract with a maintenance company, be sure to ask about who does routine maintenance i.e. who changes light bulbs in the common areas, who salts the sidewalks during snowstorms, and who vacuums the common areas.
- Cosmetics-Does the association care about the cosmetics of the building? Do they continuously make improvements to the common areas of the building (which can be expensive)? Or do they let things slide until things are in a bad state of repair and need a total overhaul (also expensive). Are most of the units owner occupied or rented? Typically owners take better care of the building than renters.
- Unwritten Rules –sometimes there are ridiculous, “unwritten rules” that pop up once you’re an owner. For example, “We don’t do laundry when it’s raining because the water from the rain combined with the water from the washer floods the basement apartment” or, “We don’t put our air conditioners in the middle window of our units because some air conditioners drip water down the front of the basement and onto the basement apartment’s entrance”. Ask about this unwritten rules and be prepared for them (because inevitability one of these with catch you by surprise.
At the end of the day it is important to know as much information as possible so you can make an informed decision. Remember to use a reputable Real Estate Sales Person who understands the Local condo market here and can assist in showing and taking care of negotiations etc. If you need any advice or are looking to purchase a condo or loft in the Waterloo Region please don’t hesitate to give me call at 519-579-4110 or email direct to firstname.lastname@example.org
This entry was posted on May 26, 2014 by kevinbakerrealestate. It was filed under Buyers, Kitchener Waterloo, Loft Style, New Construction, Sellers, Uncategorized and was tagged with CMHC, condo selling, condo value, downsizing, first time buyer, kevin baker, kitchener, kwhometeam, loft, loft apartments, loft buying, loft selling, market update, new construction, real estate, realtor, remax, sales reps, twin city realty, update, waterloo region.