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What exactly is a CONDO?

A condominium is not a type of house but a form of ownership. The owner has title to a single unit, as well as a share in the common elements such as elevators or surrounding land.

Condominium living: what it really means.

What is condominium living? If you look at sales brochures for most condominium projects, you'll see phrases such as "Enjoy the freedom of condominium living". The glossy pictures that go with this campaign will show casually dressed people laughing. No worries or problems. No need to mow the lawn or be bothered by other chores. Go enjoy life. Your suite or townhouse is your castle and that's all you need to know. This is not the true reflection of condominium living.

There are three broad categories of home ownership: freehold, condominium and cooperative.

Condominium ground rules

Some condominiums prohibit pets of any kind. Others may prohibit the number, type or size of pets. All condominiums have rules governing the keeping of pets which if broken can lead to an order for the permanent removal of the pet from the complex. If you have a pet make sure you understand what the rules are.

Condominium Insurance

The standard coverage that is usually arranged includes the Building, Glass, Boiler and Machinery. Third Party Liability and Officers Liability. Each strata corporation has the right to make modifications the unit owner should determine what coverage is being carried by the Strata Corporation.

Leaky Condominium

There have been a number of articles and news stories on the leaky condominium problem in British Columbia. This is probably the first on-line article to go further in depth on the subject. Condominium owners who have gone through, or are going through this problem, are invited to E-mail the webmaster with their comments. A selection of these comments will be added to this site to assist other condominium owners.

Condominiums buying guide

Condos. Who needs them? That's what many prospective purchasers are saying when considering the purchase of their first home. I've talked to a number of developers and real estate agents on this matter and almost to the one, the downturn in the overall real estate market is a distant second reason buyers are avoiding a condo. Unemployment is down, prices are down, and interest rates are down. Consumer spending on retail goods is holding its own. People have money to spend and enough money in most cases to carry a mortgage payment that is usually equal to what they are currently paying in rent. So what's the problem? It's the leaky condo problem. It has tainted the condo market.

Co-op or Condo?

Condominiums: Owner has a deed for unit, has a separate mortgage, pays property tax on the unit plus a percentage of the common areas and pays a monthly maintenance fee. A board of directors governs the complex with the owner having one vote. The condominium owner has a fee simple absolute unrestricted ownership and is individually responsible for property taxes and maintenance fees. Use the sales price of condominiums with similar size, appeal, age, neighborhood, incurring similar maintenance fees, etc. to determine market value.

Disadvantage of condo ownership

For some homebuyers, condominiums are a godsend. They provide a means of building equity without the hassles of yardwork and other outdoor maintenance projects, as well as many of the indoor chores and financial responsibilities that single-family homeowners typically face.

How to Buy a Condo Right!

Buying a Condo? While Ozzie Jurock believes that other types real estate - such as townhomes, single-family and anything with dirt under its foundations - appreciates faster than condo product, this lopsided appreciation curve may change in five to 10 years. Certain areas the Lower Mainland of Vancouver, British Columbia (finite land base; high level of incoming population) - as well as elsewhere in North America - continues to expand in population and existing and contemplated condo units are swallowed up.

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