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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.