Buying a condominium in Mississauga, Oakville or throughout the GTA is a good choice for many people. It offers an affordable housing option for first-time buyers, low maintenance requirements and possible access to amenities such as a fitness facility or a pool. Condominiums are often give owners the convenience of being close to work, shopping and cultural events. However, you should be aware of certain aspects of condominium living.
First, you must understand that the term "condominium" refers to the form of legal ownership rather than the type of building. Condominium can mean living in a high-rise or a low-rise building, a townhouse complex, or even some houses. Condominiums are made up of units and common areas. Your ownership extends only to the actual unit that yopu occupy. You may find that there are restrictions regarding major renovations such as installing new flooring, cupboards, plumbing, recessed lighting, etc. The unit typically includes any equipment, systems, finishes, etc. that are contained in the individual unit. The maintenance fee is required to cover the actual cost of "maintaining" all of the "common" areas in and outside of the actual building - such as hallways, elevators, and gardens.
The operation of the condominium is governed by provincial legislation and the condominium corporation's own declaration, by-laws and rules. Once registered, a Board of Directors, elected by, and generally made up of, the individual condominium owners, takes responsibility for the management of the corporation's day-to-day business. Each unit owner has voting rights at meetings.
Maintenance Fees, Rules and Regulations:
Board meetings are opportunities to understand and discuss how maintenance fees are being allocated and offer input into new rules and regulations. Attending and voting can keep Fees better controlled. This way you won't be surprised to find that the Board of Directors has elected to purchase a new hot tub instead of upgrading the plumbing for example! The condominium rules and regulations control a lot of what happens daily within the building. For example, all Condo rules dictate the number and size of pets allowed. The Board has the authority to force an owner to remove of a pet that is outside the rules.
The low-maintenance lifestyle and amenities of condominium living are very appealing. No more mowing the grass or taking the garbage out to the curb. The cost of such services is built into a monthly maintenance fee. By law the maintenance fees must take into account the inevitable need to repair or replace specific areas in the building, such as the roof, balconies, or garage maintenance. The Board must allocate a certain percentage of that fee to be put aside years in advance so that there is no need for special assessments and/or dramatic increases to Maintenance fees when the need for these repairs does arise (contingency fund).
Buying a Condominium:
When making an offer to buy a Condominium your Agent will put a clause in your offer giving your Lawyer the right to read and approve the "Status Certificate". This ensures you that the condominium is being run properly and that there is enough money in the Contingency Fund and that there are no law suits or serious costs coming up that would affect you down the road.
Be sure to read the rules and regulations for the condominium carefully to avoid unexpected surprises. If you own a RV or a boat, it may not have occurred to you that the building may not allow them, even in outdoor parking spots. If you like to barbeque, check to see if they are allowed on patios and balconies. Condominium rules also regulate the outdoor appearance of your unit; you may not be allowed to have a satellite dish on a balcony or affixed to an outdoor wall.
Your Sutton Group - Summit agent will be able to guide you to making to best choice for your desired life style. To contact one of our professional sales representatives, call (905) 897-9555 or select one from our "Agents" list in the top menu bar on this site.