Buying an apartment for sale in Ottawa and owning an apartment condo is a different undertaking than buying a freehold house. There are certain, specific reasons buyers look for when they decide to buy an apartment condo. Perhaps they cannot afford a townhouse or a single house yet. Or perhaps the buyers want to live in the centre of downtown of a major city. Others appreciate the amenities many modern condos come with. Many buyers decide to downsize to keep costs and maintenance issues to a minimum.
If you decided to buy a condo or looking for houses for sale in Barrhaven for whatever specific reasons, there are some important questions to ask. So what questions should you ask when buying a condo?
Top Questions You Should Ask Before Buying an Apartment for Sale in Ottawa
Are there any ongoing complaints other owners ask at the condo board meetings that do not get resolved? Try to obtain the condo board meeting minutes and see what the owners discuss. If the association is not quick to fix common complaints find out why and who is making the decision.
The Condo Management
Ideally, it is best if you and your real estate agent can talk personally with the condo manager or at least, the condo superintendent. Further, talking to some of the neighbours is always a good idea. There are some condos that are self-managed and have no property managers. This could lower the monthly condo fees but this also results in much closer ties with your neighbours. Some owner prefer this method, others prefer a more arms-length approach of hiring a property manager to deal with the day to day issues.
- Storage lockers
Storage lockers in condos are a highly sought-after amenity. The condo apartment itself may not have much storage space. An extra storage unit for bulky items such as Christmas trees, tires, bicycles and storage boxes is an important consideration.
What does the insurance cover?
Obtain a copy of the condominium’s insurance policy or at least have a thorough discussion to know what precisely is covered. This is important in any condo building newly built or resale. If you get the actual copy of the insurance takes it to your insurance broker to over it together.
In Ottawa, you will have to get your own insurance for your unit and belongings. Some condos, however, cover such vital elements as the unit windows and doors while others may not.
- How long are you planning to keep your condo?
Condos generally appreciate at a slower rate than freehold houses in the same area. Ottawa is a stable real estate market but it is always a good practice to plan in medium to long term when you invest in real estate. There are no ways to predict future price fluctuations but aim for at least 6 to 7 years before you sell the condo if you look for a profit.
- What is included in the monthly condo fees?
Condo fees are calculated based on how many units there are, the size of the unit, and the fees are based on what it costs to maintain the property short and long term. Make sure you get the condo corporations financial and legal document with all attachments and send it to your real estate lawyer for review. There should be a safe amount of Reserve Funds for general and unexpected issues that may arise in any structure, such as roof leakage, garage door replacement, window replacement, elevator servicing etc.
Keep in mind that new or almost new apartment condos often have lower fees than more established ones. The condo fees tend to increase faster during the first 3 to 5 years of the building’s completion. So if you are thinking of buying all-new Apartment or houses for sale in Ottawa, the low condo fee may increase within the first couple of years of ownership.
What is a special assessment?
Occasionally just about any condo owners have to pay a special assessment fee. Generally, this occurs when the Reserve Fund needs more money to fix a specific and expensive issue. All owners must pay this fee and the amount varies greatly.
Is the condo pet-friendly?
Condo communities can and do have their own set of rules. They can prohibit renting the apartment units or can specify the size of pets. Some do not allow any pets. You want to find a condo that fits your lifestyle. If you have a pet, or you happened to be allergic to pets make sure to find out the condo rules about them.
Buying a condo is not simply buying a home. You are buying part of a larger structure and you will be part of a community. Make sure you find out as much as you can about the community, the management team and the rules of the condo before buying a unit. small affair. Condos, however, are often ideal for many buyers and should be taken into consideration as you start thinking about owning a home.