Purchasing a condo is quite the commitment for first time buyers and experienced buyers alike. And just like with any major commitment, there are many factors to consider. After all, you want to choose the condo that’s best suited for your needs— and the only way to do that is to gather all relevant information.
This is why knowing which questions to ask when buying a condo is so critical. Potential buyers are responsible to do their due diligence before investing in a property. If you forget to ask a question or go into the buying process blindly, you could find yourself stuck with a property that isn’t all you thought it would be.
So, before you invest in a condo purchase, we highly encourage familiarizing yourself with the questions below:
1. “What Does Condo Insurance Cover?”
This is a question all Alberta condo buyers should keep top of mind. Most condominium insurance plans cover common property from damage and destruction, as well as the cost of lawsuits that may occur due to accidents in these common areas. But each condo board is different and can choose which insurance policies they invest in. Before buying a condo, you should ask them to explain their policy. Do they have crime coverage? Who is responsible if a water leak occurs within a unit? Asking these questions up front will save you from being left holding the bag should something go wrong in the future.
2. “What Will My Condo Fees Cover?”
This is another component of owning a condo that can vary significantly. Typically, your condo fees will cover the cost of utilities for common areas, building insurance premiums, maintenance fees, and reserve fund contributions— but this isn’t written in stone. Plus, if your condo community has desirable amenities (like a pool or tennis court) your condo fees will likely be higher to reflect the costs of upkeep for these areas. To avoid any confusion, it’s best to ask for a detailed list of items that are covered by your monthly fees while you are touring condos for sale. This way, you can make an informed decision based on your personal priorities.
3. “How Many Owners VS Renters?”
Here we have another must-add to your list of questions to ask when buying a condo. A high number of rented units could be a warning sign of trouble to come. In general, owners tend to take more pride in their units and condo communities than renters do. When a high percentage of units are occupied by renters there may be an increased likelihood of disturbances or recurring issues that affect all residents. Furthermore, a high number of rented units could reflect dissatisfaction amongst condo owners. Why are they choosing to rent out their units? Were they unhappy living in the community? These are important condo questions to get answers to before you move in.
4. “Are There Any Lawsuits or Pending Litigations?”
This is one of the trickier questions potential buyers need to be aware of before purchasing a piece of Alberta condo real estate. The key here is to ask about both previous lawsuits and pending litigations. In many instances, condo boards will say they have not had any lawsuits while completely omitting the fact that there’s currently an ongoing dispute. Tenants suing the condo board could be indicative of poor management of finances, building disrepair, or other unlawful practices— all of which could impact your quality of life.
5. “Are There (Or Have There Been) Any Special Assessments?”
Much like the lawsuits question above, the answer you get from this question will depend on how you ask it. A condo board may omit the fact that there is an on-going special assessment and simply state there haven’t been any assessments to date. If there have been special assessments (or if there’s currently one underway), be sure to request a copy of the assessment so you can gain a better understanding of what it entails. It could require tenants to pay a large lump sum, which you’ll want to know before seo strategies making a commitment.
When you know what to ask before buying a condo, you can avoid headaches in the long run. Be sure to do your research and prepare a list of questions to take with you while you search for your ideal unit.
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