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Essential Checklist for When You Want to Buy a Condo

by James Cummings on Feb 20, 2020

Buying a condo has its pros and cons, but it is a completely different experience from buying a single unit, a family home, or a detached house.

When you buy a condo, your apartment is completely within the boundaries of your walls, but the outside of these walls is considered joint ownership; this is something that residents own and manage together in a cooperative. When purchasing one, please follow our condo purchase checklist to make sure that you know exactly what you're getting into.

Here is our condo inspection checklist:

Ceiling and Floor

When deciding if the condo is right for you, you will want to look for stains on the ceilings or floors. 

This may indicate a problem with the roof or mean water is entering the building. Another thing to pay attention to is the distance between skirting boards and floors; you will want to do this because loose tiles or wooden boards can show traces of previous water damage in the home.

Walls and windows

This is another important part of the condo's checklist. 

Check the walls of the apartments for cracks. Cracks in the walls indicate a problem with the foundation of the building. The roughness of the walls can be as a result of water problems on the property. 

Additionally, stains on the windows or walls can clearly show mould problems. 

Finally, remember to open and close windows at least a few times to make sure they function properly. 

Age

Buying a condo is an investment, and you want your investment to retain its value. 

In general, concrete buildings retain their value and quality longer than wooden-framed buildings. 

Although there are many excellent wooden frame designs, they become less attractive for resale after reaching 15 years of age. 

In no way does this mean that you do not have to buy a building with a wooden frame, but you have to consider the investment time in relation to the age of the building.

Strata Disputes

The strata minutes report will let you know if the property is actively involved in legal disputes. This is important because costs of legal disputes will be covered by owners or come from the strata contingency fund, which everyone must contribute to.

Necessary Documents in Connection with the Condo Suite

Let's face it: not all real estate agents function in the same way. Many real estate agents will try to encourage clients to buy without due diligence. However, a reliable real estate agent will not only connect you with suitable apartments for sale, but they will also make sure that all the necessary checks are done before you make a purchase. 

For example, when you purchase or rent a condo apartment, the status certificate received for it contains some information about reports on repairs, renovations, or maintenance updates that are expected in the coming months. 

You need to know about the estimates of the major structural costs that may be coming your way. Also, it is important to know if you will incur any fees for upcoming repair or renovation projects. 

It can be a clear sign of low funds if the maintenance is poor in the building. 

A low-reserve fund can prove to be a problem and a factor in your decision-making process. Before signing the dotted line, you will want to know what is being maintained in the building and how well the job is being done. 

Electrical system and HVAC

Before purchasing a condo, you will want to have the electrical installation of the apartment and the HVAC system checked by a professional inspection team.

If there is a centralized structure in the condo that you are reviewing, this should be looked into with greater consideration. 

It is also important to check the general function of the systems in the building. In addition, you can call an electrician to properly test all the power outlets and check the possibility of any fire hazards in the property. 

Remember, this is a very serious matter and should not under any circumstances be ignored from the condo inspection checklist; the repercussions can be very serious if this part of the list is neglected. 

Condo Exterior

One final tip to add to your apartment checklist is to look at the outside of the condo. 

While many feel that this has nothing to do with their home, the outside of the building actually provides a good insight into the level of maintenance the apartment receives or requires. 

You will want to make sure there are no water stains on the walls or even cracks because these could be signs of something serious. Also, you can check that there is enough light near the entrance of the building (for safety reasons). 

Finally, if you are visiting during the winter months, you can verify that the pavement is free of snow and ice. 

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