Condo Board Questions to Ask

Condos are a popular first step into homeownership and desired by seniors looking for low-maintenance living. Purchasing a condo is quite different than if you were buying a single-family home and there are some questions you will want answers to before you finalize your purchase.

Having a professional condo document review completed before removing the condo document review condition is highly recommended to ensure you know exactly what you are getting in to and determine if the property will actually suit your needs.

  • How much is in the reserve fund? This fund is vital as it is how repairs and maintenance will be financed. A skimpy reserve fund might mean a special assessment if something like the roof, for example, needs to be replaced.
  • Are there or have there been any special assessments on the building? A special assessment is an extra charge an owner is expected to pay, on top of your monthly condo fees, in order to complete the repairs. I have heard of special assessments ranging from a couple hundred dollars to an almost whopping $80,000 so this one is really important to ask about. Reading the minutes of the meetings can also give you a clue as to whether a special assessment might be coming down the pipes.
  • What is included in the condo fees? Common things included the fee include management, reserve fund contributions and landscaping/snow removal. It might include some utilities like water, electricity or heat. Determining what is included will not only help you budget but might eliminate the property as an option if the fees are too high.
  • What is your policy on pets? Most, if not all, condo corporations have a bylaw that determine what kind, the number and even the size of pets you can have in the residence. Some require approval of your furry friend by the board of directors before allowing them in the home. If you have a pet of any kind, make sure that the condo you want to purchase will allow them to avoid heartbreak on closing.
  • What amenities are available? Check out what the condo has to offer when you are viewing the property and, again, look to the minutes and budget for some additional insight. There might be a gym, outdoor areas, party room or pool and seeing what shape they are in will help you determine if management has been staying on top of maintenance. You also want to consider the upkeep costs of amenities when it comes to the balance of the reserve fund.

Your condo document review professional should address these and will provide additional insight to other considerations to help you feel empowered in your decision to proceed with your condo purchase. Here is another CREA blog that also covers some points to think about. And remember, I’ll be with you every step of the way to help you make the right decision for YOU. Visit me on Facebook and Google for more awesome buyer tips and tricks!