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Buying a Condo

Condo Specialist

Not all Realtor's are created equally.  Nor do they have the same qualifications!!

The My Calgary Real Estate Team is proud to hold the Certified Condominium Specialist designation.  Purchasing a condominium IS different than purchasing a single family home.  Make sure your Realtor is prepared!!  Contact Us so that we can help you weed through the complexities you need to consider prior to purchasing a condo.



What is a condominium?

A condominium is a type ownership where certain parts of the property (the units) are owned by individuals, and certain parts (the common elements) are owned in common by the unit owners, all of whom are members of the condominium corporation (the organization responsible for the operation of the condominium). Ownership of a condominium means you own the specific unit plus individual interest in the common property. You have ownership over all space and improvements within the walls of your unit.

It is very important to know that you are buying the condominium building first and then the unit, so make sure you like the building and its financial position. I will assist you with this.

What are condo fees?

A condo fee is a fee that each owner is charged to cover the expenses of the complex and individual unit. For example, in a high-rise condominium, the condo fee includes all utilities, plus building insurance, management and reserve fund contributions.

When the plan is registered at Land Titles for a condominium, a separate title is created for each unit. And shown on each title is the owners share in the common property, which is expressed in "unit factors". This "unit factor" can be based on the units proportionate square footage or the initial market price in comparison to the rest of the complex. A budget is prepared for a condominium complex, and the fees are allocated according to the unit factor of each condominium unit.

Are there property taxes for condos as well?

As there is a separate Title for each unit, there are also property taxes for condominiums. They are also calculated based on the unit factor.

What is a reserve fund?

A reserve fund is money that is set aside for repairs, maintenance, or improvements. A portion of the condo fee is used for this fund. In the budget planning stage of the condominium corporation, it is important to analyze the state of repair of the complex, and decide what percentage will be required to do the necessary items. It is important to have a reasonable reserve fund because if there is a shortfall, all the units would be assessed. Condominium corporations usually plan for their future expenditures accordingly for their reserve fund.

Who manages condominium complexes?

The owners of the condominium either hire a management company, or the owners set up their own management group and do it themselves.

 

There are many differences between buying a condominium vs. a single family home.  The My Calgary Real Estate Team is fully versed on all things 'condominium'. With the accredation of CSS (Certified Condominium Specialist), the team can ensure you are well educated on what it means to own a condominium and what the implications are to you as a purchasor.