Friday, November 16, 2007

Checklist for condo buyers in the GTA

Checklist for condo buyers


(NC)-It feels like there's a construction site on every road these days in Canadian cities as builders try to keep up with the never-ending condominium boom.

For people considering purchasing one of these units, it's important to know the differences in ownership compared to a typical home purchase.

Kathleen Waters, a specialist in real estate law and vice-president, TitlePLUS, offers this checklist for condo buyers:

1. Condominium Certificate: in many provinces your real estate lawyer will normally obtain a certificate from the condo corporation which may include important details such as monthly shared expenses and pending legal actions. The certificate may also show how much in reserve funds the condo has, which could affect future fees.

2. Lifestyle issues: condo rules can have an impact on lifestyle issues, such as whether you can have a pet in your unit or a barbecue on your patio/terrace. Your real estate lawyer can help you review the rules to make sure your lifestyle fits the bill. If you can, it is good to decide this with your lawyer before you sign an agreement to purchase.

3. Property rights: your real estate lawyer can also explain what property rights you will have. For instance, will you actually own your storage locker or parking space, or will you just have exclusive use of them?

4. Condominium governance: usually a board of owners oversees the working of the condo corporation and has a great deal of influence over how the building is run. If possible, potential buyers should learn as much as they can about the board and the character of the building.

5. Special issues for new developments: for those buying a just-built condo, it's important to be aware of whether there will be phasing, which means developers will build more units on the same site. This can result in delay in the availability of shared amenities.

6. Title insurance: this can protect homebuyers from costs and complications in the event that something does go wrong with a legal matter related to their new home. Many of the claims from condominium owners relate to financial matters, some of which could not have been detected before closing.

A useful resource for people looking to buy a home is the TitlePLUS Real Simple Real Estate Guide, available for free at The guide provides important information on the role of a real estate lawyer and also offers useful calculators, a glossary of terms and a locate-a-lawyer tool. Article courtesy of:

First time condo buyer information

Search the MLS or read more about Interest Rates, Power of Sale Properties, Price Trends and more at my website. Homes for Sale

Thank you for reading my blog and if there is anything else I can help you with please don't hesitate to contact me,


A. Mark Argentino
P. Eng. Broker
Specializing in Residential & Investment Real Estate

Thinking of Selling? Best Mortgage Rates Current Home Prices Search MLS
RE/MAX Realty Specialists Inc.

Providing Full-Time Professional Real Estate Services since 1987

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