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Thinking about making the jump into purchasing a condo?

When buying a condo you are buying into a piece/partnership of a Condo Plan. This ownership comes with strict rules "Bylaws" to abide by for your home/unit/building/complex. The bylaws can apply things like pet restrictions, age restrictions, business restrictions, parking restrictions, building guidelines/restrictions, and more! All Condo Corporations must abide by the Alberta Condominium Property Act which has set starter guidelines of operations. 

The Acts states condo funds must go into a Reserve Fund (account) which is for paying for the maintnenance, repairs, and renovations of the Condo Plan (building/complex). To help ensure this Reserve Fund is being properly funded, a Reserve Fund Study is done. These studies must be completed every 5 years and are a professional, comprehensive inspection of the condominium's depreciating property (the building, roof, heating system, plumbing, entrance doors, elavators, parkade, paint on walls, eavestroughs, piping, etc.). The study confirms what the current condition are of everything and helps establish suggested timelines for costs of repairs, renewals, and provides an idea of when things will potentially be end of life. Which this information is needed to detemrine if the Reserve Fund balance is accuratley funded. 

The Condo Board which is made up of unit/home owners of the Corporation (usually 2/3rds are owners/mortgagees). The board runs regular meetings (usually monthly) called "Minutes / Minute Meetings". This is where they will discuss the condo complex and its operations. Concerns that come up with the complex, things that are broken in the building, insurance claims, plans to upgrade, renovate, remediate, as well as visions for the future. All of these bits are discussed during meetings. Being a part of these meetings is very important as an owner! As this is your access to being part of the conversation and decisions! Remember if the board wants to split the $80,000 parking lot upgrade as an assesssment to each owner. Instead of simply withdrawing it from the "Reserve Fund". These meetings is where those decisions are voted on and made. Which all of this information in the end is translated and held by the management company in the condo documents. 

The condo board hires a property management company (some self management) to run the Corporations affairs. The managment companies role is just that, manage. Manage the building/complex repairs, maintenances, snow removal, bills, financials. As well as holding all the corporations information and documents together in one place. Which we call all these documents "Condo Documents". Condo Documents consist of all the important information that are key pieces required for your purchase!

Just because its professionally managed doesnt mean its being done right! It is extremely important to have this Condo's health & management reviewed and assessed! This is done through a professional review of "Condo Documents". One of the most important parts of your purchase is this review of these condo documents! Think of it as part A to your inspection. A condo document review often uncovers the financial and operating health of the complex. Are you buying into a money pit with problems, mismanaged, and assessments ahead? Or does this complex appear to be well managed, financially stable, and a great place to invest in? Keep in mind you will still want to have the interior of the unit inspected (part B) as this will be where you tell the condition of your interior unit. The appliances, the seals in the shower, the plugs on the wall that should be changed to GFI etc. All interiors are often your responsiblity which you can find out what is your respnsiblity and whats the condo corps responsilbity by lookin in your bylaws. The building health and financials, all that information is located within the condo documents and will be a key deciding factor of your purchase and this partnership!

Feel free to reach out with any questons you have!

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