Are you made out for condo living?
Friday Dec 21st, 2018
Condo living does indeed come with a lot of perks – perhaps the very fact that you own property is lucrative enough to make many people opt for the condo life. However, when you look away from the greener pastures, condo living is accompanied by its own bevy of hassles. For instance, you might think that a condo living is just a financial commitment, but it is also a social undertaking as well. If you are thinking of investing in luxury condos in Toronto, here are a few things to consider if you want to make the most of your condo life. If you have never lived in a condo before, it could be rather hard to know how condo living could affect your life.
Mortgage isn’t the only cost that condo owners have to contend with. When it comes to mortgage, a mortgage calculator or a similar tool can be employed to determine a favorable interest rate on your loan, but you also need to factor the homeowner's insurance and condo association fees in your budget. The association fee usually covers the insurance and general upkeep of the condo complex and common areas. For instance, if the building paint wears off or the gate to your complex's parking garage needs to be changed, your money could go towards these repairs. In addition, condo insurance could come as a blessing in the event of a major incident affecting the entire complex. Fret not, you are not being embezzled and your paid fee is always trackable.
Your condo bylaws normally break down all these fees and expenses for your benefit. Get yourself acquainted with these expenses to circumvent any loopholes in your monthly budget. However, the homeowner’s fee doesn’t cover damages to your individual unit or potential theft. For this, you need to get your own homeowner's insurance policy.
The Social Setting
Since a luxury condo in Toronto means an enormous purchase, most people only think in terms of cents and dollars when they come in the buying mode, often overlooking the social aspects of the condo life. Various kinds of people fare well with different complexes, so it is better to get to know your prospective neighbors as well as your complex to determine if they are a good fit. For instance, a person easing into retirement might not do well to buy a condo next to a bunch of boisterous college boys.
Before finalizing the purchase, it won’t hurt to do a bit of research and introduce yourself to other residents as a potential buyer. Knock on a few doors and try to glean as much information from them as you can pertaining to the complex, especially concerns that real estate agents won’t placate satisfactorily. Even better, ask the same questions from different people to glean myriad perspectives. No sales pitch involved! Not only does it give you a chance to get to know the people you will be living next to, but it also allows you to judge if they are happy with the complex and its amenities.
Breaking Down the Agreement
Condo bylaws exist to make sure everyone is happy and residing harmoniously. Also known as covenants, conditions and restrictions, these bylaws govern residents. In essence, they are a legally binding document that all residents have to sign before buying in. Look over your bylaws to find out about the pets, parking, association fee, or any other rule that you might be expected to follow.
When going through your CCR, pay special attention to the remodeling, subleasing, and operating budget restrictions of the complex. If you are finding it a tough nut to crack to decipher the CCR yourself, you could have a real estate agent, or a lawyer look it up for you. Getting an expert opinion could really save you some unpleasantness down the road.
Make Your Voice Heard
Not all clauses of the bylaws would have you nodding in approval. If certain aspects of the bylaws are making you frown, you can always set things right without ruffling too many feathers. Sitting in on the homeowners' meetings is a wonderful way to get heard. The governing body of the complex gathers up at these meetings to discuss issues that keep cropping up for the complex. These meetings give you a chance to address your concerns and propose solutions in front of the governing body. However, the important thing here is to remember that you are not facing some faceless bureaucrats. Be polite when talking to your neighbors, lest you breed bad blood. While it is your right as a resident to make sure your needs are met, scrutinize if perhaps what you are asking for is unreasonable or could make life at the condo unpleasant for your neighbors. Pick your battles wisely when living in a close-knit environment.