Though condo buying may be a solid investment for first time home buyers and investors, jumping into a condo deal can’t be that easy especially when there are so many things that the buyer has to be wary about.
CBC Calgary dives into condo buying, taking a week long analysis of the problems related to unobtrusive leaky condos which have homebuyers shelling out extra money to remedy their situation.
Take Tracy Hyrhoruk for example, an unlucky victim who unknowingly purchased a leaky condo. Tracy had purchased the condo, a practically brand new townhome in Calgary’s inner city, for $160,000 right before the boom. This had seemed perfect until she came home one night to find the entire floor flooded. Her initial conclusion was that the dishwasher had leaked, until she realized that the entire perimeter of unit was flooded. According to Hyroruk, water kept coming and they could not stop it.
She and her boyfriend later on discovered that the stucco on her on her condo was so thin and her wall porous, a violation of the building code. In the end she had to pay $75,000 for reparation fees.
Not the first case Condo living case
However horrific Hyroruk’s story may seem, the more terrifying part is that her story is simply one out of many. The unfortunate truth is that despite Calgary and Alberta’s boom in the last decade, there are a number of rundown and leaky condos that pass off as great deals.
Architect Tang Lee, who specialised in building envelope repair has claimed that he has fixed a number of Calgary condos and that this leaky condo crisis is comparable to the leaky condo crisis that invaded BC a decade ago. According to Lee, a number of these types of buildings have been constructed and are put up in a way which does not make it a viable long term investment. They are constructed quickly with the use of inferior materials which undermines it quality.
Beause of this haphazardly constructed condos problems such as roofing and windows not set properly, stucco that is too thins and decks that slope into the building instead of away from it.
Knowing the Signs
With his experience in repairing condos which suffer from leaks and shoddy construction, Lee claims that he can spot buildings with defects, even from the streets. Lee points out that simple things like water staining, or cracks forming or musty odor along the street or the condo’s interiors are red flags of being prone to leaks. What makes the situation difficult is that that there isn’t much consumer protection for condo owners facing big special assessments.
This experience has led Hyoruk to caution Condo buyers, and she herself, now a realtor, has been very cautious when it comes to selling client condos. She states “Nobody is there to protect anybody, it’s basically buyer beware”.
With this in mind, Calgary Condo buyers are advised to be cautious when it comes to condo buying. With so much at stake, and so little security and protection against such situations, the best bet would be to consult a Calgary Condo Pro to ensure a secure purchase. Contact your nearest Calgary condo realtor for more tips and suggestions on condo living and condo buying.
This entry was posted on November 23rd, 2012 by Josh Nelson | Posted in General