Buying a condo can be pretty exciting especially for first time home buyers. Usually condo buyers take into account the square feet, the location, the aesthetics and of course the expenses. It’s easy to overlook a some details but CBC Calgary, along with Randy Smith, a partner in Williams Engineering suggest that anyone looking to buy a Calgary condo or a condo elsewhere should be wary of the following:
1. The Reserve Fund Study
What exactly is a reserve fund? A reserve fund are the funds collected to ensure that the condo board has an allocated fund to pay for any repairs or improvements on the building and it’s asset. Reserve fund studies are done to determine what the overall building needs are and this is mandatory for all condo corporations.
Smith points out that the condo reserve fund study should describe every component in the building, the more detailed, the better.
2. The Condo Board Minutes
To ensure that all concerns are discussed thoroughly and that you are aware of all the condo board workings, take time to read the condo board minutes. It is mandatory for each board to make minutes of the meetings available to all unit owners. More often than not, the problems with the building will be discussed in the meeting and this should be reflected in the minutes of the meeting, giving you a better picture of the condo’s needs.
3. Post Tension Cables.
Take the time to check if the building was built with post tension cables. Post tension cables are expensive to repair although this was the popular building method in Calgary back in the 70’s and 80’s. Steel cables are the safer bet as they run through the concrete, to increase the weight bearing ability and to minimize cracking.
4. Condo Fees
Condo fees, or condo contributions, are necessary so in this case, cheap isn’t necessarily better when it comes to monthly condo fees. These fees are used to repair and improve the overall business. Condos with low condo fees is usually a red flag as this makes you question why there isn’t enough money allocated for necessary repairs and improvements.
5. The Builders
According to Smith, it is important to learn more about who built the condo. Check if the people have been sued, and learn more about the architect to see his drawings.
So if you’re in the market for a Calgary condominium, run through different calgary condo listings, keep your options open and keep in mind these 5 things to consider. For better results and an easier transaction, find a condo realtor you can trust.