Things to Know When Buying a Townhouse or Apartment

Things I need to know when buying a condo for the first time.

Through out the years we’ve helped many first time home buyers, and often they are quite confused and feel the stress of information overload. Besides the actual purchasing process, there are other things you will come across at the time of Completion.

Strata Fees and Move In Fees

Strata fees, or monthly maintenance fees, are adjusted according to the day of Possession. In addition to that, you might be charged for next month’s strata fees, as well as move in fees plus any damage deposit if required. Your legal representative will adjust for these accordingly so you won’t have to worry about making these payments at the time of moving.

Strata Documents Form B & F

When buying a townhouse or apartment, you will come across many strata documents including meeting minutes, engineering reports, bylaws…etc. Your notary or lawyer will obtain a Form B (Information Certificate) and a Form F (Certificate of Payment). The cost of ordering these documents varies, but generally cost between $35-$50 each when ordered with a 7 days’ notice. Rush fees are charged if these forms are required within 7 days.

Do I Need Insurance? When?

This depends on the type of home you are purchasing:

Single Detached Home – Your lender (bank) will require you to purchase insurance oh the property, and the effective date should start on the day of Completion. As a buyer, you must make arrangements for your own insurance.

Townhouse/ Condo – The building insurance is arranged by the strata, and it is included in your monthly maintenance fee. However, you should consider purchasing insurance for your personal content, upgrades to the property and of course, liability. This is not required by lenders, it is your personal choice.

Tenant Occupied Property

If the property you are purchasing has an existing tenant, you need to understand the rules and guidelines for landlords and tenants. It is best to familiarize yourself with the Residential Tenancy Act or start by reading ” What Every Landlord and Tenant Needs to Know”.

There are many other issues that first-time buyers will come across, when in doubt, always ask your Realtor or seek independent legal and tax advice.