Hiring a Condo Review Specialist

Purchasing a home can be an exciting process in your life, not having the right information can make the process very complicated or tedious. Making sure that you are making a solid judgment that this is the best property for your needs is crucial. Purchasing a condo, especially in Calgary, can be a great opportunity to own your place. Many first time home buyers start off by purchasing a condo as their entry point into real estate. Some people purchase a condo strictly for investment purposes. There may be a variety of reasons why an individual would want to purchase a condo, Regardless of the reason, it is important to understand the basics of what a condo is, what are condo docs, and why they are important to review. 

What is a Condominium?

A Condominium, or Condo for short, is a privately owned individual unit within a building comprised of multiple units. Condo owners jointly own shared common areas, shared hallways, elevators, gym, pool, outdoor space, game/lounge, public patios/garden/green space located on the premises, etc. Parking may be titled or assigned. Titled parking means that you solely own the rights to the parking space.

What are Condo documents?

When purchasing a condo, there are often many documents to review consisting of By-laws, Rules/Regulations, Financial Statements, Budgets, and Minutes from Board Meetings, Annual General Meetings. These documents are often run by a hired property management company chosen by the board of directors of the condo. The board of directors is a volunteer position often by people living in the complex.

Why hire a Condo Review Specialist?

When purchasing a home, it may be one of your biggest purchases that you will make. Hiring a real estate professional is a great step as we are the second set of eyes for your future investment. Real Estate professionals, although knowledgeable, may not know what to look for when looking at condo docs, and it is wise to hire a condo review specialist to look over all the condo documents. We would also recommend hiring a home inspector for a resale home as the second set of eyes. Adding the condition for a condo review specialist is a very similar process to a home inspector.  When negotiating the offer, this is where you would put a deadline to receive all the documents from the seller, you would also put a deadline so that you have sufficient time to look over all the documents.

Hiring a condo review specialist is optional (just like hiring a home inspector is optional), but it is an important step in ensuring that you may not be surprised with any outcoming expenses in the near future that might increase your condo fees, or worst-case scenario would be a special assessment notice to pay a hefty amount to cover a cost that was not budgeted in the condo docs.

My personal experience with Condo Review Specialists has been very positive and pretty straight forward. First. you or your Real Estate Agent would provide all the documents to the Condo Review Specialist that you hire (most realtors have a few people that are recommended, but it's easy to Google/Internet search one that is in your local area). Second, the specialist will notify you if they are missing any documents that they still need (whatever is missing). Third, the specialist will summarize all the documents and mark out any areas of concern. Forth, the specialist will contact you (mostly, it's been through a phone conversation or zoom call), and go through their document of findings, and this is your opportunity to ask any questions. The specialist provides an unbiased look at your condo from the eyes of the condo board. They should provide you with some estimate of when major expenditures will happen at the condo that you are interested in. But those can be highly inaccurate as sometimes major things like HVAC, roof, windows, elevators fail before the anticipated replacement will happen. 

If you are looking to purchase a condo in the Calgary market, please feel free to reach out to me at amandaku@cirrealty.ca and we can have a discovery meeting to learn about what you are looking for regarding your real estate needs. I hope this article has been beneficial for your condo search. If you are purchasing a townhome that also has condo fees, it is also important to go through this process of hiring a condo review specialist. 

Posted by AMANDA KU on


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