Before buying a strata property, it really helps to have a REALTOR® as they are specialized in the real estate lingo, laws and rules. Also, some properties and information on properties can only be obtained through a REALTOR®. Since buyers don't need to pay their REALTOR®, it doesn't hurt to have one. Feel free to contact Karson Wong (604-307-8183) to see if he's the best fit to be your realtor!
Here are seven steps to buying a sound strata property:
1) Review Strata Corporation records.
Obtain copies and read:
- minutes of annual and special meetings, including resolutions the results of votes;
- the registered strata plan;
- budget and financial statements;
- depreciation reports;
- engineering reports;
- the Information Certificate (Form B) including information on monthly strata fees and special levies; and
- bylaws and rules including age restriction, pet bylaws and smoking bylaws. If you're looking for a pet-free building, understand that service animals are permitted. If you want to buy a strata to rent as a short-term rental such as an Airbnb or VRBO, check whether this use is allowed in the building.
Look for past problems, previous repairs, special assessments, and upcoming expenditures. To investigate bylaws, talk to the strata corporation.
2) Ensure a maintenance program is in place.
Read Strata Council documents and talk to members of the strata council.
3) Check the contingency reserve fund.
A portion of strata owners’ monthly maintenance fees are set aside in a contingency reserve fund to pay for extraordinary repairs, such as a new roof or exterior painting. Find out whether the building has a substantial contingency fund to cover any upcoming expenses.
4) Review the Strata Property Disclosure Statement.
Sellers are required to complete this form, which serves as a checklist for buyers to address concerns about the property's condition. It should be carefully reviewed for any defects or potential problems.
5) Investigate the warranty program and builder background.
Whether the condominium is new or resale, your Realtor can find out what type of warranty the building carries, noting the limits and duration of coverage. He or she may also be able to help you obtain background information about the builder/developer of the project.
6) Consult with a professional home inspector.
Consider hiring an accredited home inspection professional (one who carries Errors & Omissions insurance) to inspect the condition of the suite, common areas, and the overall building structure and major building systems and equipment.
7) Check if there are parking and storage facilities and electric charging stations.