Blog by Andrew Peck

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Find a Solid Strata Property

Find a Solid Strata Property

During the past decade, there have been many media reports about leaky condominiums.

Here are seven steps to finding a well constructed condominium apartment.

1. Review Strata Council Minutes.

A REALTOR® can get copies of Strata Council minutes for the past few years as well as by-laws, financial statements, Annual General Meeting minutes, and engineering reports. Carefully review all documents, looking for problems, repairs, special assessments, and slated expenditures.

2. Review the Strata Maintenance Program.

The property manager will help you determine whether the building has a solid preventative maintenance program in place.

3. Check the Contingency Fund.

A portion of strata owners’ monthly maintenance fees must go into a “contingency fund” under the Strata Property Act, to pay for extraordinary repairs, such as a new roof. Find out the amount of the contingency fund so that upcoming expenses are covered. A low contingency fund is a warning. If you buy an apartment and soon after the building’s roof needs repairing you could face a high assessment.

4. Review the Strata Property Disclosure Statement.

Sellers must complete this form. Look for defects and potential problems.

5. Review the Warranty and the Builder.

You need to know exactly what type of warranty the building carries, including the limits and the duration of coverage. Knowing who the builder is and their track record will also help you make your buying decision.

6. Hire a Home Inspector.

Make sure you the home inspector you hire is accredited and carries Errors & Omissions insurance. Have them inspect the condition of the suite, common areas, and the overall building structure.

7. Go to Homeowner Protection Office Website.

Review information or ask questions at www.hpo.bc.ca and select Buying a New Home or phone 604-646-7055.

Sources: Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.

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