Buying a Kelowna waterfront condominium
It requires quite a bit of money to buy a Kelowna waterfront condo and have access to the beach. If you take out a mortgage, the costs are even higher. Here are four tips that will help you avoid making mistakes.
- Know what you’re buying
When you buy a home, there’s no doubt in anybody’s mind as to what you’re buying: the home and the yard and any other structures on that yard, and you own them free and clear. With condos, you’re buying space. In the question of what you own, the property lines start in the center of the exterior walls and goes to the other side or the center of exterior walls.
For the common areas such as the land and the building it is a shared interest with the other owners of the strata. And that means it’s not enough to just like the unit you are planning to buy, you need look at the common areas. If there are going to be repaired to the common areas, you’ll be required toyou’re your share of the expenses.
- Know the association
You need to take a close look at the budget and at minutes of the meetings.
The financial statements should show that there’s enough money in the contingency fund to cover monthly costs (garbage collection, maintenance crew, etc.) and enough reserves to cover predictable but not monthly work the building will need (painting the hallways, changing the carpeting in the hallways, etc.). That means there should be at least 5% of the association’s gross operating budget.
You should ask what’s the percentage you own jointly (the things outside your condo unit that you own). You can estimate how much you would have to for special assessments and how much voting power you have.
And, since we’re talking about special assessments, find out if there are any coming up. Find out when the last one happened. If in the last few years, find out why it was necessary, why the expense had not been anticipated. Also, find out when were the last few times that the regular association dues were raised. Too many over a short period of time indicate something’s not right.
Know your association also means you read the master deed and the declaration of covenants, conditions, and restrictions carefully. Reason one: you need to know what you can and cannot do in your condo unit and in the condo building/project before you invest money. Reason two: it will give you a better idea of how your neighbors view themselves, what they value.
- Know your neighbors
It’s best to buy in a complex that the other property owners have similar situations to yours. For two reasons:
Some of them will be on the board of directors either now or in the future, creating rules, the rest will be voting for or against those rules. It’s best if you’re in the first group. But if you’re voting for and everybody else is voting against, you’re going against.
- Find out about insurance
Yes, the association will have insurance. But that insurance doesn’t cover everything you buy when you buy a condo. Find out what is not covered and buy your own coverage for that part of your property.
Other than that, make sure that you do a lot of check for yourself as this would ensure that you are up to date with all the happenings and the situations in terms of prices and what is the kind of features and services that you can look out for from the side of the owner of the condo that you want to buy off.