There is more involved then just buying a house. With a condo you are also buying into the management company and how it’s run, other owners, a condo fee increase,a reserve fund and potential immediate maintenance expenses, so there are some things you need to know before buying.
All offers can be conditional upon reviewing the condo documents. In our Annex B, part of the promise to purchase, there is a clause B2.5 that is meant just for condos. It is clearly written:
“REVIEW OF CO-OWNERSHIP DOCUMENTS This promise to purchase is conditional on the BUYER’s examination of the declaration of co-ownership, including the regulation of the immovable and the following documents:”
This is where it is important to have your agent write:
The budget, minutes of annual meeting, reserve fund, and financial statements. I also include: condo fees letter, insurance certificate, municipal and school taxes.
The buyer has a time period to receive and review these
documents. If the buyer is not satisfied upon examining the documents and wishes to withdraw the promise to purchase, he notifies the Seller in writing within seven days of receiving the documents and the promise to purchase becomes null and void.
There are many things to consider, and this is just food for thought:
- How helpful is the president or treasurer of the association when you approach them for information?
- Is the building clean and well maintained?
- Are you allowed pets and barbecues?
- Is there enough money in the reserve fund to pay for any work that the association is talking of doing (you’ll see that in the minutes)?
- Are all the owners paying their condo fees?
- Is there a management company hired or are the owners running the association?
- Is the association maintaining and checking the furnace and roof?
- Are the condo fees low and when jobs are to be done, everyone splits the costs?
- You’ll also know after the building inspection if some major jobs are coming up.
Just remember that all buildings whether it be a house or condo, will be needing maintenance every year. It’s the big jobs you are looking out for. For example: roof, re-pointing the bricks, re-modeling the entrance, new heating system, foundation work, windows, balconies, etc…
For more information on condos in Quebec, you can visit: Condo Legal