What is the difference between a Toronto condo and an apartment?
Condo refers to a type of ownership not a type of building. A Toronto condo usually takes the form of a high or low rise apartment style building. However, some condos could be in the form of a factory loft or town house. When you buy a Toronto Condo what are you actually buying?
1) The physical unit that has a title to the space.
2) A portion of the common elements in the building. This portion is a percentage relative to the size of your unit, the bigger your unit the higher percentage ownership you will have of the common elements. Common elements tend to include: elevators, hallways, the lobby and any other communal spaces i.e. gym, pool.
3) The use of exclusive-use common elements. Some of these may include a parking spot, locker, balcony ect. The rights to exclusive use elements come with the unit, so if a parking spot is sold separately from the unit than it is not considered an exclusive use common element. What are maintenance fees? These fees are paid to upkeep the building and the common elements. A unit’s maintenance fee is proportionate to the size of the unit as compared to others. The bigger your unit the more you pay. Each month a part of the fees are set aside to build up the reserve fund for any major repairs.
Who is the Condo Corp? The condo corporation is made up of all owners in a building. As a member of the corporation you have the opportunity to vote for the board of directors. The board handles the business affairs of the corporation. Is my prospective Condo Corp in a good position? A status report contains the pertinent information that will tell you if the building is in a good or bad situation. The creation of a status report is a legal requirement in Ontario. The status report outlines the following: - All units percentage ownership of common elements - All units rights to exclusive use common elements -
The condo corps rules and regulations - Any special assessments that outlines planned major repairs - Recent financial statements and budget If you are submitting an offer to buy a Toronto condominium, you should include the condition that the purchase is conditional on the review and approval of the status certificate. If the building is not in good standing it should be clear to your lawyer or Toronto real estate agent upon review of the status certificate. Is a condo a good investment?
As with any real estate, a condo could be a good or bad investment. It all depends on the building and the market. There are some great condo investments in Toronto and there are also some terrible investments. Look to the advice of your Toronto real estate agent as to whether the building you are looking at is a good investment. Building inspection, should I have one done? It all depends. Many buyers of new buildings will not bother with an inspection, but you may want to consider having an inspection done on older buildings.
An inspection should include the review of the major systems to ensure the necessary repairs are anticipated and planned by the condo corp. Is condo living right for you? Condo living is not for everyone. It offers convenience, security, and amenities that would not be available in a home at the same price. First time buyers find condos a good option as it is usually a good amount of space for the price. Baby boomers are also finding condos a great option as they are more convenient and less work to maintain than a home.
But in the end any individual may find some condos features that they like and perhaps some that they do not. About the Author: Evan Sage is one of only a handful of award winning Toronto real estate agents . Evan instills in his clients the confidence to make the right purchase or sale decision by providing a wealth of free resources on his website evansage.com to educate buyers and sellers in Toronto.