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Buying > Choosing a Condo

Choosing a Condo

There are two types of condos: divided and undivided. In a divided condo, the buyer is the sole owner of his apartment. He has the right to sell it, rent it or bequeath it as he pleases. However, property in the common areas, such as the land, the hallways, the elevators, etc., is shared with the other condo owners. In rarer cases, the condo can be undivided. This means that buyers have a common mortgage, rights and obligations.

A co-ownership syndicate (Board of Directors) is elected by the co owners to handle the building’s management. To fully enjoy community life in your condo complex, choose a building whose occupants have a similar income and professional status as yours, as well as other common interests. This will ensure greater harmony.

The condo’s location is another important factor. Choose a well located unit. An interesting view, a peaceful environment and good lighting, along with the proximity of services and transportation, will enhance your unit’s resale value.

The unit’s surface area and quality of construction are also key factors. While some luxury buildings are designed with a private or semi-private entrance for each unit, condos do not always offer the privacy of a single-family home. Make sure the condo has adequate soundproofing.

What services are provided within the building? Is there indoor parking, a pool, a sauna, tennis courts, workout facilities? For instance, indoor parking can increase the value of a condo, but access to a pool is of little value if you don’t swim. Remember that condo fees cover the maintenance costs of all equipment and services whether you use them or not.

When you sign a promise to purchase for a condo, be sure to make it conditional on the review of the declaration of co-ownership and an inspection. Have this document examined by a lawyer or notary and carefully read all of the condominium’s rules and regulations (house pets, parking). Also find out the amount of money kept in the reserve fund, particularly in the case of older buildings.

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