Blog › June 2017

Buying a Strata Property


 

buying a strata property

When buying either a Condo or Townhouse take the time to understand the basics and the rules governing the many aspects of strata properties. Here are a few things to consider.

Be sure to review the Strata Property Disclosure Statement, the maintenance program, the contingency fund, the warranty program, and any other important documents relating to the purchase.

Review strata council minutes

Look at minutes for the past 24 months along with by-laws, financial statements, Annual General Meeting minutes, and engineering reports that may have been completed. Look for past problems, previous repairs, special assessments, and upcoming expenditures.

Depreciation reports

Strata corporations are required to obtain strata depreciation reports every three years unless they hold an annual 3/4 (three quarter) vote to exempt, or there are four, or fewer, strata lots.

A depreciation report helps strata corporations plan for the repair, maintenance and replacement of common property, limited common property and common assets.

The report must contain: 
 •   A physical inventory of the common property and assets. 
 •   Anticipated maintenance, repair and replacement costs for common expenses projected over 30 years. 
 •   A financial forecasting section with at least three cash flow funding models.

Depreciation reports helps strata corporations, including bare-land stratas, plan for the repair, maintenance and replacement of common property, limited common property and common assets over a 30-year period.
 
Depreciation reports provide useful information to strata lot owners, prospective purchasers, mortgage providers and insurance companies.

Ensure a maintenance program

Does the Strata you are considering have a solid preventative maintenance program in place?

Check the contingency fund

Since a portion of strata owners’ monthly maintenance fees must go into a 'contingency fund' to pay for extraordinary repairs, such as a new roof or exterior painting, it pays to know if the contingency fund is large enough to cover any upcoming expenses.

Review the Strata Property Condition Disclosure Statement

Completed by the Sellers this a checklist about the property's condition. You should carefully review it for any defects or potential problems. The statement can be legally incorporated into the Contract for Purchase and Sale.

Investigate the warranty program and builder’s background

Regardless of whether the condo is new or resale find out what type of warranty the building carries, noting the limits and duration of coverage.

Hire a professional home inspector

Make sure the home inspector has proper accreditation and carries errors and omissions insurance. Have them inspect the condition of the suite, common areas, and the overall building structure.

We specialize in Condo and Townhouse sales, give us a call.            

 



Suggestions for a smooth moving process


 

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6-8 Weeks Before “Move-Out Day”

  • Create a “move information” file; store important information checklist, and receipts for moving-related expenses.
  • Contact your insurance agent to transfer property, fire, and auto insurance.
  • Organize dental & medical records; be sure to include prescriptions, eyeglass specifications & vaccination records.
  • Wills, stock certificates & other one-of-a-kind items (jewelry, photos, home videos) are difficult or impossible to replace. Plan to carry them with you instead of packing them.
  • Research childcare options in your new location. Arrange for transfer of school records for yourself or children.

4-6 Weeks Before “Move-Out Day”

  • Take an objective look at what you own, and decide what must go and what can be sold, donated to charity, or otherwise disposed of it before your move.
  • Get your mail moving. Canada Post has change-of-address cards to help you with this task. Don’t forget to give forwarding address to your employer, lawyer, accountant, etc.
  • Since you will want to have your utilities (electric, gas, phone, etc.) still connected on moving day, arrange to have them disconnected from your present home on completion day.

3 Weeks Before “Move-Out Day”

  • Start packing, remembering to label your boxes. Set aside items you’ll need immediately after you move (medicines, change of clothes, toiletries, etc.)
  • While you are sorting through your belongings, remember to return library books and anything else you have borrowed. Also remember to collect all items that are being cleaned, stored or repaired.

2 Weeks Before “Move-Out Day”

  • Clean and clear your home including closets, basements and attics.
  • Properly dispose of flammables and dangerous household items such as cleaning fluids and garden weed killers.
  • Drain all the oil and gasoline from your lawn mower and power tools to ensure safe transportation.
  • Plan meals that will use up the food in your freezer.
  • Call your bank to find out how to update the address for your bank accounts. Don’t forget to clear out your safety deposit boxes if your moving out of area.

1 Week Before “Move-Out Day”

  • Start cleaning your current premises. Empty, defrost, and clean your refrigerator and freezer, and clean your stove, all at least 24 hours before moving.
  • Back up your computer files before dissembling and packing your system.
  • Prepare a “Trip Kit” for moving day, containing the things you’ll need while your belongings are in transit.

“Move-Out Day”

  • Stay in your home until the last item is packed.
  • Do a final walk-through of your old residence, check closets, drawers, lights, lock all doors & windows.
  • Clean premises one final time.
  • Return keys to your landlord or your Realtor.


Preparing Your Home For Sale


 

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Are you thinking of selling your home? If you’re one of the many homeowners who choose this time of year to move — whether you’re trading up or down, or relocating — you’re probably starting to prepare your home for the sale.

Before you become overwhelmed by the task, it’s a good idea to sit down and look at your home objectively. An attractive, well-kept home generally has a better chance of selling a little faster. When selling your home, the saying “first impressions are lasting ones” is very true.

Curb Appeal

An inviting exterior ensures that potential buyers will have a great first impression so it’s important to keep your lawn and hedges trimmed and edged, the flower beds cultivated, and your yard free and clear of clutter. 

Missing shingles or damaged eavestroughs should be replaced. If you have aluminum or vinyl siding or trim that’s quite dirty, hire someone to clean it with a power washer.

If you have a garage, make sure the door is clean and in good working order. Make sure the inside of your garage doesn’t look too cluttered or unorganized. Keep patios, walkways and decks clear.

Insider Tips

You can do a lot on the inside of your home as well without spending a great deal of money. Two primary areas to keep in mind are the kitchen and bathroom. These two rooms of your home are generally of prime interest to potential buyers. Make sure they are tidy and clean. Scrub sinks, toilets and bathtubs. This applies to kitchen appliances as well, clean them until they shine.

If you have laminate or hardwood flooring ensure that it shines and is dust free. Make sure tile entrance floors look clean and bright. If you have carpet in your home you may want to rent a steam cleaner, or hire a professional carpet cleaner. If you are a pet owner keep in mind that pet odours become trapped in carpeting and furniture and this can deter prospective buyers.

Give your home a thorough cleaning, get to those easy-to-miss spots that need a good cleaning. Wash down the walls, windows and woodwork. Clean out the cupboards and under the sink, dust the tops of baseboards and wash or dust all window coverings.

Show Your Homes Potential

Keep in mind that rooms that have too much furniture will give the impression that they’re much smaller than their true size. Create a feeling of spaciousness by removing bulky or unused furniture and making the best use of your space.

When you go through spare rooms and cupboards and find items you haven’t used that items in a while, and if you’re not likely to in the next few weeks, pack them away. 

Take clothes that are not in season out of your closets and make sure that potential Buyers can see that there is lots of room for them to put their own clothing. 

You can get a head start on moving by cleaning off bookshelves, mantles and flat surfaces of items that make a room seem busy. A few more things you could consider to clear away are toys, extra bedding and unused sports equipment. 

Pack up what you no longer need and donate it to charity or give it to friends or family members who may have a use for it. Why move those items to your new home? 

Consider renting a storage locker or using a family members basement to store your extra items while your home is up for sale.

Some Final Thoughts

If you haven’t made substantial improvement or changes over the years, it’s not a good idea to take on major renovation projects simply to sell your home. This can be an expensive and lengthy procedure and there are no guarantees that you’ll be able to recover all of your costs. Instead, try to determine what types of minor cosmetic improvements can be made, like general cleaning and painting. These projects generally don’t require a lot of capital and your home can be greatly improved by them.


Give us a call and we will give you a no obligation consultation to see what types of improvements make the most sense to assist you in getting the best price for your home. We can be reached at 604-240-8302