Posted by Ryan Dutka . on Tuesday, June 13th, 2017 at 12:35pm.

Common Condo Questions

It doesn't matter whether you are a first-time home buyer or if you're an empty nester that has decided to downsize, buying a home can be a nerve-wracking experience. It's only natural that, as you meander your way through the complexities of the Edmonton real estate market, you'll have questions. Here are a few things you need to know when viewing condos for sale in Edmonton.

What other fees should I be aware of when searching condos for sale in Edmonton?

Strata Fees

Strata fees (or condo contributions) can vary from development to development. They are financial payments that are put toward the costs of repairing and maintaining common areas (ie: plumbing, HVAC systems, and landscaping.) Condo contributions can also be put towards a reserve fund (which is used to ensure that owners are financially protected from major repairs), administrative expenses, and insurance premiums.

Proportional Contributions

This is a hidden cost that can lead new homebuyers to get caught with their pants down. Although it is not as common in the Edmonton real estate market; these clauses will be found in the disclosure documents, especially for pre-build condo purchases. Proportional contributions obligate each purchaser of a unit to contribute to the cost of additional items, such as communal guest suites and the condo superintendent's unit. These costs are usually up-front costs and cannot be mortgaged. If you are thinking of purchasing one of the many Edmonton condos, hire a licensed real estate professional to assist you on your journey to closing a deal on your dream property in the Edmonton real estate market.

What is a strata council and who appoints them?

The strata council is a group of condo residents that were elected by the owners at the condo's annual general meeting (AGM). Also known as condo boards, they are responsible to act as the representative of the owners. They make the big decisions on the strata corporation's finances, which companies help service the building, and enforce penalties when strata rules are broken. Strata board members are legally obligated to strictly follow and ensure that all the rules for the condominium are compliant with the Condominium Property Act.

How low is too low when bidding on a piece of Edmonton real estate?

This is a tough question as it depends on a number of factors including:

  • The current owner's motivations for selling
  • How long the property has been on the market for
  • How much the owner has spent in upgrades/renovations
  • External factors such as comparable recent sales

If you bid too low, you run the risk of offending the owner to the point that they will refuse to do business with you. As a safe rule of thumb, you can take approximately 5% off of the asking price but a licensed real estate professional will be able to help you with preparing an offer based on other recent condos for sale in Edmonton.

Are home inspections necessary for Edmonton condos?

I can answer this in one word — yes! A home inspection should be a mandatory part of any real estate purchase to any potential buyer. They are especially important when purchasing one of the many condos for sale in Edmonton, because when you buy #222, you are also buying a portion of every unit in the building. A qualified home inspector will examine and spot any potential issues with other units and common areas. When it comes to purchasing condos for sale in Edmonton, you do not want to buy into a building where there are multiple faults as you could end up with a large bill to help pay for the repairs.

Some of the common things that a home inspector will check are:

  • Gutters and downspouts
  • HVAC systems
  • Water heating systems
  • Water penetration and foundation issues
  • Roof, vents and flashing

I hope that this has helped answer some of the questions that you might have as you continue your searching the many condos for sale in Edmonton. Be a good friend and share this blog on Facebook!

Have questions about buying or selling Edmonton real estate? Leave a comment below and I'll answer it!

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