Buyer's Guide » Finding a Sound
and Solid Strata Property
good news for consumers who have hesitated to buy a condo because
of uncertainty about water penetration problems. Over the past
year, a tremendous amount of information has become available
to help buyers find a sound, well constructed home.
working closely with a Realtor, buyers can make a thorough and
educated investigation of a strata property before purchasing,"
said Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver president Dick Coates.
"Realtors have access to the resources and information
they need to help their clients assess potential problems in
purchasing a strata property, here are some evaluation measures
you can take with the assistance of your Realtor.
Strata Council minutes. Obtain copies of Strata Council
minutes for the past year or more, along with by-laws, financial
statements, Annual General Meeting minutes, and any engineering
reports that may have been completed. Look for past problems,
previous repairs, special assessments, and upcoming expenditures.
a maintenance program is in place. Reading Strata Council
minutes and speaking with the property manager will help you
determine whether the building has a solid preventative maintenance
program in place.
contingency fund. By law, 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. Find out whether the building has a substantial contingency
fund to cover any upcoming expenses.
the Strata Property Condition Disclosure Statement. Sellers
are required to complete this form, which serves as a checklist
for buyers to address concerns about the property's condition.
It should be carefully reviewed for any defects or potential
the warranty program and builder background. Whether the
condo is new or resale, your REALTOR® can find out what type
of warranty the building carries, noting the limits and duration
of coverage. He or she may also be able to help you obtain background
information about the builder/developer of the project.
with a professional home inspector. You may consider hiring
an accredited home inspection professional (one who carries
Errors & Omissions insurance) to inspect the condition of
the suite, common areas, and the overall building structure.
specialize in condominium sales and will be happy to speak with
you further about evaluating strata properties. You can also
visit the Homeowner Protection Office website at www.hpo.bc.ca
or call 1-800-407-7757 for a copy of their helpful booklet,
"Buying a New Home: a Consumer Protection Guide,"
useful for buyers of both new and resale homes.