Buying a condo? Check strata minutes off your list. Telling you that the real estate market in Greater Vancouver is hot is like telling you that water is wet. We’ve had an extraordinary number of people in the month of May with both buying and selling real estate. A lot of buyers are in the market for condos – with this comes a nice stack of paper we like to call strata minutes. What do we do with them, and why are they important?
- Read all available minutes in chronological order. This will usually answer any general questions you have about how the building operates. We will always request the most recent two years. Be sure to keep a list of any unanswered questions you might have!
- Understand your responsibilities. Requesting copies of referenced reports can tell you about insurance policies and claims, how your monthly strata fees will be spent, which parts of the property belong to you and to the strata, as well as the potential future costs you (and the strata) may collectively incur.
- Understand your restrictions. Some condos have strict pet or rental bylaws which have been put in place for a good reason, but may not fit your personal needs. These restrictions will also tell you more about the strata environment you live in (example: if there is a no-rental restriction in place, your neighbours will most likely be fellow condo owners).
- Pay attention to specific complaint reports! On top of understanding the condo community, you also get to know your neighbours and get a sense of units or areas in the building you may have difficulty cohabitating. Sketchy neighbours are difficult to deal with.
- Have a competitive edge when placing offers! By reading these minutes and documents ahead of time, you are in a better place than other potential purchasers of the property in that you already understand the building, and can remove the subject to review these documents. Remember that your REALTOR can request these documents for you quite easily – another reason why you should use a REALTOR when purchasing property.