7 great tips for first-time condo buyers

A REALTOR® has the expertise, local market knowledge and experience with the buying and selling of condos and this professional is all about helping you — a REALTOR® gives you peace of mind.

Manitoba has regulations regarding condos. You can learn about the act which includes buying and selling, ownership and operation of condos.  It’s good to educate yourself and your REALTOR® can guide you with their knowledge.

• Learn about different types of ownership. Just as there are different kinds of buildings, there are different kinds of legal ownership, too, like leasehold interest, freehold, tenancy-in common and joint

• Compare condo fees. There are differences — so you’ll want to know what is and isn’t covered when looking at your monthly and annual budget.

• Learn the rules, bylaws and regulations. Read about the by-laws and unit owner rules and how they will be enforced. They can work in your favour — like sparing you a neighbour’s late night party.

• Ask about occupancy. If you plan to rent out your condo, make sure it’s allowed under the rules. Likewise, you may want to know if you’ll be sharing space with temporary renters such as students.

• Look beyond the unit. Some questions you may want to ask include: Is the building well managed? Does it have a healthy reserve fund? What special assessments have been done in the past? What work needs to be done in the future?

• Get the right insurance. The insurance included in your condo fees only covers common areas
and the original building. It’s up to you to purchase condo insurance to cover your belongings and what happens inside your unit — like water damage or accidents.

• Volunteer with your condo’s board of directors. If you want a say in what happens, consider participating in your condo association’s board of directors — but keep in mind you only get one vote. Regardless, it’s a good idea to keep up with what’s going on and bring any concerns you might have to the board’s attention.