4) Realize that condos mean relinquishing control. "Even if you're on the board of directors, you're still only one person and you're making decisions on behalf of many people. You want to enter into a condo purchase understanding that you're giving up control over how your home is run, the way the hallways look, and how the corporation is run as a whole." Bottom line: there are rules that have to be followed and you need to be okay with them, even if you don't totally agree with them all. Those rules can cover everything from whether you can have pets to the kinds of window coverings you're allowed to use.

5) There are financial considerations. "If you're considering buying a condo it's always wise to make your offer conditional upon review of the status certificate and the condominium documents which allow you or your lawyer to see budgets and financial statements, insurance policies, management contracts, rules and regulations, bylaws and all that stuff." In other words, you want to be sure the company you're buying into is in good financial standing.

6) Old or new, it's up to you. There are advantages and disadvantages with both older and newer condos. "Newer buildings have growing pains," says Brian. "You're buying a floor plan but there are always variations in what a builder promises and what you get. There are usually deficiencies or mistakes that need to be rectified." In contrast, with an older building you know what you're getting and there's a financial track record you can review. "But things break down and they have to be paid for," he points out, "so you have to make sure there's a good reserve fund that will be able to cover those costs."

"Most people move to a condo because it's easier to maintain and it's an easier lifestyle," says Brian, "but there are advantages and disadvantages. It's a big decision that needs careful consideration and it's not something you decide on overnight."




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