If you've lived in one or more stand-alone homes during your life, you may be familiar with the process involved in their purchase and sale. However, if you've reached a time in your life where you want to downsize and make your everyday existence simpler, you may now be thinking about buying a condo or apartment instead. While you can always rely on your life experience with regard to negotiation and other matters, you will need to be aware of how to navigate this market if you are going to be successful in your endeavours. What are some of the primary differences when buying a property like this?
More often than not, a condo or apartment will be part of a strata community. This term reflects the fact that there are multiple owners within one larger piece of property, and each of these owners has specific rights when it comes to the ongoing management and maintenance of the community.
Each owner will become part of an owner's corporation. This legal body is responsible for managing the common property, including walkways, garages, swimming pools, landscaping and major structural items such as external walls and roofs. On the other hand, each owner will be individually responsible for their own unit and everything between its walls.
Usually, the owner's corporation will appoint a management entity. This professional agent will look after the everyday affairs, maintain accounting records and deal with contractors whenever repairs or maintenance issues are involved. The managing agent will also coordinate special meetings that will need to take place at least once per year, during which major decisions are made by a quorum of individual owners.
As a new owner, you will have certain rights and be able to have your say in how the building is maintained and managed. Voting rights are typically based on the area owned by the individual as a proportion of the total property footprint. In other words, someone who has a three-bedroom penthouse is likely to have a higher ratio of voting rights than another individual who may only have a one-bedroom apartment.
Much to Consider
As you can see, there's a lot more to consider when you buy into an owner's corporation. This is why it's more important than ever to work with an experienced conveyancer from the start. They will help you do some research to ensure that you are buying into a strong and well-managed venture, so you can put your money to good use. Contact a local conveyancing service to learn more.