Densification and population growth, combined with affordability constraints, has led more and more of the housing stock in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley to become stratified condo units. There are several things to consider if you are looking at the option of purchasing a condo.
No two condo buildings are the same as they all have different construction quality and repair histories. It is important to receive the help of a buying agent to study things like strata corporation meeting minutes and to review depreciation reports. This is necessary to get an accurate picture of the physical health of a strata condo building, as well as an understanding of the financial strength of the strata. Doing due diligence like this can help a condo buyer identify the potential for future shocks, like special assessments.
Below, I've summarized some of the pros and cons of condo ownership in the Vancouver area of British Columbia (BC).
PROS OF CONDO OWNERSHIP
CONS OF CONDO OWNERSHIP
Amenities: Condominiums usually have amenities such as swimming pools, gyms, and community rooms that are available to owners.
Maintenance: The strata association takes care of many maintenance tasks, such as landscaping, snow removal, and exterior maintenance. There is far less time and physical maintenance involved with owning a condo versus a detached house.
Security: Condominiums usually have security features such as locked entrances, cameras, and security personnel.
Affordability: Condos are often more affordable than single-family homes, making them a good option for first-time buyers.
Location: Condos are often located in urban areas with easy access to public transportation, restaurants, and entertainment.
Strata fees: Condominium owners must pay monthly fees to the strata corporation, which can increase over time. The increases can sometimes be steep in the event of things like insurance cost increases, for example.
Lack of Privacy: Condominium owners often share walls with neighbors, which can lead to noise and privacy issues.
Limited Control: Condominium owners have limited control over the common areas and must abide by the strata rules and bylaws.
Resale Value: Condos may not appreciate in value as quickly as single-family homes, and they can be harder to sell.
Special Assessments: Condominium owners may be subject to special assessments for unexpected repairs or improvements to the building or common areas.
If you are in the market for a condo in the Vancouver area, then please contact me today to discuss your options. As a buyer's agent, I can help you navigate the purchasing process and find you a good unit, at a good price, in a good location.