Four Documents to Review Before You Buy a Condo


People in the market for condominiums have the advantage of easy access to the property’s documents. These records are a treasure trove of information about the building and how its management is generally handled. Here are some of the most important documents to review when considering buying a condo.



You can think of the condo declaration as a constitution of sorts. Within its pages are all of the rules, by-laws and stipulations for owning the condo, as well as the consequences should you lapse in your duties.


Review this document carefully to identify where your responsibilities lay and what you are permitted to do on your property. An attorney can provide you with a more in-depth interpretation should you have any confusion or pressing questions.


Master Policy

The condo association is required by law to have an insurance policy for their building. This policy may happen to cover certain aspects of individual units, or it may avoid coverage for any owner’s private property.


Review the master policy in order to determine what kind of insurance you will need to cover your property. You can sometimes avoid paying for redundant policies by being cautious in this way. It is important to know if you do not need fire damage insurance because the master policy already has that covered.


The Depreciation Report

Often known as a “reserve fund study,” these reports are a requirement of the condo association every three years. When they are performed, an expert consultant will come out to the building and inspect every single component of the common elements, specifically areas of the building used by all residents.


The consultant will calculate how long each component will last before it needs to be repaired or replaced. He or she will also outline a proposed financial plan for anticipating these costs well into the future.


A depreciation report contains a rich amount of information. If you take the time to read it, you will be able to see what state the building is in and any major costs you may be responsible for. You can also compare the condo association’s budget to the proposed financial plan in order to see how adequately-funded all of these future projects will be.


The Minutes from the Last Annual General Meeting

Once a year, the condo association will hold a meeting with all of the owners within the building. Any major problems will be discussed, and any concerns held by owners will be voiced.


Reviewing the minutes from the most recent meeting will tell you a great deal about how diplomacy is handled within that building. You will be able to see how disputes are resolved and what the common issues facing the building are.


With these documents in hand, you can have more confidence knowing that life in your condo building meets your lifestyle and expectations. To find the perfect condo for you, take a look at our Burnaby real estate listings.

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