5 Unique Things to Remember When Purchasing a Condo

Posted by Joel Gwillim on Tuesday, February 5th, 2013 at 10:20am.

Now we all should know the standard items to look into from viewing my “Condo Purchase Checklist”, but here are 5 things you may overlook or easily forget when viewing...

STORAGE // Does the suite come with a locker? Is the locker titled or assigned? If so, make sure you measure the locker as you want it to be essential for seasonal items – ie. bike, skis, snow board, hockey gear, baseball equipment, Christmas tree – the list can go on and on especially in a city like Calgary because of the accessibility of amenities. Is there a storage space in the unit for linens and such? Storage becomes a big issue once you move in so make sure there is enough for you to feel comfortable, or else you will have to set aside a weekend of purging!

CONSTRUCTION // Is the condo a concrete or wood frame complex? This makes a huge difference in noise and overall fire safety. In addition to generally being safer, concrete buildings have less suite to suite noise, meaning you should rarely ever hear your neighbor. Wood frame construction will make you susceptible to hearing side to side and up and down. Does the condo have post tension cables? Calgary condo buildings built in and around the late 1970’s and early 1980’s were commonly built with post tension cables. If so, check out the latest Engineer’s Report and make sure the Condo Corporation is up to date with it and have a financial plan for any possible repairs.

VENTING // Does the stove hood fan vent outside the complex or does it circulate? Not a fan of unidentified aromas? Well this is definitely something to check out then. Some older complexes ventilate throughout the complex instead of outside. Think of when you walk down a hallway and can smell what everyone is or has been cooking. All the different mix of smells is most likely not a pleasant fragrance, so consider checking into this. If the building has air conditioning, verify if it is regulated in the suites, hallways and if it is recycled. If so, then opening up your balcony door for fresh air a couple of times a week would be prudent.

OWNER OCCUPANCY RATE // This percentage is available through your Condo Management Company. It is recommended you enquire about the number of actual owners occupying the entire complex. Owners occupying their suites have an invested interest into the building and typically take better care of common areas – lobbies, hallways, amenity rooms, garbage rooms, parking garage, etc. The last thing you want as a proprietor is to have to dip into the financials to replace something carelessly done by someone that is not as invested into the project as you are.

GARBAGE LOCALE // Is there a garbage chute on each floor and where is it located? Does the complex have a main level garbage room and/or recycling program? These are imperative items to look into as they will affect your day to day life. How inconvenient would it be to not have a chute on your floor and have to take the garbage downstairs or outside to a bin every time? Now answer that question while in winter conditions too! A recycling program is a great indicator of how up to date, devoted and environmentally active a condo board is as well.

So remember, don’t get too caught up on the looks and cosmetics of a condo. Go back at least twice to view all the things you may have overlooked or didn’t consider when visiting the first time.

Interested in hearing about another topic? Just let us know! Click to search for your next condo!

Committed to your success,

Joel Gwillim


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