Top 10 Condo Buying Myths

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The property manager controls the building

The property manager is responsible for the day to day operations of the condominium corporation, but it is ultimately, the board of directors, who are voted in by the owners, that control the building.

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Condo living requires no maintenance

Condo living requires LOW maintenance, as an owner you are responsible for daily repair and maintenance within your unit.  The boundaries of your unit are clearly defined in your declaration and bylaws.  Be sure to understand what you are responsible for.

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Condo corporations can hand out fines

The Ontario Condominium Act does not allow the condo corporation to hand out any sort of “fine” to a unit owner. They can however recover costs from a unit i.e. if the unit owner damaged something in a common area the corporation can recover the costs to fix said damage.

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There are strict rules when living in a condo

At first glance condominium corporations may seem to be overly strict. What is overlooked by most people is that the rules are in place to protect the majority of residents.  Owners can bring forward bylaw adjustments to their condo board on an annual basis at the annual general meeting (AGM).

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Condominiums are for senior living communities

There are more young professionals and first time buyers purchasing condos due to the urban locations and affordable pricing. The community in condominiums are tailored to the people living in the condo.

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Condo units are too small

Condo units can be all kinds of different sizes, you will find builders who are able to do more with less, this means maximizing spaces to make the units feel bigger.  Some builders use high ceilings or extremely functional layouts to accomplish this.

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No pets allowed

Some condos allow pets, some do not.  In condo’s that allow pets, well behaved pets are a must.  More and more condominium corporations are open to allowing their owners to keep pets in the condos.  Be sure to check into bylaws or investigate the rules and regulations with the condo board.

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Condo fees are a waste of money

Many buyers believe that condo fees are a waste of money and that buying a freehold is a better option as there are no additional fees.  Condo fees go towards the maintenance of the building, for example, while owners of freehold units have the option to purchase snow removal or to do it themselves, condominiums have contracts in place to ensure that things like snow removal are taken care of.  Water and building insurance are included in most Ottawa condos; these are additional expenses that the owner of a freehold unit would have to pay every month.   

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Interim occupancy is like renting a home that you own

Interim occupancy fees are fees paid to a builder between the time that you are given occupancy to your condo and the time that the condominium corporation is declared.  While the purchaser may feel like they are paying for nothing, they are paying interest on the balance they owe on the condo, they are paying estimated property taxes and the condo fees on their unit.

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Concrete buildings are superior to wood frame construction

There are pros and cons to both wood frame and concrete construction.  While concrete is typically built in high rise condos, wood frame is now available in condo buildings up to six storeys in Ontario.  In addition to being less expensive to build and in turn to purchase, wood frame construction is able to deliver high Sound Transmission Class (STC) levels.  How the building is constructed will have a huge impact on the rating, make sure to talk to your builder about soundproofing techniques.

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