The home buying process can be exciting and fun or it can be a time of stress and anxiety. This is greatly affected by what process or plan you have implemented. It will also depend on the type of Home Ownership you have decided to pursue.
There will be common factors like:
- Establishing your budget and Level of Risk Tolerance
- Getting Pre Approved
- Contact Your Real Estate Professional
- Determining Wants and Needs
- Review of properties currently available
- Physical introduction to suitable properties.
- Educating yourself on neighbourhood and surrounding area.
- Shortlist Properties
- Make Conditional Offer on preferred Property
- Review of Documentation
- Arrange Inspection
- Remove Conditions
- Complete Purchase
- Move in.
Step 10 is pretty straight forward when buying a house because you will only be reviewing about 5 to 7 documents depending on the property. Purchasing a strata titled property (Condominium) is much more complicated. You will need to ensure your plan includes a review of all Strata Documentation. Your Real Estate Professional will be able to guide you through this part of the home buying process.
Home Buying Process – Documents To Review
- Title: What is registered against the title and how might it affect your property. Restrictive Covenants or Easements, and Rights of way will remain on the title so know what they are for.
- Occupancy Permits: Has all work been completed and an occupancy permit provided.
- New Home Warranty: If the property is newer (less than 10 years old) it should have some New Home Warranty coverage.
- Developer Disclosure: If it is a new building or owned by someone who owns more than 5 units a Disclosure Statement may be available.
- Strata Property Disclosure Statement: The Owner will have completed this disclosure letting you know more details.
- Strata Plan: This one is key to understanding what it is you are actually buying.
- Bylaws: Even in the simplest of Strata’s there is a set of Bylaws. Strata’s can have restrictions as to Children, age, Pets, business etc. Know what they are before you buy.
- Strata Plan General Index: Bylaws, designations of Limited common property can change. These need to be registered in order to be valid.
- Form B (Information Certificate): The Strata Council will issue the form b and provide information on Parking, storage, contingency reserve, etc. It is important to compare this info to other info you receive. We once received documentation saying the parking was Common Property when the Strata Plan correctly identified the parking as Limited Common Property. There is a difference.
- Form F: Usually obtained to ensure payment of strata fees is up to date.
- Depreciation Reports: Became mandatory in BC on December 14 2013. Not all strata’s will have one since they are still able to waive the requirement by a 2/3 vote at a strata meeting. If one is available, this can be a very valuable document in your decision making process. These documents are typically long (40 pages) and include a broad range of information.
- Engineers Reports: If there are any, you want to have the opportunity to view them. They will cover structural and geological issues of a strata.
- Inspections: The Depreciation Report is a big inspection of the entire strata. An inspection will reveal any short comings of the Unit itself. These could be leaks under the sink, tub enclosures, electrical deficiencies etc.
- Minutes of Strata Meetings: Whether AGM’s, council or special meetings these documents are important. They will contain correspondence as well which can give an indication if anything odd is taking place.
- Legal Opinions: The form b will tell you if the Strata is involved in any lawsuits.
- Budget and Financial statements: Very important to know the financial strength of the strata.
- List of owners is sometimes available for review as well.
Making major decisions involves going through a process. The home buying process must have a strong plan to be successful. A strong process leads to wise decisions.
Strata Titled Properties and the Home buying Process is our specialty. A complicated transaction can benefit from an experienced guide. Knowing what red flags to look for could save you from grief later on. Please contact us if you are needing help in locating the right property or if you are needing help with your review of your documents.
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