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Worried that the condo you buy will have hidden traps and expenses? Here’s what you need to do to go ahead with peace of mind.

How to Avoid Key Risks when Buying a Condo
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If you're embarking on the purchase of a resale condo unit, there are a number of factors to take into consideration to ensure you are buying a sound property. Follow these pieces of advice and you can go ahead with peace of mind.

Condominium unit inspection

The details of each building inspection depend on the municipality and on the individual building inspector. If you are purchasing a condominium, make sure your inspector specializes in condominium inspections. The building inspector should look at the unit’s plumbing and electrical systems, appliances, and all exposed areas such as balconies, patios, and decks. Depending on your budget, you can also ask the inspector to report on the electrical room, boiler room, roof, parking space or garage, and storage space. Inspectors will also inspect common areas such as hallways, lobby areas, and stairways, if asked to do so. Some building inspectors will also read strata corporation minutes, property disclosure statements, building envelope reports, and engineer reports.

Before you hire a building inspector, ask what services are provided and at what cost. Some inspectors prepare a written inspection report filled with comments and suggestions as well as photos.

What areas of a condominium may need repair?

Two areas of condominium property that may need repair are the interior common areas and the building envelope. The interior common areas are stairwells, hallways, lobby areas, and garages. A building envelope includes all the building components that separate the indoor conditioned space from the outdoor unconditioned space. Samples of building envelope include the exterior walls, foundations, roof, and outside windows and doors. A building envelope failure means that any or all of these areas have water ingress caused by wind, rain, and air pressure.

A problem building envelope may exist if there are visual signs of wood rot, peeling paint, cracked or missing sealants, water flowing down the sides of the building, pools of water on the decks with no drainage system, windows that are wet on the inside. Further, when reading through the minutes, if there is no regular inspection and preventative maintenance program in place, this may be a sign of potential problems.

Protect yourself from a “leaky condo”

“Leaky condo syndrome” has put a serious dent in the home buyer market in some cities, notably Vancouver and Victoria. Your realtor should provide you with a disclosure statement from the seller, minutes, title search, an engineer’s report, and a building envelope report

- See more at: http://www.rew.ca/news/how-to-avoid-key-risks-when-buying-a-condo-1.2155331?rew.ca/news=rew.ca/news#sthash.vJo3ge9j.pRa4ohxP.dpuf

Posted: Monday, February 15, 2016 7:12 AM by Shannon Babcock Prec

Attachment(s): buying-condo-preconstruction.jpg

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