Are you looking to buy a condo in Greater Vancouver? If so, here are a few strata terms you need to know to ask the right questions before you make an offer;
Strata – In a strata development, the unit you purchase is called a strata lot. The common property is the rest of the development- for example, hallways, elevators and garage.
Strata Corporation- This is the name of the entire complex including individually owned strata lots and common property.
Strata Council – Strata regulations dictate the obligation to set up a strata council. The council is made up of elected strata owners and the mandate is to oversee the affairs of the corporation.
Maintenance Fees – Each strata lot is assigned a portion of the strata expenses based on size of the unit. These expenses include operating expenses like gardening, insurance, snow removal, window cleaning and professional strata management. Typically, maintenance fees are paid once a month. When considering purchasing a strata property, it is important to budget for this monthly cost.
Contingency Fund – This fund is important to look at when purchasing a condo as it is used for unexpected expenses or expenses that occur less than annually. A strata with a healthy contingency fund is good!
Special Levies – A special levy must be voted upon and approved by the members and would be for exceptional repairs of the building- if the contingency fund is not adequate there is a higher risk of a special levy being required. Special levies will be recorded in strata meeting minutes and must be voted on by strata members.
Depreciation Report – Shows common property, common assets and what the strata corporation must repair and maintain. This report is important to review before making an offer as this (along with the contingency fund) will give you a good overview of how well maintained and funded the building and property is.
If you are purchasing a strata property in this market, make sure you and your Realtor review all of the strata documents, strata minutes and get legal advice for anything out of the ordinary.
If you would like more information on strata terms, please contact us.
We would love to work with you on your first or next strata purchase!