Attention Condo Buyers!
Condos are an attractive choice for many young soon-to-be-homeowners because so much is taken off their hands: maintenance, garbage collection, and snow removal are services rolled into a unit owner’s monthly condo fees, leaving more time for work and play.
But the act of buying a condo should never be done without care and attention to details. In 2016, an Ottawa woman brought a class-action on behalf of over 100 condo owners, claiming the builder had failed to deliver on promises (such as storage space which was to have been included) and burdened owners with unexpected costs (the water tank, rather than being included, had to be rented at $89 a month).
No-one should have to spend time they could otherwise be enjoying their new home by making court appearances and paying legal fees. To help potential condo buyers, this article from the CBC has a few hints to help you spot a scammer:
Work with a Realtor: Realtors are there to help you distinguish what is included in a deal and what isn’t. They are also there to make sure you have all the facts about a unit, and keep you grounded when you fall in love with a building.
New condo buyers can take advantage of the 10-day cooling off period: In Ontario, there is a ten-day period in which a buyer who has signed a contract with a developer can back out of the deal, penalty-free. This period begins when you receive a copy of the fully signed purchase and sale agreement, or the disclosure statement. (Please note: this applies only to new condos; there is no cooling period on resale condos)
Hire a lawyer: Having an experienced pair of eyes to look over all your paperwork can take some of the pressure off buyers who aren’t proficient in legalese. During the cooling period, sit down with a lawyer and look at what has been signed; if your lawyer has concerns, changes to your contract can be brought to the developer, giving you time to back out if need be.
Finding the home for you can have you wearing rose-coloured glasses, but don’t be blindsided by a less-than-full disclosure from the salespeople you are dealing with. Rely on the advice of professionals who have your best interests at heart!
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