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Jean Richer & Irene Bilinski
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Moving into a Condo - Things to Consider

Moving into a Condo - Things to Consider
 

Living in a multi-unit building tends to be different from living in a detached house and there are things that need to be considered. For one thing, since the neighbors are living much closer together, it is easier to hear the noise from other units and there tends to be strict rules about how much noise is permitted and when it is tolerated. Something else that needs to be considered is being able to compromise. You are not the only person who has a say and that will cut down on when things get done or how things look. It may also mean that there are things that need to be shared like a common laundry area. With reasonable notice, most condominium legislation will allow an authorized person to enter your unit to carry out any inspection and maintenance of the unit that is needed. Condominiums tend to be suited for specific lifestyles such as senior citizens and people who have young children. There also tends to be provisions regarding pets and these policies should be taken into consideration before moving in. In many condominiums, there tends to be several forms of security services such as security guards and closed circuit cameras in lobbies and parking garages to ensure the safety of the unit owners and authorized personnel. There are some condominiums that require guests to sign in and out of the condominium. There are many condominium owners that live in their units, but there are condominiums that rent a large percentage of units to other people. This is important to consider because there may not be as much pride in condominiums that rent a lot of its units as opposed to those where the units are owned and lived in instead of rented.

Noise

In a multi-unit, your neighbours are much closer, so you may hear them more. Many condominiums have strict rules regarding how much noise will be tolerated, and at what hours of the day.Noise can also come from the mechanical services such as plumbing, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems, elevators and garbage chutes. When purchasing a condominium, you may want to consider the location of these services relative to the unit you are thinking of buying. Additionally, when buying a new condominium, you may want to ask the developer if any sound transmission reduction measures have been used in the construction of the building’s walls, ceilings and floors.When buying an existing condominium, try to visit the unit during the evenings or weekend to get a sense of what the noise may be like at the time you are most likely to be in the building. Consider the location of the unit relative to elevators and garbage chutes. Check to see if the unit faces a busy highway. If so, air-conditioning might be a necessary feature so that windows can be kept shut in the summer.

Independence

Condominium living involves compromise. In return for having someone else fix the roof or cut the lawn, you will no longer have the final say in what colour you want your shingles to be or the timing of yard maintenance.

Your condominium unit will likely be considerably smaller than your current home. You’ll need to consider which furniture and appliances will fit and what you might have to leave behind. For instance, your unit may not be able to accommodate a washer-dryer set which may mean having to use a common laundry room.

Privacy

Under most provincial condominium legislation, with reasonable notice, a person authorized by the condominium corporation may enter your unit to carry out inspection and maintenance of the common elements of the condominium (such as inspection and repair of parts of the common elements such as windows, mechanical and electrical systems that serve your unit and others).

Lifestyles

Many condominiums are specially suited for a certain lifestyles, such as families with young children, or seniors. Any condominium provisions regarding pets should be known as well. It is important to ensure that the prevalent lifestyle of the condominium you are considering fits your lifestyle.

Security

Many condominiums offer increased security services, such as closed-circuit cameras in lobbies and parking garages and security guards, to ensure that only unit owners and authorized personnel can access the building. Your condominium may require that any guests to your unit sign in and out of the building. Make sure you are comfortable with the security arrangements before buying.

Unit Occupancy

While many owners of condominium units actually live in their units, some condominium buildings have a large percentage of the units rented out to others. If this is important to you, try to find out from the property manager what percentage of the building is owner occupied. This is an important consideration, as a condominium building dominated by rental occupancies may not show the same pride of ownership and sense of community and security as a building that is fully owner occupied. Additionally, absentee owners may not have the same maintenance and repair priorities for the building as owners who actually live in the building.
 

Your Guide to Ottawa Condos