So you want to buy A Victoria BC Condominium, Or Do You?

By
Real Estate Sales Representative with eXp Realty, Victoria BC www.pfanntastic.com
https://activerain.com/droplet/mWb

Condominiums & Strata in Victoria BCSo you want to buy A Victoria BC Condominium, Or Do You?

In Greater Victoria well over 50% of all real estate sold in recent years is either a Condominium Suite, a 1/2 Duplex, a Town-House, a Bare Land strata, or one of those funky conversion suites in one of those cool renovated historic houses.
All of these have one thing in common;    They are all part of the legal concept we in British Columbia call "Strata Property" or "Condominiums" (the names can be used inter-changeably) and are all governed by the BC Strata Property Act.

The reasons for buying a "Strata" are almost as diverse as there are "Condo" options (see how I inter mingled the 2 terms ;o).

  • First Time Home Buyers, can buy A Strata because they are often more affordable
  • Empty Nester's, often buy a Condo, because they want to be able to lock up and go.
  • Investors, Invest in all kinds of Strata's, because they don't need to look after the exterior upkeep.
  • Busy professionals buy condominiums because it fits their busy lifestyle.
  • Boomers and Seniors buy in strata's to downsize and simplify their lives.

So by the sounds of things life is Pfanntastic in Strata or Condominium living.Condominiums & Strata in Victoria BC

Well hmmmm, not so quick, not all is rosy under that shared roof.

The Problems really became headline news in BC in the early 90's when the first issues of moisture related problems became more publicly known.

If you have been around BC, the lower mainland or Victoria, you will have heard about this thing called "Leaky Condo Syndrome"  Referring to a complex set of moisture related problems and damage to a large number of strata buildings build between the 80's and 90's (not all buildings, and not every issue is a leaky condo issue). By now most are fixed....... or are they?

If you are interested in buying a home, in any strata (regardless of the size of the complex from 2 to any number of suites) you are not just buying 4 walls and a parking spot, you are buying into a living community, so getting familiar with, and fully understanding what benefits and or obligations that you are buying into becomes a very important part of your home buying decision.

No Realtor (including Peter and Linda Pfann) should be relied upon for legal advise, however  we can offer 25+ years of very active experience in the all aspects of strata property and having dealt with many of the various issues that do come about from time to time with strata properties, we will make your decisions making process a lot easier.Condominiums & Strata in Victoria BC

There are many reasons why a Strata Lifestyle may be just the right decision for you, just make sure that you have the assistance and support of your dedicated team of Real Estate Specialists, to look after your best interests.
 


Surrounding yourself with a team of experts (lawyer, Realtor, accountant, inspectors, insurance, lender etc) will make sure that your condominium experience with be Pfanntastic.
 

Victoria Real Estate Market SnapshotPlanning to buy, sell, upgrade, downsize, invest in real estate or relocate to Greater Victoria, and need information about your present or new area of choice?....... No Problem.
Peter and Linda Pfann now offer a FREE Pfanntastic Internet Service, keeping you informed about Greater Victoria Market Activity, includingnew listings, current and recent sales, price adjustments, statistics, graphs and a variety of additional handy real estate tools for your benefit. This absolutely Free no hassle service is completely customized to your specific requirements.
We call it Victoria Market Snapshot, and this amazing little tool will ask you a few questions, and provides you with an updated snapshot of the property type(s), location (s) and real estate market activity as per your requirements.
The Pfanntastic Victoria Market Snapshot Service is Free, The Information is Invaluable, Request Your Victoria Market Snap Shot Right Now!

Posted by

 

 

 

Peter Pfann,

CPCA, ABR, SRES, E-Pro, IMSD, Master ASA, C-CREC, Associate Broker.

Text or Talk To Peter @: (1) 250 - 213 - 9490  

peterpfann@gmail.com  www.pfanntastic.com

Pfanntastic Properties in Victoria, BC, Canada, @ Fair  Realty Since 1986.

Regional office: 1540 Fort St Victoria, BC V8S 5J2

 

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Ambassador
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Joni Bailey
101 Main St. Realty - Huntsville, TX
Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR®

Wowzers. You two are always full of great information (and education) for your audience. THANK YOU!

Nov 12, 2011 05:19 AM #4
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Peter Pfann @ eXp Realty Pfanntastic Properties in Victoria, Since 1986.
eXp Realty, Victoria BC www.pfanntastic.com - Victoria, BC
Talk To or Text Peter 250-213-9490

HI Ralph,

Yes, we are getting to the stage of implementing these reserve fund studies, but they are not common yet, and there is much discusion about when, how often and who really is able to do it properly.... time will tell.

Nov 12, 2011 06:01 AM #5
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Peter Pfann @ eXp Realty Pfanntastic Properties in Victoria, Since 1986.
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Hi Joni,

We try to mix the fun, the Pfunn, and the Serious Stuff, to keep our posts interesting for anyone with an interest in Greater Victoria, thanks for your kind support Joni.

Nov 12, 2011 06:03 AM #6
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Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods
Very interesting information! I've never heard of Strata...you learn something new every time you visit this Phanntastic blog! Have a great Sunday!
Nov 12, 2011 06:16 PM #7
Rainer
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Rosalie Evans
Meritus Group Real Estate - Sioux Falls, SD
The Evans Group, Sioux Falls, SD Homes For Sale

I am with Debe never heard of a strata! I am bowled over by the fact that over 50% of sales are condos and such! Compared to here where I am sure it is close to 70% single family! Crazy stuff how it can be so much diffrence!

Nov 12, 2011 06:45 PM #8
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Jennifer Fivelsdal
JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571 - Rhinebeck, NY
Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection

Peter and Linda this is an excellent post on Condo living, the issue that arises and the levies that could come about because of needed repairs. It souinds like the Strata will need repairs soon.  When buying a condo there is much the potential buyer need to understand and your team certainly have the expertise to help.

Nov 12, 2011 10:34 PM #9
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Peter Pfann @ eXp Realty Pfanntastic Properties in Victoria, Since 1986.
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Talk To or Text Peter 250-213-9490

HI Debe,

With many of our strata/condo properties now reaching 20+ years, the issues that would also apply to single family homes, (roofs, windows, wood, flashing, etc) can compound into big repair and replacement costs. and Home buyers wanting to buy would want assistance to protect themselves from special levies.

HI Rosalie,

It is a very common form of shared home ownership, and it works for many and in most cases, is problem free for decades, with many reasons strata ownership works for thousands, with the right set of precautions.

Hi Jennifer,

Each strata is required to maintain records and reports of all its operations and financial matters that are available for potential buyers to review and get to understand the culture, the history and how well the complex is run and offers much of the needed access to information for buyers and their team of experts.

Nov 12, 2011 11:26 PM #10
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Joni Bailey
101 Main St. Realty - Huntsville, TX
Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR®

Woo Hoo! Congratulations on another feature, Peter and Linda!! YOU ROCK!!!

Nov 13, 2011 12:37 AM #11
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Peter Pfann @ eXp Realty Pfanntastic Properties in Victoria, Since 1986.
eXp Realty, Victoria BC www.pfanntastic.com - Victoria, BC
Talk To or Text Peter 250-213-9490

HI Joni,

thank you, we really appreciate your kind words and support 

With the sheer number of strata properties sold each and every month, it is actually a little surprising how relatively little we (our Peers) write about the distinctly different aspects and issues about buying in to shared ownership communities, which all strat'ss really are.

Nov 13, 2011 12:50 AM #12
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Kathy Clulow
RE/MAX All-Stars Realty Inc. Brokerage - Uxbridge, ON
Trusted For Experience - Respected For Results

Peter and Linda - do you find the differences in reserve funds affect the sales values for comparable units ..... we have 2 townhouse complexes on adjoining properties with very similiar units ..... one has lower reserves than the other.

Nov 13, 2011 01:38 AM #13
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Peter Pfann @ eXp Realty Pfanntastic Properties in Victoria, Since 1986.
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Talk To or Text Peter 250-213-9490

HI Kathy and Barrie,

We are starting to see the general public, appraisers and lender to pay more and more attention to where strata's are in their life cycle and the need to closely analyze the monies in the reserve funds, how old the key items in the complex are (roofs, windows, elevators, membranes, etc etc.), the level of the growth and monthly contributions into the reserve funds.

It is locally referred to as a reserve fund analysis, and they will likely become law before to long.

As an added issue are the insurance companies starting to require a variety of inspections, engineering studies, alterations and changes both to the actual buildings, as well as rules and bylaws in order to keep insurance affordable (this will be the topic of a follow up post).

Nov 13, 2011 01:53 AM #14
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Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor

It is interesting that so many condos have sold, I wonder how many of those (the percentage) is to foreign investors. I know your area is extremely popular and with that climate, I can understand it!

Nov 13, 2011 02:29 AM #15
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Eileen Hsu
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Manhattan, NY
LICENSED REAL ESTATE SALESPERSON

Peter and Linda, great list about why Strata is a good condo to purchase. I think it is important for buyers to understand the good condo vs not so good condos. We here in Manhattan New York, we always educate buyers about the difference too especially if they are not familar with the condo market.

Nov 13, 2011 02:33 AM #16
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Peter Pfann @ eXp Realty Pfanntastic Properties in Victoria, Since 1986.
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HI Barbara-Jo,

The number of Foreign Investors in Greater Victoria is limited by global and local economy influences, as our local market rarely if ever really sees "major" downturns in prices, it s a great market for long term investors, but not so much for the Flippers.

Greater Victoria is however very much a retirement destination, and we do see many people buy 5 to 10 years in advance of retirement and rent out their future home until they are ready to move in.

HI Eileen,

Oh so very true, we do not have many leasehold, coop or other forms of shared ownership forms, and all of them have their own benefits and limitations, it is essential for buyers to obtain proper and complete education about all the issues that may affect the enjoyment you receive from your new home in Greater Victoria.

Nov 13, 2011 02:42 AM #17
Rainmaker
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Brian Madigan
RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto) - Toronto, ON
LL.B., Broker

In Toronto, just last month a property manager had stolen about $20 million from 9 condos.

Nov 13, 2011 03:26 AM #18
Rainmaker
449,271
Malcolm Johnston
Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate LTD., Trenton, Ontario - Trenton, ON
Trenton Real Estate

With an aging population this type of real estate will become more and more popular, so it's good to see that these issues are being addressed.

Nov 13, 2011 04:02 AM #19
Rainmaker
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Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Peter and Linda, I think over the years Condos have become more popular for the reason you stated. However, someone has to pay for needed repairs and that is left to the homeowners. Due diligence is important before making the choice for condo living.

Nov 13, 2011 04:25 AM #20
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Peter Pfann @ eXp Realty Pfanntastic Properties in Victoria, Since 1986.
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Talk To or Text Peter 250-213-9490

H Brian,

We have not seen any real cash fraud, here but I suppose that is a concern although it would be noticed very quickly because of the methods of how we deal with reserve funds in trust accounts.

Hi Malcolm,

You are are so right, many seniors and retirees, are opting for some form of strata ownership and it is important that they have their interests well protected.

Hi Michael,

The Strata Property Act, in BC is very good, and does cover most of the typical situation, but there are areas of reality that we have just more recently have become aware of, like for example, cost increases to labour and materials much faster than the anticipated inflation rates, has really caused many issues.

HI Valerie,

Maple Ridge is where I started in Real Estate, and yes we sold a bunch of the early condo's in the area, and I am sure that in "Rainy Haney" as they call it, the moisture issues would have been rampant.

Nov 13, 2011 04:37 PM #22
Anonymous
Glenn Duxbury, CHI, QAO

Hi everyone and just came across this 'thread'...

GREAT reading - Peter /Linda & all the participants !

I've been around Condos for over 20 years (Property Manager for some 12 years & now Inspecting properties, here in the Greater Vancouver area - as the ONLY Strata Specialist...) & always enjoy reading fresh perspecives.

Keep up the good work !

 

 

Cheers /Regards

 

 

May 21, 2012 06:01 AM #23
Anonymous
Glenn Duxbury, CHI, QAO

Hi everyone and just came across this 'thread'...

GREAT reading - Peter /Linda & all the participants !

I've been around Condos for over 20 years (Property Manager for some 12 years & now Inspecting properties, here in the Greater Vancouver area - as the ONLY Strata Specialist...) & always enjoy reading fresh perspecives.

Keep up the good work !

 

 

Cheers /Regards

 

 

May 21, 2012 07:22 AM #24
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