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Buying a Condo in London Ontario

Why Are These Condo Buyers in London Ontario Smiling?

Finding A Condo Is Among The Least Important Things a Buyer Representative Does.

99% of all homes are on the MLS system so anybody can see them. The important work happens after “Find” happens, when it’s time to evaluate, strategize, negotiate and manage the 83 other steps before the buyer even gets the keys!

Buying a condo in London, Ontario, an apartment, a townhouse, or a townhome, takes much more care and skills than purchasing a house. Not only are you spending hundreds of thousands of dollars, what would happen if you move in and find out you could not have a pet, or modify a room, or parking is restricted, or the condo corporation has a lien or does not have enough money in the reserve fund?

How would you handle the following?

how would I handle these if they pop up
Hmmm! Never thought of that.
  • Four fears most condo buyers have & how to respect those fears & handle them?
  • What are the condominium regulations? By-laws?
  • Are pets allowed? If so, is there a limitation on size or weight? Is this verifiable? Children?
  • The by-laws?
  • Who are the board of directors? Are they residents or landlords?
  • What do the condo fees include? Are you sure?
  • Financial stability of the condo corporation?
  • What date was the last onsite engineering study done?
  • Parking? Exclusive and safe?
  • I’m the one buying; who else will be involved?
  • When I start looking for a condo, how can I protect myself? Before & after?
  • New or resale, what you may not know.
  • Why you shouldn’t buy a car or furniture before buying a condo.
  • Four crucial questions to ask your mortgage lender before you sign anything.
  • Five strategies you can use to never overpay for a condo.
  • Getting a home inspection for a condo? Do I need one?
  • How credit reports and credit scoring affect what dollar amount you can borrow.
  • What pricing strategies are sellers and their realtors using to get you to buy?
  • A proven way to avoid frustration when looking for condos in the London, Ontario & area.
  • How can I remember each condo when I’ve seen so many?
  • Five questions you should ask a realtor at every condo you visit.
  • Six things most builders hope you never hear.
  • 8 signs that could mean expensive (hidden) trouble
  • Avoid being beaten out by other buyers who want the same condo.
  • A no-fail guide to finding a mover that won’t take you to the cleaners.
  • Ways you can save thousands of interest dollars and pay your mortgage off years sooner.
  • Why any lawyer will not do.
  • How vital is a status certificate? Why do I need one? Who pays for it?

Condo Living Explained

Ty Lacroix and Michael Theisen
Contact Ty or Michael at 519-435-1600

More and more Londoners are choosing to live in condominiums. Be they apartment-style, a townhouse or a townhome. Empty-nesters,  singles, couples, and families enjoy the freedom from routine maintenance like grass cutting, raking leaves, shovelling snow, and, in most cases, replacing roof shingles, windows, or doors.

Owning a condominium in London, Ontario, includes sharing common areas with other residents and following by-laws and rules set by the condo corporation. It’s essential to understand how a condominium corporation is established and operates so you know what to expect from condominium living.

Condominium types

You may find different options on the market when looking for a condominium. I think it’s best to familiarize yourself with the types of condos available in London, Ontario.

Freehold condominiums fall into one of three categories:

  1. Standard condominium corporations

When you buy a condominium, you are likely buying a unit in a standard condominium corporation. This could be a building divided into condo units, row townhouses or stand-alone townhouses. 

Your money buys you:

  • ownership of your unit; and
  • an interest in the property’s common elements and assets (such as hallways, elevators, etc.). You cannot separate this interest from the ownership of your unit.

Before a builder can transfer the title of a unit to a purchaser, the condominium must be registered. Move into a unit before the condominium is registered. You will likely have to pay “occupancy rent” until the condominium is registered and you get title to your unit.

2. Common elements of condominium corporations

This type of corporation has no units but has common elements like roads, a golf course, or a ski hill. Owners enjoy the common elements and jointly fund their maintenance and repair.

For instance, if you buy property in a community that includes a common elements condominium corporation:

  • you own your house and the land on which it sits, and
  • all owners within the community share ownership of the roads and community centre.

Your part-interest in the corporation is attached to the parcel of land you own, not your house. The parcel of land on which your house sits is:

  • Considered a parcel of tied land (POTL).
  • The title to that parcel of tied land is permanently attached to your common interest in the common elements condominium corporation.
  • Not included in the land described in the common elements condominium corporation’s description.
  • Situated within the boundaries of the land titles and registry divisions of the land registry office where the developer registered the corporation’s description.

Unlike in standard condominium corporations, as there are no units, developers do not need to divide the land into units before registering a common elements condominium corporation.

3. Vacant land condominium corporations

 In this type of corporation:

  • Buildings do not need to be constructed before the condominium corporation is registered.
  • Structures can be built after the declarant registers the condominium.
  • Several types of structures can be accommodated in a single development.

It’s essential to read the condo’s declaration, which may restrict development size, construction or design standards and maintenance requirements.

Leasehold condominium corporations

The land is not owned by the condominium corporation in a leasehold condominium. Lease purchasers buy a leasehold interest in units and common elements but do not own the land. The Condominium Act treats leasehold condominiums much like freehold condominiums. Key differences include the following:

  • A common expenses fee that includes a portion of the rent payable to the landowner.
  • Once the ground lease expires, the owner’s right to occupy the unit is automatically terminated

The cost of the land isn’t included in the price of the condominium, but a portion of the rent payable to the landowner is included in the common expenses fee. The lease term must be between 40 and 99 years, so you will enjoy many advantages of owning a freehold condominium. You can sell, transfer, mortgage and take other actions with your unit without asking the landowner for permission. However, the sale price you can ask for your unit may be affected by the time remaining on the land lease. Once the ground lease expires, the owner’s right to occupy the unit is automatically terminated.

A Good Decision About Real Estate Is Based on Knowledge
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