Reading Strata Docs Continued…
Let’s continue on where we left off. Reading strata docs can be challenging and hopefully this information will help to guide you smoothly through this process to ensure that you are making an informed decision when buying a condo.
Next up we have title searches, they’re pretty hard to read.We as licensees should really read those and let you know what we find on them because it is a foreign language. There’s a lot of legal terms in there that most people don’t understand. Just know that Inter Aliya in a title search means it’s the whole building.
There’s a new document that’s been mandated in the last few years now, it’s called the depreciation report. This is actually a really good document and you should send it to your inspector. Inspectors will read this if you send it to them in advance and is a snapshot of the forecast of the 50 years of the building. So there’s an executive summary in it, start with that. And then if you want to dive into the rest of the 250 pages, by all means, but do look at the executive summary. See all the buildings, look at the financial numbers in there. Send it your inspector because he’ll be able to report back on it for you, which is very, very, very helpful.
Make sure you checkout bylaws. So if you’ve got a pet, if you want to rent it one day, if you love to barbecue, you better make sure three of those things are in the bylaws that you’re allowed; barbecues, how many pets are allowed, what kind of pets are allowed, rentals etc. If you’ve got a big, doberman or something and they don’t allow them, then you can’t have your dog in the building. And we all know that your dog needs to come with you when you moved to a new home. Then there are rentals, if you want to rent it out. When do they insert a cap on rentals? Are there restrictions or a no Airbnb policy? Typically now a day you cannot run an Airbnb without a license, but make sure that your building doesn’t have specific restrictions on this if that’s what you’re intending to do with your purchase. But that’s a whole other, a whole other video.
Last thing you want to look at is called the strata plan. So the strata plan is, what’s registered with the city as far as size goes? If you’ve only got a strata plan and you think the units may be smaller or bigger, you might want to send in a floor planner before removing your conditions to see what the actual sizes, cause if you’re paying $1,000 per square foot and you think it’s five square foot smaller than what the strata plan shows or whatever the case may be, you better confirm that. This could set you back $1,000’s.Look at the strata plan, compare that to the size they have on the listening and if there’s a difference, find out why.
I typically say, “Hey, what happened? Why am I seeing different sizes on two different areas?” See what they say and then make your decision based on that. Usually if they’re only using a strata plan, they didn’t do a floor plan, and generally there are reasons for that, so best you ask.
In summary, start with the AGM and the SGM. That gives you a good status of the building. Then dive into the meeting minutes for the last two years. If you need more minutes you can get them. Although two years is all that’s required to provide, you can ask for more. There’s no reason you shouldn’t. Then, you’ve got your Form B (which is unit specific) and Rules/Bylaws (which pertain to the rules of the building, pets/rentals etc.) Title search is very important and quite complicated. We can send that to a lawyer. There’s even companies that read the documents for you now for about four to $500 I highly recommend it. To check out the status and state of the building, you’ll want to receive and go through the depreciation report. If you’re going to building, that’s two years old, you have warranties, you have a lot of coverages, and for older buildings it’s quite different. Then you’ve got the strata plan, the foundation of what the building was based upon, and lastly the financials.
I hope this information help. You can always feel free to reach out to us anytime. Thanks again for tuning in today, everyone! If you have topics or questions that you’d like covered on these videos, please send them to us at [email protected]
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For further information about the real estate market in Vancouver and current trends, contact Top Vancouver Realtor Leo Wilk.