After being in real estate for almost 20 years, I have sold more than 500 condos in downtown Toronto. I have become quite the expert when it comes to buying or selling condos and know Toronto buildings instead and out. I have helped and guided so many buyers and sellers with their real estate transactions and I wanted to help explain the very important part of the transaction that involve the Status Certificate that specifically applies to condominiums sales.
If you are new to real estate and are a first time buyer, then the words Status Certificate probably have no meaning to you. But this certificate is more than what it’s name suggests and rather holds all the important information regarding your condo unit, the condo building itself and all the rules and regulations you will need to follow.
When buying a home, a purchaser usually requests a home inspection of a property. When it comes to a condo, a home inspection really won’t do you much good because most of the mechanics lie outside the perimeter of the unit. Anything beyond the drywall usually is the responsibility of the condominium building. Except for the interior finishes and the working order of the appliances, there isn’t much an inspector can tell you about the unit nor does it fall under you responsibility to replace or fix.
Instead of an Inspector, there is the Status Certificate. This usually large package of documents includes all the financials of the condo building, the amount of money in the reserve fund and the estimated timeframe and cost for any future building repairs. As part of your monthly maintenance fee, a portion of money gets put into the condominiums reserve fund to keep up with annual maintenance, repairs and updates to the building. That way when the hallway carpeting, or windows need replacement after years of use, there is money set aside for these updates.
But how much money in a reserve fund is enough? Well that’s where a lawyer comes into play. Before purchasing a condo, a real estate lawyer will review the documents and look closely at the numbers. Just because one building may have $6 Million dollars in the reserve fund, it doesn’t mean that the building is financially stable. The lawyer will look at the projected expenses and see if it is inline with the condo buildings financial standings. The last thing you would want to do is to buy a condo unit and then be surprised by a special assessment bill to cover any repairs if there is a shortfall in the building’s funds. With selling so many condo units in downtown Toronto, I know which buildings are in good financial standing and which ones to stay clear of but one should always have the lawyer review the documents before firming up on a purchase.
Other important information that is contained within the Status Certificate is the building’s Rules and Regulation. You may be surprised that many buildings have restrictions of the number and size of pets, number of occupants per unit, smoking restrictions, use of amenities etc. When buying into a condominium, you are buying into a community otherwise known as an upright neighbourhood. You want to make sure that the Rules set out by the condo board fit your lifestyle and you can abide by these regulations.
As the condo market in Toronto is really active and condos are picked up quickly, the importance on getting your hands on the Status Certificate early, can help you make a confident purchase. Contact Reza Afshar to help guide you through the Toronto real estate market and help you find the perfect condo for you.