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Canmore Condos For Sale – What you should know!

canmore condos for sale - condo ownership

Canmore Condos For Sale – What you should know!

Considering condos for sale in Canmore, but not sure how they work? Let’s break down some key things to know about condo ownership in Canmore, and common mistakes to avoid as a buyer or a seller.

Many people believe “condo” is just a term for an apartment-style property that you can own. Condominium comes from the latin terms “con” (together) and “dominion” (dominion, ownership), and is actually a form of management structure for shared property amongst owners. In Canmore, we have apartment-style condos, townhome condos, stacked condos and even detached houses that are condos!

As the treasurer and VP of my own condo board, as well as through my experience helping clients with condo property every day, I’ve gained a lot of knowledge in this area. If you have any questions on any condo property in Canmore or Banff, feel free to call text or email me – I’m always happy to assist. Today, let’s answer some of the common questions about common property!

  • Does One Actually Own a Condo?
  • Who’s in Charge of Condos in Canmore?
  • What are the “Condo Documents”?
  • How Do Condo Fees Work?
  • Are Condos Good to Own?

Does One Actually Own A Condo in Canmore?

Yes! Of course you do. When you make a purchase, you have your own separate freehold title (and sometimes another one for your parking or storage). Like any piece of property, when the land was subdivided from larger sections and quarter sections, a survey or technical drawing gets created. In Alberta, this called a Real Property Report for single properties and detached homes. For Condominium properties, we refer to it as a Condo Plan.

On the Condo Plan, all of the things you would see on a normal RPR are present, such as the locations and descriptions of all items on the property, easements, encroachments, boundaries, and information about the surveyor who did the work. On a condominium plan though, you also have individual units (outlined by solid lines), as well as the shared common property (outlined in dotted lines).

Every owner has a separate legal title to their own property, as well as a share of the common property. Regardless of the size or type of condo, the common property is always divided into 10,000 shares. So the legal condo title will also note the proportion of the common property that owner holds, as well.

 

canmore condo plan example
An example of a piece of a condo plan

Who’s in Charge of Condos in Canmore?

Owners are! Every condo corporation selects a board who oversees the day to day running of the condo property. In most cases though, and especially in Canmore, condo management is delegated to professional management companies. PEKA, Asset West, and FirstService Residential are the main managers locally. In some cases, and more often for smaller Canmore condos (say, 4 townhomes), the owners will try to save costs by managing it themselves. Larger properties can be more complex though, and are best managed by the professionals.

Each condo board will have their own set of rules that determines how they get elected, how they make decisions, and how their meetings work. These are noted in the bylaws, which we will discuss further below. Each board typically has a President/Chair, Vice President, Treasurer, and sometimes a Secretary. There will be other members of the board as well, depending on the desired size. A good way to envision it is that the Condo Corp is a non-profit, and the volunteer board oversees operations and decisions.

What are the “Condo Documents”? Canmore Condos For Sale

When a Buyer makes an offer on a condominium property, they often have a condition to review the condominium documents of the corporation. This is a way for the buyer to do their due diligence, and ensure they know more about the property they’re buying. When I represent a buyer, I always advise a thorough review of the condo documents to make sure they’re comfortable before moving forward.

The key condo documents are:

  • Bylaws
  • Board Meeting Minutes
  • Reserve Fund Study
  • Financial Statements (annual & monthly)
  • Disclosure Statements
  • Agreements – management, recreational, etc.
  • Insurance Certificate
  • Any additional notices RE: special assessments, engineers reports, deficiencies

This is by no means an exhaustive list; working with a licensed REALTOR is the best way to ensure you receive every document you’re entitled to in a purchase negotiation.

How Do Canmore Condo Fees Work?

This is a question I get very often, mainly from people who have never owned condominium property. Why do we have to pay all of those fees for nothing?! They aren’t for nothing!

Two main things define the condo fee for a property:

A) The size of the unit. A larger unit will have a bigger footprint, and will also have a larger share of the common property (shares out of 10,000) associated with it. More size = more cost.

B) What you get! Most condo fees include utilities & bills you would pay independently in a detached home. For instance, most condo fees in Canmore include items such as: water/sewer, hot water, heat, gas, snow removal, landscaping, insurance, professional management, reserve fund contributions, common amenities and more. In some cases, Canmore condo fees will include everything – right down to electricity and cable/wifi. So its not uncommon to realize cost savings through a condo fee, rather than independent bills.

Beware this RED FLAG though: if the condo fee is high (say, approaching $1000/mo for a 2 bedroom unit), but includes nothing but the basics (insurance, management, snow removal) – the condo corp could be underfunded and in trouble. Always review the condominium documents yourself, or have a professional or lawyer provide you with insights to ensure you’re making a smart choice.

Are Condos Good to Own?

In my opinion, absolutely. When you own a condominium property, you can rest easy knowing so many things are taken care of. Worried about when the roof will be replaced? Don’t be. Professional engineers and auditors have assessed your building’s roof, made a plan to pay for it, and your board has ensured the reserve fund is in good shape to buy that roof when the time comes. Important decisions are made by a group, and often with the help of a professional management company. You can also have the opportunity to get more involved, and join the board yourself. When a property is intentional and well managed, it shows – and this can lead to higher sale prices for everyone. That includes you when you go to sell!

Canmore Condos For Sale – What you should know!

If you have questions about a specific condo property in Canmore, or condominium ownership in general, let’s connect. I’m always happy to provide insights and tips, so you can make sure you’re informed going into any purchase or sale.

Cheers!

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