What is a condo?

 The word “condo” means many different things to different people. When some people hear the word “condo,” they immediately think of high-rise buildings dotting the skyline. While high-rise condos are certainly common, condos can come in all shapes and sizes, including: 
• Low-rise buildings 
• Townhouse complexes / semi-detached homes 
• Fully detached homes 
• Mixed residential and commercial buildings 
• Commercial lots or malls
In fact, the word “condo” refers to a specific type of property ownership rather than a specific type of building. Almost any type of property you can imagine can be a condo – for example, there are many condominium corporations that have no residential units, and there are even some condos that are parking lots. 

There are two types of condos that people can buy:
1  |   “New condos” are units that have recently been built and have never been occupied. Many people purchase condominiums while the development is still in the planning stage - usually from plans and typically directly from a condo builder. Here are some considerations for new condos: • They may be less expensive because you are usually buying the unit based on a plan and before it has been built • You may have different foor plans or layouts to choose from and you may be able to choose a unit based on its view or location (e.g., if you prefer being on a higher or lower foor) • You may be able to make specifc choices about fnishes (e.g., choosing a specifc colour or type of fooring, tile, kitchen cabinets, etc.) • It may take time until you are able to take occupancy or ownership of your unit. It is not uncommon for construction to take several years, and there can sometimes be unforeseen delays (e.g., with obtaining materials needed to complete the buildings, or with obtaining permits or approvals) • New condos in Ontario are covered by a warranty backed by Tarion under the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act. This warranty also covers things like deposit protection, and compensation when you are unable to take occupancy of your unit because of delays • Condo projects can sometimes be cancelled (e.g., if the developer is unable to secure fnancing for the project, or if not enough units are sold). In these instances, any deposits or other money collected will be refunded • When you buy a new condo, you are entitled to receive a disclosure statement. If there are material changes to the disclosure statement after you receive it, you can back out of the purchase agreement • The potential common expenses fees that you may pay are usually estimates based on the prospective budget of the corporation and may not account for all the corporation’s costs once construction is completed

2  |   “Resale condos” are units available for sale by the current owner (who typically lives in or rents out the unit). Here are some considerations for resale condos: • You can see the unit before you buy it, and can take a tour to learn more about the condominium corporation and its common elements
• It may be easier to fnd a condo corporation and a community that has all the amenities to ft your needs and lifestyle (e.g., using services such as, or through a real estate professional)
• You can review the condominium corporation’s documents (including its budget, declaration and description, by-laws, and rules) to understand how they operate
• You can carefully review the corporation’s declaration and description to understand what types of changes you can make to the units or common elements
• You may be able to get a better sense of the location and surrounding community for resale units, as they are often located in established areas
• You can and should review the condo corporation’s fnancial documents, including its budget and reserve fund, before you buy the unit. You can also research whether the corporation has a history of imposing special assessments to pay for unforeseen repairs
• With resale units, you will be able to get a more accurate sense of the common expenses fees you can expect pay, because you can see the history of actual common expenses payments for the unit
There are certain things you should consider depending on the type of  condo you are looking to buy. For more information, please refer to the Buying a Condominium section of this guide.

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Deb Dorman

Mobile: 519-859-4874

Toll Free: 1-866-340-2305


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StreetCity Realty Inc., Brokerage

519 York Street  London,  Ontario  N6B 4R1 

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