When a person buys either a new condominium that is nothing more than a developer’s pictorial with a far-off closing date, or an existing ‘bricks and mortar’ re-sale condominium with an immediate closing date, many distinct legal issues arise which await the unknowing or unwary. That said, one absolute remains; for the vast majority of Canadians a home purchase represents their single largest lifetime expenditure.
Although prevalent and increasingly common place, the legal issues that orbit either a new or re-sale condominium purchase are profoundly different than those that encircle the ‘traditional’ Canadian home purchase. Homes located on a leafy mature street of detached residences share many legal similarities with their condominium cousins. But the similarities soon give way to striking differences which lie in wait for purchasers, real estate agents, lawyers, lenders, insurers and property managers who rely on the traditional Canadian home model as their legal yardstick.
In keeping with this conference, condominium life may be made universally easier if purchasers shield themselves with condominium professionals, who have direct knowledge and experience in the field of condominium buying and selling. All too often a buyer’s principal safeguards, being their real estate agent and lawyer, are selected solely on price. If a condominium buyer wishes to purchase in both an informed and protected fashion, he or she must first seek and satisfy themself that they have retained knowledgeable and experienced condominium professionals. To overlook this important first step may not trip the unwary, but risking the purchase of a lifetime with the least expensive condominium professional only stacks further odds against the buyer without the luster of a potential jackpot.
This article shall identify the major legal concepts that await a potential condominium buyer as they seek out a new home and the professionals to help them realize such, so that a buyer may avoid swimming with the sharks and enjoy their new home dancing with the dolphins.
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