How to Buy a Retirement Condominium: Five Experts to Consult Before Buying

Ready to chuck your snow shovel and lawn mower for a low-maintenance retirement condo? If so, there’s a lot you should know before buying a unit in a retirement condominium. You’ll want to speak with a number of advisers before signing an agreement of purchase and sale.

The following experts can help you with each stage of purchasing a retirement condominium:

  1. Financial Adviser—If you require a mortgage, your financial adviser or bank manager can help you crunch the numbers. He or she can also discuss with you the monthly expenses you can expect to pay in a retirement condo.

  2. Real Estate Agent—If you’re buying a re-sale condominium, make sure your agent specializes in condominiums and is familiar with the neighbourhood(s) where you want to live. If you’re buying a new retirement condo from a developer, it may be worthwhile to enlist a real estate agent since he or she may be able to negotiate unit upgrades and better purchase terms.

  3. Retirement Condo’s Board of Directors—Make the extra effort to speak with unit owners who sit on the condominium corporation’s board of directors. They’ll have an insider’s perspective and may be able to tell you how many of the retirement condo’s units are owner occupied (instead of rented out), the complex’s turnover rate, recent claims on the condo’s insurance coverage and more.

  4. Real Estate Lawyer—It’s important to work with a lawyer who is experienced in residential condominium law. He or she should explain all of the retirement condominium’s official documents, such as its declaration, rules, bylaws and disclosure statement. Your lawyer will also go over your offer to purchase and your purchase and sale agreement and advise you whether or not the condo corporation has been involved in any lawsuits.

  5. Home Inspector—An accredited home inspector who specializes in condominiums can give you an objective opinion on the condition of both the unit and the building in the retirement community you’re considering. Be sure to read over the inspection contract so you’re clear on what’s included and what’s not.

By Sara Bedal

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Have you met with any of the advisers above? What advice did they give you? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.


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