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Condo Living - Should I Get Involved, and How Deeply?

Gilles Martin

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Well, here you are, proud owner of a condo unit.

You were careful before buying this new type (to you, at least) of real estate, to inquire as to the suitability for you to purchase this dwelling.

But yes, it suits your needs and you bought it at a good price and the unit does not need many repairs and the neighbors seem very compatible with your socio-economic background. I don't think that it will take you too long to integrate this milieu and you are looking, at last, towards many years of living a relaxed life style, far from the near daily preoccupation stemming from owning a stand-alone house. Ha! If I would have made this move a few years back, I would have saved myself a lot of aggravations and anxieties from the myriad of problems always facing a homeowner.

But, hold on. Condo living is not problem-free living. In buying a condo, one usually invests a sizable portion of one's asset in bricks, which demands a careful and responsible commitment to assuage the constant value of the property. It's bad enough to know that a condo owner's unit's value depends in part on the general health of the economy and as is the case in early 2008, of the comparative value of the whole mortgage market, that as far as the regular responsibilities related directly to the building, the owner owes it to himself to get involved and watch carefully how his asset is handled.

In other words, the condo owner must use the tools at his disposal to check and verify that the building is well managed and taken care of. The condo owner is part and parcel of the association. It is up to him to keep closely abreast of all the activities of the association and if he has the willingness volunteer, to work on a committee or sit on the board. One should never have to admit that one did not know what was going on. The owner has a right and I shall say an obligation as the custodian of his asset to make sure that the condo is run by administrators that are savvy, conservative and forward looking, of sound judgment and will be most careful with the monies of the co-owners.

One never escapes the responsibilities inherent in watching the asset that form, in many cases, the foundation for a secure living. It's not that complicated, but you must have a clear view of your rights and expect that things just don't HAPPEN and you will need better social skills to ensure that as an owner you deserve to be told the truth and are willing to request all the information that are pertinent to satisfy your rightful curiosity. It's never ending, because the process is always in evolution but it's not unavoidably unpleasant.

Gilles Martin is a Real Estate Agent, accomplished Entrepreneur and long-time businessman. His articles can be read on Musings of a Real Estate Agent .


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