Make Your Home in Hamilton

Andrew Caton is passionate about two things - Real Estate and the Greater Hamilton, Ontario area including Hamilton Mountain, Stoney Creek, Ancaster, Dundas and Waterdown. Through the blog we hope to share the best of our city as well as provide timely and helpful real estate advice - whether you're buying or selling a home.
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Condominiums - F.A.Q's {Part 1}

Condominiums - F.A.Q's {Part 1}



F.A.Q.'s - Condominiums - Part 1
Q) What exactly is a "condominium" in Ontario?
A) Often times when discussing  the word "condominium" with clients, they immediately think of a 30 floor sky scraper, the kind that often dots the skyline of cities like Toronto, Vancouver or Montreal. The reality though, is that the word "condominium" doesn't describe a type of home, but instead a type of "ownership" in real property (Real Estate).
Q) So what kind of home can be condominium?
A) Since the term condominium (a.k.a condo) is a type of ownership, virtually ANY type of home can be a condo. The most common, is obviously, the high rise buildings we immediately think of. However, condos can also be low-rise buildings (say 4 or 8 floors), townhomes or even detached homes.
Q) Ok, so if I bought a condo, do I actually own "Real Estate"?
A) Yes. According to the Condominium Act,  a condo owner means "a person who owns a freehold interest in a unit and its appurtenant (Def'n: pertaining to something that attaches) common interest and who is shown as the owner in the records of the land registry office in which the description of the corporation is registered".
Q) So what's a co-op?
A) In Ontario, a co-operative, is again, a type of ownership. However, with a co-op, you own shares in a corporation (the corporation subsequently owns the building you live in) not a direct interest in Real Estate.
Q) How does a condo corporation make money?
A) First, a condo corporation doesn't, in the strictest sense, "make money". They collect condo fee's from the owners to pay for the expenses incurred by the corporation for use and maintenance of the corporation. For example the cost of landscaping (grass cutting, snow removal, flower beds). Another example is the cost of electricity used by the common elements (parking lights, hallway lights), etc. The condo corporation will collect enough money throughout the fiscal year to pay for the common expenses and to place money into the Reserve Fund.
Q) Do condo fee's go up each year? How much? I was told they can't go up more then 2.5% each year.
Condo fees are used to pay the expenses of the corporation. If the expenses increase (i.e. hydro prices, gas prices, maintenance fees) then it's likely your condo fees will as well. If the condo corporation is able to reduce expenses, then your condo fees would decrease. Your fees will increase (or decrease) proportionate with the increase (or decrease) of the expenses and your share of the common expenses.
2.5% is the maximum allowable RENT increase in Ontario and has nothing to do with condo fees.
Q) I have a few more questions...
A) GREAT! Check out Condominiums - F.A.Q.'s - {Part 2} or feel free to contact us!

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