What’s a Condo Status Certificate?

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Something that can make or break a deal after its done is a condos status certificate. It is a document that is paid for by the condo owner at the buyers request, that will give the buyer a snapshot of what the financials and condition of the condo is in. This is a document that has a lot of information and even some lawyers do not know exactly how to dissect it. I have a lot of stories where the buyers lawyers are mistaken and read the information wrong. Here are a few things that buyers are looking for that are the most important.

1. Reserve Fund: There is not a right and wrong answer as to how much there should be. This number all depends on how old the property is. It does take some time to build this fund, but you want to make sure there is a hefty amount and no deficit. This is the fund that is used if there is an emergency in the building.

2. Lawsuits: There are a lot of liability and people that live in a building including tenants. There are also a lot of contracts that go in and out. This is a perfect brew for a lawsuit. This is where you will find out if there are any. If there are this is where you determine if you want to be a part of it.

3. Condo Fees: Never mind what is stated on the listing on mls. This will tell you how much the fees are and how much they are going up and the end of the year. If they go up, you could negotiate for a part of this to be covered by the owner for a year or two.

4. Special Assessment: Sometimes, special projects or renovation must be done, and there is an assessment that will ad to the condo fees for a year to five. Make sure that there is nothing major on the horizon. If there is, no worries, ask the seller to cover some of the cost going forward. Another thing to keep in mind, sometimes a condo owner pays this in full for a year. Make sure that there is no charges pending after the end of the year. If you don’t you could see fees go up at the end of the year.

5. Parking Spots & Lockers: Make sure that what was in the listing corresponds to the status certificate. Sometimes, you may find that there is only one spot or no locker and they are just renting. Make sure you are the owner. This could change the deal.

There are a lot more things involved here that is why you must get an experienced condo Real Estate lawyer to look over this carefully.

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