Condo Fees & Reserve Funds: 3 Common Misconceptions

When purchasing a condo in Quebec, it’s important to keep condo fees in mind as you take a look at your budget and discuss buying options with your broker.

Condo fees, also known as co-ownership fees, are billed to co-owners of a building on a monthly basis. They cover necessary expenses for the regular maintenance of common areas of the building as well as any major renovations that may need to be completed. This requires that the condo corporation establishes a reserve fund in which a portion of the condo fees are deposited.

Myth #1 – Condo fees; the lower the better. 

Even though the condo fees for a particular building may be relatively low, be wary of developers using this as a strategy to reel in buyers to then significantly increase the fees down the road. This could also indicate that consistent maintenance and major renovations are being neglected. If this is happening, the building loses value and ultimately puts the co-owners at a disadvantage.

Myth #2 – If a reserve fund is low, it is poorly managed.

Also known as contingency funds in Quebec, the reserve fund is built up using a portion of the owners’ monthly condo fees. It exists in the event of a major renovation or repair as a nest egg to cover large costs.

Before buying a condo, you will be able to look at the reserve funds. If there is little money in the fund, find out if there has been any major work done recently. If the fund is healthy, there will likely be large expenses on the horizon. A well managed condo corporation should be able to provide you with all of the information on past and future building work. From there you will be able to take a look at the big picture and assess the true status of the fund.

Myth #3 – My insurance is covered by my condo fees

Unfortunately this is false. The insurance included in your condo fees covers the part of the building that you don’t directly own – you will still need to buy insurance for all of your things. Don’t forget to insure the sinks, toilet, appliances and all the upgrades you’ve made to your unit. You own all of that stuff too!

As always, important factors in your condo buying process should be discussed with your broker who will be able to serve as a guide while condo fees and reserve funds are assessed. 

If you are interested in buying or selling a condo in Montreal or have questions about the market or anything mentioned above, it would be my pleasure to assist you.

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Working with a reputable broker you trust is vital in today’s market

 

It is now more important than ever to ensure that you are properly represented while pursuing your real estate goals. The industry and market will continue to change along with the world as a whole. Navigating the ins and outs of the current market and achieving your goals are made infinitely more efficient and successful when working with someone you trust.

The market is taking back off and we are seeing many multiple offer situations, but what will the market be like as the dust settles and the economy becomes unstable? Will you have made the right choices?

As a client who has worked with me in the past, you know first hand the guidance, transparency and dedication I provide to each client. It is about creating a real estate relationship for life and being by your side for all the ups and downs of your home buying and/or selling journey. If you or someone you know is looking to sell or buy a home or simply be informed on the current and possible future market, please reach out or feel free to pass on my coordinates.

If you haven’t already, please take a moment to send me your testimonial by email or by clicking below. I am never too busy for your referrals! Stay safe, stay healthy.

 

A Top-Ten Service

“Carly was truly exceptional throughout this undoubtedly involved process of selling our home. She’s a top ten, award winning agent for a reason. Her calibre emanates in every interaction. We met with several agents and Carly’s approach from the very beginning was a genuine combination of relationship and trust building, market savviness with a skillful sales strategy.”

– Sarah & Gino, Mile End sellers

How was our time working together?

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Real Estate to Resume on Monday: A Note for Buyers

 

As of Monday May 11th, real estate brokerage will recommence at 100% without restriction and I can officially go back to providing you with all of the services you’re used to receiving by working with me. Strict precautionary measures will still apply as your health and safety remain my number 1 priority. Please refer to the section below to re-familiarize yourself with those precautions.

During uncertain economic times, tangible assets become a priority and real estate is one of those assets. Not to mention, people will always need a roof over their head. Going forward, we will continue to adapt simultaneously with the market. Whether you are buying, selling, or renting, my team is ready to mobilize quickly and efficiently to ensure that your needs are met. Because your real estate needs never stop, I never stop being here to support you.

 

What will May 11th mean for you?

We will now be able to – without restriction, visit any and all properties that are of interest. I would encourage you to (when possible) use virtual tours before making the decision to physically visit a property. It is extremely important that we avoid visiting solely out of curiosity, and only visit top priority listings as things will move quickly. I will continue to send you properties that match your criteria as they are listed and will schedule visits as soon as possible. We must be organized and well prepared to move forward on any potential property, thus I would ask you to please take today and the weekend to re-connect with your mortgage broker (if you need one I can provide you a contact) and get yourself an updated pre-approval. Even if your situation hasn’t changed, the perception of sellers and brokers is that most are not in the same financial position as before. Your health and safety remain my top priority, therefore I will ensure that necessary precautions continue to be followed. Please take a minute to re-familiarize yourself with the procedure below for when we schedule visits to properties that fit your criteria.

Safety Procedure
  • Only one person at a time, in addition to the broker, is authorized to attend a viewing
  • A minimum distance of two metres between persons must be maintained
  • Systematic hand-washing must take place before and after the viewing using soap or a disinfectant
  • Reasonable measures must be taken to limit touching of surfaces by visitors
  • Home owners are asked to not be present during a visit
  • Home owners are asked to clean and disinfect their home prior to and after a visit
  • Wearing a mask and gloves is required of all parties
  • As a reminder, if you or your co-buyer are feeling unwell, do not move forward with the visit

 

Always here for you

At all times you can count on my professionalism, integrity, and devotion in supporting your real estate needs. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any and all of your questions.

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Real Estate to Resume on Monday: A Note for Sellers

 

As of Monday May 11th, real estate brokerage will recommence at 100% without restriction and I can officially go back to providing you with all of the services you’re used to receiving by working with me. Strict precautionary measures will still apply as your health and safety remain my number 1 priority. Please refer to the section below to re-familiarize yourself with those precautions.

During uncertain economic times, tangible assets become a priority and real estate is one of those assets. Not to mention, people will always need a roof over their head. Going forward, we will continue to adapt simultaneously with the market. Whether you are buying, selling, or renting, my team is ready to mobilize quickly and efficiently to ensure that your needs are met. Because your real estate needs never stop, I never stop being here to support you.

 

What will May 11th mean for you?

Without restriction, we can resume the showing of your property. Keep in mind that buyers may still be apprehensive about visiting condo and apartment buildings. We will continue to use online tools (Matterport 3D virtual tours, FaceTime, Zoom and digital marketing) to promote your property. I will also reach out to my colleagues who work in your area or building to re-encourage traffic and we will re-engage with buyers who were not able to visit your property in the past weeks. Please keep in mind we will have to abide by regulations set in place by condo buildings and municipalities. For the time being, we are strongly encouraged by the OACIQ and Royal LePage to refrain from doing open houses. Health and safety remain my top priority for both you and potential buyers, therefore I will ensure that the below directives are followed.

Safety Procedure
  • Only one person at a time, in addition to the broker, is authorized to attend a viewing
  • A minimum distance of two metres between persons must be maintained
  • Systematic hand-washing must take place before and after the viewing using soap or a disinfectant
  • Reasonable measures must be taken to limit touching of surfaces by visitors
  • Home owners are asked to not be present during a visit
  • Home owners are asked to clean and disinfect their home prior to and after a visit
  • Wearing a mask and gloves is required of all parties

 

Always here for you

At all times you can count on my professionalism, integrity, and devotion in supporting your real estate needs. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any and all of your questions.

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Will we continue to work from home?

 

Although uncertain, it is possible that working from home may become more of a new normal for many of us in the coming months. Here are some tips to make the best out of your home office space. Please reach out if you have any other proven work from home strategies you’d like to share. Let’s make this work!

1. Find the perfect area

It’s important that you choose the location of your office carefully. Whether you have an entire room dedicated to your office or a small work area in the corner of a room, there are some essential elements to take into account. It’s best to set up your office in a quiet, secluded area. By removing yourself from household distractions and noise, you will have an easier time concentrating.

2. Electrical outlets and internet

Make sure you have enough electrical outlets to plug in all of your devices. Your Internet connection should also be strong enough in the area of the house where you set up your office. You can always use an Ethernet cable to connect directly to the port of your router, to improve your Internet access. Your provider can help you with this.

3. Organize your equipment and supplies

Make sure you have enough room for a desk, a chair and storage. If you have a lot of computer equipment, such as a second monitor or printer, be sure to take this into account. Plan to have storage solutions for your office supplies so that your space doesn’t get too cluttered. A filing cabinet or piece of furniture with drawers can be very handy for storing your papers. You can also install storage boxes, shelves or a bulletin board to pin your notes. A clean environment makes it easier to find what you’re looking for.

4. Natural Light

If you have a choice, set up your home office in a place with lots of natural light. If this is not possible, a desk lamp will work just fine.

5. Comfortable furniture

Now it’s time to determine the furniture you will need. To be comfortable for many hours at a time, your desk should be as ergonomic as possible. The chair must be comfortable and allow you to have your feet flat on the floor. Otherwise, use a footrest.

6. Add a personal touch

Finally, decorate your office space the way you like. Personal touches are known to increase productivity, creativity and mood. Embellish the room with plants, artwork or picture frames.

 

Always here for you

At all times you can count on my professionalism, integrity, and devotion in supporting your real estate needs. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any and all of your questions.

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Update on Real Estate Visits

 

Your health and safety remain my number one priority as we navigate this ever-evolving situation. 

Although the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing rules will certainly impact the way we conduct real estate transactions in the coming months, this does not mean that it will have a significant impact on the real estate market in general.

New measures were announced yesterday by the OACIQ (L’Organisme d’autoréglementation du courtage immobilier du Québec) stating that real estate brokerage is now (with limitations) considered an essential service. We will see the market strengthen to reach where we left off pre-pandemic.

It is important to note that the situation is changing daily and I will continue to do my best to keep you updated. I always take the time to ensure that I am properly informed before sharing any relevant information with you.

As always I want to offer you my full support and I am available to answer not only all of your questions about these new provisions but of course all of your other inquiries as well.

 

Physical interactions (visits and inspections) are now permitted for PRIORITY transactions only

What is a priority transaction? The government and the OACIQ define a priority transaction as:

Only those transactions with a possession date scheduled for no later than July 31, 2020, and transactions involving a household move to take place by July 31, 2020, are permitted. For the time being, these properties have had to be listed on or before April 20, 2020. 

 

Always here for you

At all times you can count on my professionalism, integrity, and devotion in supporting your real estate needs. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any and all of your questions.

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Force Majeure and the Real Estate Transaction

Join me as I discuss COVID-19’s effect on real estate with lawyer Calin Popovici of Popovici Chouliareas. What is force majeure and its 3 components? Does COVID-19 fall under force majeure? Does it apply the same way to each and every client? If you have any questions for myself or Calin, please feel free to reach out. Calin: popovici@pclegal.ca

 

Always here for you

Though we can’t meet in person, I am always just an email or call away.

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To My Clients & Community: A Note for Homeowners

HOMEOWNERS

Whether you have lived in your home for 1 year or 10, rest assured that there are programs and relief being offered by both the government and the banks. Various financial institutions will be offering measures to homeowners. I encourage you to reach out to your mortgage broker to consider your options in these circumstances. Here are the links to the major financial institutions websites. Check with your city if they are allowing a delay to pay your municipal taxes as well.

 

DESJARDINS
COVID-19: Desjardins announces relief measures for personal and business members and clients
https://blogues.desjardins.com/press_release/2020/03/covid-19-desjardins-announces-relief-measures-for-personal-and-business-members-and-clients.php

NATIONAL BANK
COVID-19: National Bank to Offer Support to its Clients
https://www.nbc.ca/en/about-us/news/news-room/press-releases/2020/20200317-covid-19-la-bnc-offrira-des-mesures-de-soutien-aux-clients.html

BMO Bank of Montreal
BMO Bank of Montreal Announces Actions to Support the Well-Being of Clients, Team Members, and Communities
https://newsroom.bmo.com/2020-03-17-BMO-Bank-of-Montreal-Announces-Actions-to-Support-the-Well-Being-of-Clients-Team-Members-and-Communities

SCOTIA BANK
Scotiabank announces support for customers, employees and communities impacted by COVID-19
https://www.scotiabank.com/corporate/en/home/media-centre/media-centre/news-release.html?id=3511&language=en

TD
An update on COVID-19 and how we’re ready to help
https://www.td.com/ca/en/personal-banking/covid-19/

 

The economy and real estate in Quebec were thriving and experts are convinced that the current state of affairs will be short lived. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the coming months when things become more clear for a free evaluation of your property.

 

At all times you can count on my professionalism, integrity, and devotion in supporting your real estate needs. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any and all of your questions.

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To My Clients & Community: A Note for Those Considering Getting into The Market

THOSE CONSIDERING GETTING INTO THE MARKET

If you are at all considering listing your property in the coming months, do not discount this opportunity. Things will be continually evolving but for now the market rests stable with high demand. We should evaluate on a case by case basis. Please contact me should you have any questions. 

Additionally, I have spoken with my contractors and if you require any work to be done to your home we will evaluate on a case by case basis.

 

At all times you can count on my professionalism, integrity, and devotion in supporting your real estate needs. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any and all of your questions.

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