How Old is Too Old When Buying Resale Condo?
Ask an Agent: How Old is Too Old When Buying Resale Condo?Posted by Catherine Jheon Wednesday, January 27, 2010 4:42 PM
Our gal of expertise is Avryll McNair of Bosley Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage. She’s been selling and buying condos and houses in Toronto for over five years. She has a background in home furnishing and lifestyle (she helped design the Ikea store in Etobicoke). That means she can help buyers see beyond the smoke and mirrors of staging but conversely knows how to make a home look its best for sellers.
Today's question comes from Andrew who asks: How old is too old when buying a resale condo?
Avryll: The age of a condominium is less relevant than how well it's been maintained. There is a predictable serviceable lifespan for structural and mechanical building components, such as elevators, ventilation systems, balconies and roofing. Most jurisdictions require that condominiums maintain a reserve fund, paid for by monthly condominium fees. Buildings that have been well maintained will have replaced or budgeted for the repair and replacement of these items through their reserve funds.
Effective maintenance and planning by a strong board of directors and a professional property manager will certainly minimize risk. A well maintained building with a small reserve fund that has replaced components along the way may be in better physical and financial standing than a building with a large reserve fund awaiting several repairs.
The status certificate and other condo documents should be reviewed by your lawyer as a condition of any condo purchase, as these documents will detail budgets and assessments that are related to building maintenance. Although older buildings typically have higher maintenance fees due to the replacement costs required to maintain the property, they tend to have unique features and generally offer more spacious units than modern buildings.
Providing you are well informed, your personal preferences will guide you. As with houses, some consumers are loyal to new developments and virgin spaces with modern finishes, while others prefer the character and charm of historical homes.