When you buy a Vancouver condo you will pay a monthly maintenance fee. This fee covers the insurance on the building, the property management of the building, caretaker, gardener, water, garbage disposal, cleaning the windows, maintenance of amenities (gym, pool), hot water, maintenance and repair of exterior and interior elements. The BC Strata Property Act requires a strata corporation to save 10% of their annual budget in a Contingency Reserve Fund.
Vancouver property taxes are paid on an annual basis and are due on July 2nd of every year. In January the City of Vancouver will send you your property tax assessment, which is determined in August of the previous year. You can also sign up on the City of Vancouver's website for an automatic monthly withdrawal. If your taxes change, your withdrawal is automatically adjusted.
When you purchase a new home or condo, the Developer will reqire a 20-25% downpayment, usually paid over the period of the first year after you have a binding contract. The large downpayment will impact the price of the property you can afford.
Be sure to ask your Realtor for a breakdown of all the costs involved - property purchase tax, GST, legal fees, Realtor fees, move-in fees.
Talk to your Financial Advisor about withdrawing the downpayment from your RRSP. Review the entire process of purchasing a Vancouver condo or home on this or other websites such as CMHC.
You have a 7 day recission period after the Developer accepts your offer, which in most cases will be a full price offer. During this period you will want to have your lawyer review and explain the Developer's Disclosure Statement to you. What happens if the project doesn't complete? Do you get interest on your deposit? What if the size of your Vancouver condo is less than stated on the floorplan?
Finally, be sure to check out the Developer's reputation and their customer care servie.
Prior to beginning your search for a Vancouver condo you will want to sit down and think about your criteria list. What are the most important features you must have in your new home? These will include items such as neighbourhood, price range, style of home (condo or townhome),
If there are two of you buying the home together,each of you should make a criteria list and number your items 1-5. Then amalgamate your two lists! Often your priorities are different.
Here are some tips to consider:-
the overall layout, does the condo have parking and storage, a balcony, what exposure do you prefer, closet space, any specific furniture you need to fit, quality of finishing, amenities in the building.
Then consider the condo amenities that are important to you - visitor parking, secure entry, gym, social room, jacuzzi/steam, bike storage.
What about the neighbourhood? Do you need to be close to public transportation, restaurants, shopping, coffee shops, parks, exercise facilities, day care, schools.
Some Vancouver condo buyers purchase a pre-sale condo and then flip the contract to another buyers, prior to completion of the building. If the assignment price is greater than the origianl price agreed upon with the Developer there will be tax consequences in the form of a Capital Gains Tax, which is 50% and it is taxed at your personal marginal tax rate. You need to read your Disclosure Statement to see if the Vancouver Developer permits consignments.
Be sure to consult an Accountant.