There are lots of advantages to choosing to live in a condo. For the first time buyer, it is a more affordable way to get into the real estate market. For the empty nester who has been living in a large home in the suburbs, it is a great way to leave the property maintenance like grass cutting and snow shoveling to someone else. If the condo is located in the downtown area of a city, it gives close proximity to restaurants, theatres, art galleries and other amenities. It often reduces the long suburbs to downtown commute, and in some cases means you don’t require two cars or even one, to get around since there is ready access to public transportation.
However if you have been living in a detached or semi-detached house there are a few things you need to be aware of when living in a high-rise condo complex. Make sure you carefully read all of the documentation you are given so you do not inadvertently break some rules and thus get off to a bad start with your new neighbours.
First you must remember that this is a form of communal living where your neighbours will be closer than in a house. Noise issues are one of the biggest areas of complaint from condo dwellers. The condos being built today are not especially soundproof unless you are buying into a very high-end luxury building.
Everyone needs to be respectful of the other residents which means keeping the volume on your television or music system at a reasonable volume especially after 10 pm. Almost all condos have a party room that can be reserved for those occasions when you want to entertain a more boisterous group of friends.
Renovations & Fees
Some people are not aware that they cannot do major renovations to their condo unit without permission from the condo board. Another common rule relates to window coverings; most condo buildings dictate the colour and in some condos even the type of window coverings that are to be installed.
If you are moving to a condo for the first time you may not realize that all of your utilities are not covered by your monthly maintenance fee. Almost all condos include your water with your fee but only 30-50% of them include heating costs – less than 25% of condos include hydro. Newer buildings usually have separate meters for each unit.
Things to Remember
As the time gets closer to your moving date here are some other things to remember when moving into a condo:
- Book your move-in with the condo manager well in advance of your preferred date- make sure you do this before you book a mover
- Ask the condo manager if you are required to arrange for the reading of any meters and the set-up of your account for any utilities you are responsible for of if this is done for you.
- Very few buildings allow moving on a Sunday and may have restricted hours on the other days of the week.
- Most condo buildings will require a damage deposit – this can range from $250 – $1000.
- Some condos charge a non-refundable moving fee to cover the cost of extra cleanup required as a result of a move, padding elevators and cost of a supervisory staff member– this is usually in the $25- $50 range.
- Many buildings have a specific freight elevator, a moving room or loading dock that must be used for moving – you may not be permitted to use regular elevators or front doors to bring even non furniture items in.
- Make note of the total number of hours allowed for the move – most buildings have a maximum number of hours.
- This time restriction is a good reason to use a professional moving company like Premiere Van Lines as they are more efficient than trying to do it yourself – make sure mover is advised of the time limits. It may be necessary to add an extra man or two to the moving crew if time allowed is unreasonable.
- All moving debris must be removed from common areas including hallways, elevators and moving room.
- All cartons must be folded up, bounded with twine and placed in appropriate disposal bins.
- Book the installation of your cable TV, internet and/or telephone in advance.
For more information about moving into a condo contact your local Premiere Van Lines office.