Cathy Curti

Specializing in Strata Sales










How many active strata corporations and strata lots are there in BC?



As of January 9, 2018, there were 31,100 filed strata plans and 637,205 active strata lots.

With so many Strata Properties now being bought and sold it's prudent to use a Realtor who specializes in strata properties! 



Call me to help with your strata and residential property needs.



Cathy Curti- Your Real Estate Resource and Condo Expert!
250-891-1777

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I have sold a property at 2950 Golden Spike PL in VICTORIA.
Ideal move-in-ready one level just steps to Langford Lake! The perfect condo-alternative – no strata, no fees & equal value! Built in 2010, this 2 bed Rancher features open-concept living & tons of natural light. High vaulted ceilings greet you at the front door, where the entrance opens up to a bright & spacious living area. Ample room in the kitchen w/lots of cupboard space & island w/granite counters & SS appliances – great layout for cooking & entertaining. Spacious master - 2nd bdrm has french doors to a covered patio, complete w/pergola & nice built-in lighting. New rear cedar fencing & no homes behind provides great privacy in south facing backyard, making this the perfect space for BBQs & relaxation. Low maintenance yard w/new stamped concrete! Back inside there's easy-care laminate flooring throughout, laundry & roughed-in vac. Just a quick drive to Victoria – close to amenities & steps to outdoor rec! New schools coming w/a neighbourhood pub on the lake!
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I have sold a property at 317 623 Treanor AVE in VICTORIA.
Luxurious 2 bed 2 bath contemporary condo at "La Vie". If you enjoy outdoor living space #317 boasts one of the most spacious and stunning patios in the building. Only 10 of the 89 units have these unique South facing covered garden walk outs! Perfect for entertaining and all year BBQ'ing. Step inside and you will find a beautifully designed open concept floor plan, featuring oversized windows, 9' ceilings, granite counters, eating bar, ss appliances, pantry, master w/ ensuite & walk in closet, in-suite laundry, electric fireplace and built-in entertainment unit. Brand New hot water tank, dishwasher & w/d all in the past year. Pets & rentals allowed. Conveniently located steps to Millstream Mall, Elementary School, local eateries and bus routes! Secure underground parking. Storage Locker, Bike Storage. Condo living at it's finest in one of Langford's most desirable buildings! Don't delay!
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Hidden value or Hidden problems.....Condos have both, the trick when buying is recognizing a diamond from a chunk of coal and age does play a factor but I've encountered new condos with issues, so appearances and age can be equally deceiving.  When buyers go Condo shopping most of them base the core their search and want on visual appeal and location and don’t do enough research into the inner workings of what's happening. 


There is a lot more to buying a condo than it's outward appearance and that's where I come in......As a former Strata manager I've learned to recognize a Healthy run strata vs Problem Strata and some of the issues not apparent to the untrained eye. My expertise in this area is what makes me the wise choice as your Realtor. 


1. Is the property being managed properly and who is managing it, self regulated or with a management company. 


Who's managing can play an important role. If self managed, a lot of the time the Strata Act may not be followed properly and unfair decisions and issues can arise. Some Self managed Strata's refer to a book of rules called "Roberts Rules"....which is a great tool and guide for councils however does not super cede what is set out in the Strata Act for Strata's to remain compliant. A Strata has to follow what is set out under the Strata Act. A Condo managed by a Strata management company will be more likely to be managed properly as you have a trained and licensed person guiding councils in their day to day operations of the building. Council members most likely have full time jobs and cannot dedicate same amount of time to learning all entailing in the Strata Act and management where a Strata manager does this daily and exposed to much more of a learning curb and knowledge base. I have seen some well run self managed Strata's, but buyers should be aware of the differences and determine if a Condo is being managed well before making the decison to purchase into it.


A Strata is only as good as the council running it is my Golden rule ......this is the core component of what makes a Healthy Building vs a Poorly run Building. 


2. Do they have an accurate budget and taking care of building maintenance.


Budget will be important. Low fees look attractive to buyers, but I tell you low fees are a RED FLAG in any building new or old. If a new build has low fees it's because the proper line items have yet to be set out in an accurate budget. Developers merely put the required items into a initial budget, ie: Garbage, insurance water, landscaping and minimal amount for Contingency Fund Contribution...what they didn’t put was window cleaning, gutter cleaning, roof moss removal, legal funds, Proper Contingency Fund Contribution, Depreciation Report, Building maintenance, Management fees, and the list goes on...in a New Construction you can expect the fees to double or even triple after three years which is where they should be. And if an old Building has low fees, this most likely due to poor management unless the buildings costs are simply low for as they have minimal landscaping, or perhaps self managed, may not have an elevator or other things that drive up costs. 



3. Are they on target with the current years budget, what is the buildings financial status.


You'll want to know if the building is staying on target with costs and expenditures.....and any deficit gets rolled into the following years budget driving up fees. 



4. Do they have a current Depreciation report and healthy Contingency Fund.


A depreciation report is a huge asset for a Condo. It is a report that consists of cost to replace and repair various components of the Building. Roof, gutters, flooring elevators, windows etc.....this report tells you what year and estimated cost. Realtors, inspectors and Lenders now want to see Strata’s with Deprecation reports and current ones. A building Not having one can affect a buyers or ability to qualify with their lender, therefore hurting a Strata's resale value. 


5. What's going on with the neighbor's, reading minutes can tell you a lot about how complaint issues are being dealt with. 


Complaint issues can be problematic is some strata's...the main issues, Noise! Reading minutes can help determine if the unit your thinking of buying is in the line of fire of living near nasty nieghbors. 


6. Past sales history, does the building hold value. 


What have past sales been like. Have units sold consistantly? Does the building hold good resale value? 


7. Rental allowances. 


What if any rentals are permitted. Is there a cap on how many units can be rented at any given time. Did you get accurate information and bylaws from the selling agent? The year of the building will make a difference in rental allowances as well, this due the the Strata Act changung some rules regarding rentals 2009/2010 and what's set out in Form J.


What is a Form J? 


https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/housing-tenancy/strata-housing/operating-a-strata/bylaws-and-rules/rental-restriction-bylaws#overview


For Form Js filed on or before December 31, 2009, a lot that has been designated as a rental lot by the Owner Developer on a Form J remains eligible as a rental lot – regardless of rental restriction bylaws – until either:

  • the lot is sold or transferred by the first purchaser or
  • the date set out on the Form J expires (whichever occurs first)

For the Owner Developer or the first purchaser from the Owner Developer, the effect of the Form J is to preserve the right to rent the strata lot for the length of time set out in the Form J, despite any subsequent rental restriction bylaws.

However, a purchaser who buys the strata lot from someone other than the Owner Developer does not have a right to rent the strata lot. For the new owners, a strata lot may only be rented if there is no rental restriction bylaw or the owner is permitted to rent despite a rental restriction bylaw because of:

  • the family member exception
  • a determination of hardship by the strata council
  • the provision that delays the application of a rental restriction bylaw. The Strata Property Act gives owners who are renting time to comply with a new rental restriction bylaw

For  “Form J: Rental Disclosure Statements” filed on or after January 1, 2010 there are different rules.  The owner-developer can now designate that a strata lot can be rented to a date specified on the Form J.

For these strata lots, a strata lot eligible as a rental remains designated as eligible until the date the rental period expires. The strata lot is not affected by any subsequent rental restriction bylaws until the rental period date on the Form J expires. 

This means the right to rent a strata lot can continue from one purchaser to the next as long as the rental period on the Form J remains unexpired. This provision only applies to "Form J: Rental Disclosure Statements" filed on or after January 1, 2010.


Rental restrictions can affect resale value....No rentals allowed buildings seem to take longer to sell, as do buildings that have a cap on how many units can be rented....so note this when buying and you are thinking of resale value. 


8. Bylaws and registered or unregistered bylaw changes. 


Bylaws....yes Condos have rules and bylaws to abide by. Owners are also liable for any tenants and responsible to have tenants complete a Form K showing they have provided tenants with these bylaws. Bylaws will have set fines according the Strata Act should they not be followed. There is a standard set of bylaws set our by the Strata Act but over the years many issues have risen forcing Strata's to amend or adopt new bylaws and rules ...A strata has 60 days from the date voted and approved to register these bylaws with Land Titles....or the validity of any new bylaws can be brought into question. Some bylaw changes may not affect a current owner like rental restrictions but should the unit sell new bylaws will apply to subsequent purchasers...so what the current is permiited to do may not be what you will be permitted to do. Say for instance.....a current owners has two dogs and the strata chnaged the byalws only permittign one dog. The current owner is grandfathered to keep the two dogs, should one pass that owner cannot go out and get two dogs. So be wary of whats in the current byalws not what applied to that owner.


9. Common Property/ Strata Lot or Limited Common Property and what pertains to your unit. 


Common Property-  is owned by the Strata/ all owners equally and it's use can be had by all owners and maintenance/ repairs falls to all owners. 


Limited Common Property- maintenance  and repair the responsibility of the strata/ all owners yet the use is exclusive to one strata lot/ owner this could be a deck or parking space


Strata Lot- Owned by that individuall owner, as well the cost and maintenance/ repair and up keep 



10. Pets in Condos.


Many condos allow pets and then theres some condos that allow no pets. A strata CAN enforce a no pet bylaw and have an owner remove that pet. So be wary if you have a pet and buying a Condo and hat they bylaws are. Some allow pets but restrict the weight or number of pets....again if you have large breed dog and there's a weight restriction they can enforce the bylaws. In my experience pet restrictions do affect resale as with many people have pets these days and the more rules or bylaws you have the more you reduce your buyers pool. 


11. Children in Condos and noise issues. 


Kids in Condos have been a point of contention for some Condo owners.  Victoria does offer some adult only buildings, these often take longer to sell as again you reduce your buyers pool to only buyers with no children. A great time to look at Condos is going to be when you think the neighbors will be home....such as dinner time. It will give you clear idea of noise transference if people are home next door performing thier daily habits. Some people may not like little kids running on their heads....ask who lives above or below. Find out as much as you can about neighboring units. Go for a second visit some times you see things you missed the first time and catch noise you may have missed the first time. 


12. Mortgage Lenders and Inspectors and what they will be looking for.


Lenders are getting sticky on many fronts including Condo Purchases.....With condos and co-ops, it’s not just your creditworthiness the lender has to worry about. It must also verify the fiscal and physical health of the entire development into which you’re buying.


Inspectors will want a current depreciation report and see a well maintained building...not having a depreciation report may have a buyer walking away if they can't see what repairs and cost are coming their way. 


So now as you can see there are mnay things beyond just looking for a cute condo.....and using an Expert can help you make better informed buying decisions and avoid costly mistakes. 


Cathy Curti ~ Your Real Estate Resource and Condo Expert!

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Listing in the winter has some advantages! 




1. Fewer listings to compete with.


2. January is the biggest month for buyers relocating. 


3. Winter is the perfect time to show off that energy efficient home.


4. Only the committed buyers venture out during cold months, less looky loos and wasted time getting ready for showings.


5. You beat many of the new construction listings due to come to the spring market.


6. Year end bonuses and payouts, could have some folks looking to upgrade their living situations.




Cathy Curti ~ Your Real Estate Resource and Condo Expert! 



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I have listed a new property at 317 623 Treanor AVE in VICTORIA.
Luxurious 2 bed 2 bath contemporary condo at "La Vie". If you enjoy outdoor living space #317 boasts one of the most spacious and stunning patios in the building. Only 10 of the 89 units have these unique South facing covered garden walk outs! Perfect for entertaining and all year BBQ'ing. Step inside and you will find a beautifully designed open concept floor plan, featuring oversized windows, 9' ceilings, granite counters, eating bar, ss appliances, pantry, master w/ ensuite & walk in closet, in-suite laundry, electric fireplace and built-in entertainment unit. Brand New hot water tank, dishwasher & w/d all in the past year. Pets & rentals allowed. Conveniently located steps to Millstream Mall, Elementary School, local eateries and bus routes! Secure underground parking. Storage Locker, Bike Storage. The underground parkade is below the unit, a perfect setup for a family with kids! Condo living at it's finest in one of Langford's most desirable buildings! Don't delay!
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Ever heard of a sectioned strata? You will if you buy one that that contains retail space. A sectioned strata is one that contains more than one use ie: residentail as well a commercial use. Many Condos are residentail only and be one run under one strata corporation. 


A lot of newer Condos are now incorpoarting commerical units on the main level and residentail above, a classic example of what is called a mixed use building or sectioned strata. How it works.....each section will have a council and a budget, separate contingency funds, maybe even bylaws. The reason they do this is each section has a different uses and with those different uses comes cause to have seprate budgets and rules. For example the main level may never use the elevator to get up to the residentail units, therefore why would the owners who only own commcercial spaces have to pay strata fees towards elevator maintenance or repairs when they don't even use it or thier clients/ customers? 


Or residents on the top floors will never use the seprate heat pump or gas that service the commercial units, so things like these need be seperated out, so two, or three or more sections will be created depending on how many sections will be required for a Strata Building. Even your strata fee payments will be broken down into two or more seperate payments that go to each strata.....this doesnt necessarily mean you're paying more, it just means line items get dispersed differntly. 


It's very important to have a Realtor working for you that really understands strata properties and how they work when you're considering buying one. 


A great link to sectioned strata and more useful information can be found at : https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/housing-tenancy/strata-housing/operating-a-strata/sections-and-types/sections#overview 


Cathy Curti ~ Your Real Estate Resource and Condo Expert! 

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Buying

Let me help you every step of the way. When purchasing a home, you are faced with a multitude of decisions! The primary one is whether you are actually prepared to purchase a home. Locating the perfect home is not always an easy task, and obtaining a mortgage loan can be a complex and tiring process. Although, once you have determined that you are ready to move forward with the required effort towards your home-purchasing goal, the rewards are unquestionable.


While at your side each step of the way, I will make the process of purchasing a home easier, more enjoyable, less time-consuming. I will help you locate and assess properties for sale that match your specifications.


Your First Step

Your first step to buying a home is to first ask yourself why you want to buy a home: to stop paying rent? To start building equity? To have a place of your own? To raise a family? To entertain business associates? To move up to a bigger house? Next, list what kind of home you'd like and where you would like to be. Be specific. Separate the "must haves" from the "want to haves."


Think of yourself as zeroing in on a target, going from the general to the specific. Consider area (city, suburban neighborhood, country); community (north, south, east, or west side); neighborhood (older and settled or sparkling new; a particular school zone; recreational facilities; and other community services such as transportation, day care, library, stores, entertainment). Ask yourself how many minutes you are willing to commute to work.


Think about home styles. How much space do you need? Does your situation require a one-level home, or are stairs acceptable? Consider size and kind of property. Do you want a newer home, or maybe an older one to fix up? Someday you or your heirs will want to sell. Consider how long you expect to live in this particular home.

Your Next Step: Loan Pre-Qualification

Once you have addressed the above needs, your next step in the purchasing process is to get pre-qualified with a mortgage company. 


Call me and I will refer you to a mortgage professional that has an excellent reputation and track record for successfully acquiring loan approval for his/her clients.

I Will Find The Right Homes For You

Once you've been pre-qualified and know what price range you want to stay in, I can help you determine which properties fit your needs by using the (MLS) Multiple Listing Service system to locate them.


I have the best possible resources and communication systems available today to help you locate the homes on the market that match your specifications. You can even search my listings here at my website.

I Will Help You Every Step Of The Way

I will help you arrange for financing and inspections, help you undertsand confusing forms/ contracts, advocate for you and help you ask the right questions, walk you through the closing on the transaction. I continue to check in on my clients even after your home pruchase. My top priority is to make sure that your home buying experience is pleasant, cost-efficient, and successful.


Cathy Curti ~ Your Real Estate Resource and Condo Expert!

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So how does one know if the Condo they are purchasing will be a good invesment?


A Condo has many moving parts and is owned by mulitple people. The reason some Condos are great vs others that are not so great is how they have been managed.


I have a saying " A Strata is only as good as the council running it" 


Simply buying a condo because you like it's ammenties, location and how it looks is not enough. A buyer needs to dig deeper into reading  the minutes, looking through the depcreciation report, budget, rules and byalws, how much is in the contignecy fund and is that amount suficient. Most buyers are not well versed in knowing what red flags to look for and can overlook important issues or know how to navigate strata documents. Learning where and what to look for can take years to learn the in's and out's of strata properties, so how can buyers be expected to know how to make edcuated decisons if they don't even know much about strata's? How can buyers be expected to recognise a good Condo from a Bad Condo? They can't is the answer......the good news, there is there is solution. 


Ensuring you hire a Realtor well versed and specializing in this area will be a asset to those looking at Condo Purchase.


What makes me an Expert? I am also a licensed Strata and Property manager who spent years manging 23 commercial and strata properties prior to becoming a Realtor. Managing these properties day to day, building budgets, holding meetings and writting minutes, preparing documents, deaing with daily issues, repairs and maintenance, insurance issues, etc gives one a hands on experince that being a Realtor alone could have never provided. I am so grateful I had the opportunity to be a strata manager fisrt as it's given me a level of experince that makes me an asset to any seller or buyer. It's why I decided to specailize In Condo sales.... I get to help clients in a way that makes a differnce. 


I walk my clients through the buying process and if I see issues with a strata property my cleints will be made aware of any red flags I see. My clients go into buying a property well informed and armed with information to make better buying deicisions. Therefore buying better investments. 


I sold my own home one year ago and purchased a condo and in one year my unit if put on current market today I would list for $90,000 more than I paid .....now thats an awesome return on my investment. Good Condo investing is all about doing a little homework and buying a solid strata property that is well run....if you don't know what to look for in one, Hire an Expert. I wouldn't buy a bad condo and ensure my clients don't either!


Cathy Curti ~ Your Real Estate Resource and Condo Expert

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Many Condo buyers get drawn in by Condos that boast ammenties such as roof top terraces, pools, games rooms and gym facilites. 


One thing buyers should be considering when buying a Condo is what can I afford and have I considered the expenses related to Condo's that offer these extras. 


 New devlopments only put into thier budgets mandatrory line items such as insurance, water, garbage removal, landscaping, electric. So to buyers strata fees look low and are enticing.....but what's missing and what buyers don't consider is the line items in a budget that are not factored in that over time will have to be factored in. Such as annual gutter cleaning, roof moss removal, elevator maintenance, window cleaning, snow removal, fire panel maintenance, annual fire testing, security camera systems, leagl costs, Contingency fund contribution, depreciation report and ongoing updates every three years, strata management company costs, regular maintenance and repairs, painting and the list goes on.


These costs are just your basic Condo costs......when you look at buying a condo with ammenties you can bet your strata fees to be even higher, because you'll have gym equipment replacement and care, pool care, roof top gas BBQ's and those costs, some condos have ponds and fountains which can be costly for pumps and maintenance. 










Whan I was managing strata properties years ago, the main complaints from new buyers was strata fees and rising costs of them and particularly in New Conctruction. Buyers think they are paying low fees only to discover them double with in the first years AGM. 


Many buyers simply don't now what questions to ask and that's where hiring a Condo Expert can make the differnce. If more buyers were edcuated and informed they could make better buying decisons. Something I do with my clients is edcuate them, give them all the facts and costs they can expect so they can be informed about the property they are considerting buying. 


Buy wise, buy with me!


Cathy Curti ~ Your Real Estate Resource and Condo Expert

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Made the sales leader list again for the month of May! Thank you to my clients for trusting me with their business and congrats to my colleagues at Pemberton Holmes!


Cathy Curti ~ Your Real Estate Resource and Condo Expert! 


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As a former property manager I've come across some nightmare tenants! People work hard for thier home investment and having bad tenants who destroy property or skip paying rent negate renting to begin with. No point in renting if it's costing you more than you're getting...I found this great article in the Globe and Mail this morning on ways to help yourself as Landlords to better screen tenants aa well ways to protect yourself during tenancy. 

 

_____________________________

 

 

 

The Globe and Mail ~

 

"Tenancy laws throughout Canada differ greatly, but they all set out specific protections for both landlords and tenants. Most landlords assert that the laws favour tenants in almost every situation. Certain provinces, such as Alberta, offer slightly more protection to landlords than other provinces, where landlords can be forced to endure a problematic tenancy for months, or even years.

 

How to screen your prospective tenant


The best and most sure-fire way for landlords to avoid having to deal with this problem starts at the very beginning of the landlord-tenant relationship. Landlords who screen their tenants properly will greatly reduce the risk of future loss, maintain their reputation in the greater community without blemish, and not be constantly stressed about their rental properties."

 

For full article and tips on screening please go to: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/real-estate/mortgages-and-rates/how-to-steer-clear-of-bad-tenants/article12468447/

 

 

Cathy Curti ~ Your Real Estate Resouce and Condo Expert!

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No one wants to buy a mansion on a street full of ranchers and spli-levels. When your home upgrades feel overboard for your neighborhood, you alienate buyers on two fronts: Buyers who are drawn to your neighborhood won’t be able to afford your home, and buyers who can afford a home of your caliber will prefer to be in posh area. Keep the "base level " of your neighborhood in mind. Go ahead and visit open houses on your block to see how your neighbors’ kitchens look before you invest a small fortune in quartz countertops and high-end fixtures. Being a little nicer than the other houses around you can be a selling point, but being vastly more luxurious is not.

 

Keep in mind any large scale or custom home upgrade should be for your own enjoyment — but don’t fool yourself into believing you’ll more than recoup the cost of the improvement in the form of a much larger listing price when it comes time to sell. You can always opt for upgrades that have the best potential to draw in a buyer instead!


Cathy Curti ~ Your Real Estate Resource and Condo Expert! 

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 This Yr/Last Yr Sold Price x District 



 

DistrictSale Price, Median 2017Sale Price, Median 2018Percentage Change
Oak Bay $1,268,000 $1,315,000 3.7 %
North Saanich $975,000 $1,048,000 7.5 %
Saanich East $910,000 $935,000 2.7 %
Victoria $882,750 $899,000 1.8 %
Highlands $827,500 $894,975 8.2 %
Metchosin $876,450 $889,950 1.5 %
View Royal $687,750 $845,000 22.9 %
Victoria West $675,000 $795,000 17.8 %
Central Saanich $765,000 $793,000 3.7 %
Sidney $691,450 $769,500 11.3 %

 

 

Time frame is the months January-June for the years 2017-2018
Listing Sub-Class is 'Single Family Detached'
Results calculated from 1,879 listings

 

 

 

If you're Interested in knowing what your home could sell for let's talk. 250-891-1777

 

Cathy Curti ~ Your Real Estate Resource and Condo Expert!  

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I have sold a property at 3573 Promenade CRES in VICTORIA.
ROYAL BAY a community lifestyle that suits all ages. A beautifully manicured neighbourhood. The area boasts boundless recreational opportunities and nearby beaches, trails, schools, Red Barn Market, golf and other amenities all within minutes. This home has been meticulously loved and maintained. The MASTER BD on the main floor offers a 4 pce master suite and large walk in closet. Open concept kitchen to family room with kitchen upgrades that include high end appliances, counters, pantry and garburator. The additional formal liv/dining rm with gas f/p is ideal for entertaining. 3/4" birch hardwoods. The upper level offers 2 bedrooms, open concept computer/office area and additional bonus flex room. The South facing landscaped yard perfect for summer BBQ's. Many other great upgrades: Drive way, garage door, new paint, Sebo Central Vac attachments and serviced, installed ht pump (back up gas natural gas), 60 Gal ht wtr tank. This home won't fail to impress!
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A depreciation report is a key management tool for stratas. It helps the owners in a strata corporation plan and pay for the repair, replacement and renewal of common property and assets such as a roof, windows, elevators, roads, utilities and other items. The money saved each month is paid into what is called an Contingency Reserve Fund and this fund is built up over time as a planning tool to cover maintenance and repairs for years to come. 
 
The report is a snap shot of costs based at the time the report is created. It is recommended at very least the report be updated every 3 years. Many strata's are choosing to waive the updates at annual AGM meetings. 
 
Let me explain what happens when a strata decides to waive recommended report updates. If a strata had their initail report completed in 2013 the maintenance and repair cost were based on what building costs were in that year. If a strata choses to waive the next report in 2016 the cost for building in 2016 could likely be more and every year after tthe next. The cost of building will inflate over time causing the numbers of recommneded saving to get skewed creating a deficit in the contingency. 
 
When Depreciation Report updates are done the person creating that report takes into account the costs of inflation and adjust contribution amounts accordingly so a strata can stay on par with rising costs and maintain accurate figures to aim for. The more a strata waives update reports the larger the deficit created over the years. In time when the update is completed owners are hit with a large jump in strata fees.....it's better to raise strata fee costs a little each year than to anger owners with a large raise in fees and cause them to play catch up or have to pay a special assessment where one could have been avoided. 
 
Other negative factors to postponing a Report update.....When selling your home, Buyers use these reports a tool to see when maintenance and repairs will be required and costs involved. Not having current reports indicate to buyers a poorly run strata. Sellers may lose buyers. 
 
Banks also may require of buyers a current Depreciation Report and can deny financing a property they feel is poorly managed and maintained. 
 
The cost a few thousand dollars every few years is well worth doing the updates....especially when you factor that reflected in the original depreciation report the contingency fund update was put in as a expense to be paid every 3 years therefore not costing the owners anything more in the strata's current fiscal year budget. The cost was already preplanned for. 
 
So when strata's think they are savign money by not doing updates, they really are not and in fact hurting overall savings, sales and propery value. 
 
So to answer the question Should a Strata waive a Depreciation report update......absolutely NO! 
 
When looking buy or sell your next Condo...be sure to hire the best! 
 
Cathy Curti ~ Your Real Estate Resource and Condo Expert! 
 
 
 
 
 
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Our Real Estate Industry has seen many changes over this past year. One of those changes has been BC's new Speculation Tax, and it has many home owners concerned. To learn more about BC's Spectulation tax please see BC Government link below.

 

 

https://workingforyou.gov.bc.ca/speculationtax/

 

 

Cathy Curti ~ Your Real Estate Resource and Condo Expert

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I guess it comes down to what type of property are you looking for? Is your Realtor familiar with these types of properties? A Realtor is a Realtor is a Realtor...... WRONG! Each Realtor has different levels of experience, expertise and knowledge. 

 

A " Knowledgeable " Realtor can be your asset, saving you time and money. How do most people select a Realtor? A friend, family member, friend referral, look online or meet though open houses. 

 

Residential real Estate ownership can vary from Freehold, Strata, Leasehold, Co-Ops and Recreational Properties and all have vastly different legal parameters regarding ownership. 

 

Does your Realtor have the level of expertise you require for the type of property you are purchasing? This is something buyers should be asking before hiring. Many Realtors take the time to take additional courses, licenses and education beyond the initail licensing exam so they can better serve cleints. Many Realtors specialize in certain areas either geograpically, or types of owenrship, luxury property, condos, commercial and residentail etc....

 

I myself spent years working prior to being a Realtor as licensed Property Manager and Strata Manager so I have become extremely well veresed in Strata and Tenanted properties from hands on experince and this is the area I can best serve buyers and sellers. Part of my job as strata manager was to send welcome packages to new owners, set up their strata fees, ensure they had read and understood bylaws, parking rules, connect them with contacts they may need, general questions and concerns and to introduce myself. So many times these new buyers had concerns and didn't understand what Strata Property and expenses consisted of. Some owners experienced special levies imposed on them within weeks of ownership then found themsleves mad and frustrated that it had been missed.  How does this stuff get missed? Not reading Strata documents presumably. By not reading minutes you over look so much information, information that can be used to negotiate price and or advoid buying into a problematic mismanaged strata. Buyers " must " read the strata documents provided to them.....better yet, hire a Realtor well versed in strata properties! I read all the strata documents, making sure areas of concern get pointed out to my clients. One of the reasons I left strata and property management was I saw need for Strata experts in Real Estate and being multiple licensed also allowed me to offer a unique level of service and cross over of my multiple licenses, allowing me to help homeowners with tenanted propeties selliing them to assist with any residentail tenancy issues.

 

I truly believe a good sales transaction is based opon making informed decisions. You want to know what you're buying right? How can a buyer make an informed buying decision if they did not know all the facts about a property?  A freehold is not like a strata. Also a property could be tenanted which brings about another set of issues. When can you take vacant possession, transfer of damage deposit to buyer, serving notices and when is notice deemed to have been served, working with tenants, etc. Someone lacking experience in these areas may not be able to best advise you because they lack the knowledge. The best buying power is the abilty to make educated buying decisions and this can only be done when you are informed.  Selecting the right Realtor will be key in your buying experience and as a new buyer who lacks experience you'll want someone who does have experience and knowledge or the tools to lead you in the right direction. Offering a list of vendors like mortgage brokers, inspectors, insurance needs or lawyers.

 

A good Realtor will educate themselves and carry a broad knowledge pertaining to homes, building materials, municipal bylaws, knowledge and signs of latent defects, negoation skills, drafting contracts and clauses, searching title, due diligence, ethics, confirming permits and double checking information provided in a PDS (Property Disclosure Statement ) warranty issues, strata docs, knowing where and what to look for, navigating surveys, including strata surveys showing strata lots vs common property and parking, oil tanks, forms of ownership on types of properties, and the list goes on. Realtors cannot be expert in all fields but they certainly can educate themselves enough to recognize the area of concerns and who to go to for answers when they don't have them. 

 

Buying a house is not just simply going out and buying a house.  Realtor selection should be priority as a starting point, as they will be the one to guide you and …for most people, buying or selling a home is the single largest financial transaction that they will make in their lives! 

 

Be sure the Realtor you chose is one who can be a "resource" for you. Interview a few and then decide. Know what questions to ask, educate yourself before you shop, ask friends who own homes and ask them what would you do different, what advice can they give you?  Sales people sell products, Realtors in my opinion are there to educate, inform, guide, offer you resources. Its not just showing you a few properties, drafting the contract for you and finalizing the deal. Its about making sure your client purchased the home they did knowing all the facts they could about that property so they could an make informed decision. 

 

Cathy Curti ~ Your Real Estate Resource and Condo Expert

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I have sold a property at 2352 Mountain Heights DR.
Under Construction,roof on,being framed,(2355 Mtn Heights across street is finished,so can see finishing,,Its on $599750 Gst Incl)))..Great Subdivision,Brand new One Level home expected completion end of May 2018. Get in early and pick your colours! Featuring 3 bedrooms, 2 bathroom on over 1600 sqft. Double car garage. Lots of Parking, Huge lot, on sewers, natural gas. Appliances and GST negotiable. Measurements are approximate based off plans pls verify if important. $599900 Gst Negotiable for this one. *Accepted Offer in place*
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 "In the renovation game, fast and cheap add up to just one thing — crap."

 

In my business we see it often....shoddy renovations, folks who've had terrible renovation experinces, some ending up paying more in the end to have another contractor come in and re do the work costing them even more. Or you later come to discover the proper permits were never pulled or had a final inpsection...I've come acorss a few homes I've had to sell where permits were not pulled and the seller then had to disclose this or correct work. 

 

 Lowest quote isn't always best or the eager contractor who phones you back right away. Read more at HGTV what Mike Holmes has to say about starting your project out right...and that starts from the moment pick up the phone! 



https://www.hgtv.com/shows/holmes-on-homes/articles/so-you-want-to-start-a-renovation-how-to-shop-for-a-contractor

 

Cathy Curti ~ Your Real Estate Resource and Condo Expert!

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