The most common problems encountered in condominium transactions


Rough transcript.

Condos purchases have increased substantially in recent years as the cost of housing has moved higher. Just ten years ago, condo sales accounted for roughly 16 percent of Saskatoon’s MLS® housing market. This year, condominiums account for roughly  27% of all residential resale activity on the Saskatoon multiple listing service®.

According to the Real Estate Insurance Exchange, a private company formed to provide errors and omissions insurance for real estate agents in several provinces, the majority of problems that arise in a condo purchase fall into four areas that they call the four P’s.

The four P’s are Pets, Parking, Payments and Paper.

When it comes to pets, it’s extremely important that all parties to the transaction are aware of the rules of the condo corporation. Don’t let the fact that the current seller has a dog or a cat give you comfort that you can bring yours. In some cases, grandfathering clauses allow current owners to have pets but prohibit new owners from bringing them. Some complexes have restrictions on certain breeds, or even size restrictions that you’ll want to be aware of if you plan on bringing or acquiring a pet in your new condo. A careful review of condominium documents, or a chat with the property manager should clarify whether or not you can bring your pet to you new home. In either case, request a copy of the condo corporation’s per policy in writing.

As far as parking is concerned, you’ll want to be sure you understand if it’s included with your unit, and if so, exactly where the parking stall is located. Is it assigned, and if so, by whom? Is the parking stall titled, and will you have the right to transfer it to a new owner when you’re ready to sell. The estoppel certificate should detail what rights you have to exclusive use of parking facilities, but occasionally we’ve seen estoppels that don’t address parking. Insist on having your parking rights detailed in that particular document.

The third P stands for payments. In this area, buyers or sellers may be confused about exactly what is included in the monthly condo fee. For instance, the buyer may be led to believe that the condo corporation covers electricity costs for each unit when they’re not covered. Buyers may also be taken by surprise regarding special assessments or one-time fees that are levied against unit owners, usually for the purpose of completing large and expense improvements that haven’t been provided for in the budget. Special assessments are normally known about in well in advance of being issued and a thorough review of meeting minutes can be a great way of learning about them when you’re considering a purchase. The estoppel certificate also contains information on special assessments that have been proposed or passed by the board.

Finally, the fourth P stands for paper. This is the stack of documents that a buyer will be provided after their offer has been accepted. Under the current legislation, a buyer has either five days or ten days to review the paper, depending on whether the unit is new, or a resale. At any point during the allotted time, they may rescind or withdraw their offer to purchase based on any information contained in the documents. It is the buyer’s responsibility to conduct their own due diligence and insure that they are aware of what they’re buying. Remember, you’re not just purchasing a home; you’re buying into a corporation that most typically has many owners. You’ll want to understand the by-laws and rules of the corporation, and you’ll want to have a good understanding of the corporation’s financial health. You will, after all, be responsible for some portion of it moving forward.

Thanks for watching. If you have questions about condos or any other Saskatoon real estate matter, feel free to give me a call at 306-241-6676, or drop me an email at norm@teamfisher.com.

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.  All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

Paid in full – three steps forward for Saskatoon’s River Landing Village

Following what seemed like an endless string of starts and stumbles for the troubled River Landing Village project, local developer Victory Majors Investments Corp. seems to be delivering with a third forward step after taking the reins in late October when they purchased Lake Placid Development’s equity in the project. At that time, they produced evidence that financing to build the first phase of the proposed $200 million hotel and condominium complex had been secured. In the days that followed, a due diligence audit conducted by Deloitte concluded that Victory Major Investments could successfully bring the project to grade and complete the shoring, footing and foundation with the required underground parking garage.

The City of Saskatoon announced Thursday that the developer had met the December 2 deadline to pay the balance of the $5.2 million purchase price of “Parcel Y” at River Landing on the south edge of Saskatoon’s Central Business District. A cheque in the amount of $4,990,494 was received at city hall and documents required to facilitate the transfer of the land to Victory Majors had been provided to the developer.

Victory Majors Investments must now complete the title transfer, advise the city of a construction start date and then complete the first phase within 18 months. The developer has previously indicated that a three-year target is realistic for completion of the entire project. During the November 1 announcement that River Landing Village would move forward, Victory’s Kay Nasser indicated that the project would be built to the specifications previously approved by city council.

A look at River Landing Village is available here.
Learn more about the Central Business District of Saskatoon here.

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.  All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email.

Our Saskatoon home search tool offers MLS® listings represented by all real estate brands, presented with more detail than you’ll find anywhere else. Check it out here.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

River Landing saga to continue with Lake Placid as the buyer

In a 9-2 vote last night, city council agreed to sell Parcel Y in Saskatoon’s Central Business District to Lake Placid for development of their proposed River Landing Village.

According to a story on the Star Phoenix website, “An agreement is now in place to develop the city’s most coveted piece of riverfront land with a new deadline and promises that financing for the megaproject will be available soon….Lake Placid CEO Michael Lobsinger said the agreement for the sale of the land paves the way for the company to secure financing.”

I’m totally confused. Here’s why.

On April 12, council voted to reopen negotiations with the developer and to conduct an independent audit to determine if Lake Placid has sufficient financing to complete the project.

On May 25, following what Mayor Don Atchison described as “the most due diligence that the city has done on any land sale,” city council, sitting as an executive committee, reached an agreement on price with Lake Placid.

The story that ran in the Star Phoenix the following day included this bit of text, “We’re ready, willing and able now to proceed with the $200-million project,” Lake Placid CEO Michael Lobsinger said Tuesday. “We have financing in place . . . and are ready to move dirt in June or July.”

Under the new agreement Lake Placid has until November 1 to provide documentation that between $50 million and $60 million dollars in financing is secure.

Huh?

All of our Lake Placid posts are here.

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.  All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

Lake Placid back in the River Landing game

Following what Mayor Don Atchison described as “the most due diligence that the city has done on any land sale,” an agreement was struck with Lake Placid Developments to purchase “Parcel Y” at River Landing in Saskatoon’s Central Business District for a price of $5,240,494 yesterday.

Star Phoenix writer David Hutton is reporting that “City council, sitting as an executive committee, made the decision in private Tuesday afternoon to advertise the land sale before it was announced at the evening council meeting. The sale still requires the blessing of city council on June 14 because the purchase is for less than market value.”

Recent appraisals on the land suggested a market value of approximately $11 million. Lake Placid had previously purchased the land for $4.8 million but lost it to the city when they failed to meet payment deadlines in October of last year.

On March 22 of this year, Lake Placid CEO Michael Lobsinger appeared before council indicating that he had formed a partnership with Dr. Karim Nasser and that financing had been secured to complete the $200 million dollar River Landing Village previously approved by council.

In mid-April, council agreed to enter into negotiations with Lake Placid subject to an independent audit to ensure that adequate financing was in place to complete the project.

Council will formally vote to approve the sale at the June 14 council meeting after hearing from anyone who might be opposed to the sale. Lobsinger indicates that he’s “ready to move dirt in June or July” and believes that the project can be completed in 36-months.

Read more from David Hutton’s report here.

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.  All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

City to review downtown housing development incentives

2nd Avenue Lofts in downtown Saskatoon

Star Phoenix reporter Dave Hutton says that the City of Saskatoon is reviewing downtown housing incentives in hopes of finding better ways to attract new residents to the area.

Over nearly a decade, the city has provided $4.8 million worth of tax abatements to people buying homes in various condo projects. Dave reports that this program has led to over $80 million dollars worth of re-development in eleven projects including the 2nd Avenue Lofts, the King George and the Rumley Distinctive Lofts. Apparently, the program has produced weaker than expected results with the total downtown population growing to just 4,200, well short of the city’s goal of 10,000 residents.

City planners are now looking at incentives that would more directly benefit developers.

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions. All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate