Repair vs Sell Your Aging Condo Building

Aging condo buildings are on Ontario homeowners’ shopping list. Great locations, spacious rooms, and traditional designs can make even a seriously aging building desirable again. Those boxy, newer condos are so cramped (and pricey!). 

Before you decide whether to repair vs sell in an aging condo building, read our suggestions from an Ontario real estate lawyer. 

Quick Read

Asset or liability: when to repair an aging condo building

What happens to condos after 50 years?

What happens to old condos in Toronto?

What is a good condo reserve fund? 

What rights do condo owners have in Ontario?

A builder in Ontario
Image by Gerd Altmann | Pixabay

Your Aging Condo Building Can Be an Asset

Aging condo buildings, like heritage townhouse condos, do appreciate. Ontario realtors report character buildings are sought after. Having an historic designation or being in a heritage district adds yet more value. 

Plus, your aging condo building has features modern developers skimp on to make a  profit. They include perks you take for granted, like dedicated parking, a linen closet, pantry, generous balcony (or any balcony at all). 

Your building may be in an older neighbourhood, with mature trees and great walking scores. What’s not to like?   

What Happens When Condos Age

What happens to condos after 50 years should influence your decision, so be cautious before you commit to major repairs in an aging condo building. Building code changes can leave you with expensive, unplanned bills. Renovations to an aging building, like updating plumbing or installing pot lighting, must meet current Ontario Building Code standards. They may not only require the condo corporation’s approval, but a building permit and licensed professional installer. Get a digital building code

How popcorn ceilings affect your condo’s price.  

What Happens to Old Condos in Toronto 

Usually this: 

  • Real estate developers are in the market for prime locations near valuable downtown or waterfront locations. Aging condo buildings may still be profitable if sold to a developer.
  • Ontario’s Condominium Act discourages condo corporations from carrying a deficit. Terminating a condo corporation and selling an aging building for its land value wipes bad debts off the books.
  • Condo corporations can struggle to collect common element expenses from owners in an aging building. Those delinquent fees are added to a corporation’s deficit. They can force your condo corporation to ask a court for permission to sell owners’ units, triggering special assessments to cover the legal expenses. What happens when a condo reserve fund runs out
  • Keep in mind lenders may take convincing to fund renovations in an aging condo building. Read making condo repairs in a faulty building. My condo association is not making repairs — what now? 

Calculate If a Condo Reserve Fund is Good 

The Canadian Actuarial Institute recommends a minimum condo reserve fund of 1% of the structures’ full reconstruction cost, aging building or not. A good condo reserve fund should cover the property damage deductible in a condo corporation’s insurance policy.

What is a Condo Reserve Fund?

Condo reserve funds can be used for major maintenance and repairs in your aging condo building. Everyday wear and tear is funded through the common expense fees you pay towards a condo corporation’s annual operating budget. 

Is Your Condo Reserve Fund Adequate?

Determining if a condo reserve fund is good is crucial to making a decision to repair vs sell in an aging building. 

Condo Owners’ Rights in Ontario 

Your rights as a condo owner are defined by laws and condo corporation bylaws and regulations. Read Ontario laws for condo owners before you plan repairs, in an aging building. Some condo repairs can be a condo corporation’s responsibility not yours. Who has condo repairs responsibility (Ontario)

Can’t resolve a dispute with a condo corporation or other owner? Ontario’s Condominium Association Tribunal hears complaints from owners. File a condo dispute here

Discussing with a lawyer

Why You Need a Real Estate Lawyer

Axess Law assists you to refinance condo mortgages when you choose to repair vs sell your aging condo. We can liaise with a new bank, credit union, trust company, or private lender to process the legal documents you need to buy a replacement condo or home. Ask us for referrals to our trusted legal partners for a legal action against condo boards. 

Our professional legal team discharges existing mortgage loans to close real estate transactions on time. Our flat fee legal rates are affordable, and make home buying or refinancing a mortgage less expensive all around. Questions to ask real estate lawyers

Buying a new unit? Let Axess Law review your agreement of purchase and sale, before or after you sign. We look for essential clauses that protect your legal and financial interests, like home inspections or subject-to mortgage financing. Wording home inspection clauses in your offer to purchase. 

When your financing is in place, Axess Law searches title to your new property for financial claims or construction liens that can hold up your property purchase. We check for the mandatory condo fire insurance binder required by mortgage lenders. Are preconstruction assignments sales a good deal? 

Add a name to house titles in Ontario, ensuring your spouse or common law partner is a joint tenant with shared property rights if you pass on or divorce. For a modest, one-time fee, Axess Law adds title insurance to protect your home from mortgage fraud. How to stop title fraud

Affordable Real Estate Lawyers, Anywhere You Are 

Access lawyers for less in Greater Toronto Area, Ottawa, or anywhere in Ontario  when you buy, sell, or transfer property. Axess Law’s flat fee real estate lawyers are affordable, and our rates are all inclusive (excluding taxes, disbursements, and third-party charges). Axess Law offers you only the legal services you absolutely need. Your final invoice includes no surprises or hidden charges. Your itemized statement of adjustments is explained when we deliver it, and we answer any questions you have about it. 

Find condo real estate lawyers in Ontario. 

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