Condominium insurance that you purchase as an owner does not cover the entire building, but rather only the inside of your unit and your belongings. A portion of the strata fees goes toward a separate strata insurance policy that insures the building. Buyers should request a copy of the building insurance policy and look at what the renewal date is, look at what the values are, the deductibles and what the rate is. If it is coming up for renewal wait to see what the final figure is. Why? For some, the cost of building insurance is going to rise – a lot. Higher premiums will affect owners’ monthly strata fees and in some cases, individual owners may also have to carry the full load of an insurance claim if it is found that they have been responsible or the cause of the claim.


Condominium owners should buy homeowner’s insurance that covers strata deductibles. However, most will only cover up to $50,000 for individual owners.

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Three-in-ten British Columbians have bought a property in the past few years, with Generation Xers (35%) leading the way. When thinking about their next home, Millennials (ages 18 – 34) favour a condominium, while Generation X (ages 35 – 54) is looking for a detached house. Four-in-five British Columbians say it is currently difficult to purchase a home in their city or town. Affordability is a Province-wide issue. While much has been written about affordability being a Metro Vancouver problem, the numbers are high all over the province including Northern BC (90%), the Fraser Valley (79%) and Vancouver Island (74%). Source: BC Real Estate Association

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Strata condominiums have two different types of home warranty insurance coverage. The individual unit owner is responsible for the policy on the unit, and the strata corporation is responsible for the policy on common property. Knowing what is covered under the policy for your unit, what is covered under the common property policy and the expiration dates is wise.
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“Standard” Contracts of Purchase and Sale issued by Builders on new construction should probably be scrutinized by a lawyer before signing on the dotted line. Builders often tailor-make these documents to protect their interests – not yours. They may only be “standard” for that particular builder and property.
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  • Has your condominium been improved or modified from the standard interior? Changes such as flooring, cabinetry and appliances are the responsibility of the unit owner and are not covered under your strata insurance. Make sure any improvements are covered under your personal insurance policy.

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  • If you qualify for the B.C. Property Tax Deferment Program, you can defer your taxes as long as you own your home. The deferred taxes must be fully repaid, with interest, before your home can be legally transferred to a new owner, other than directly to your surviving spouse. If you refinance your home, your mortgage holder may require full repayment of the deferred taxes upon refinancing. You may repay all, or part of the deferred taxes and interest at any time without penalty.

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  • When hiring a property inspector ensure the individual is properly licensed. Also, consider the inspector’s experience and credentials and also what insurance coverage the inspector carries such as errors and omissions insurance, liability insurance and worker’s compensation coverage.

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