Strata Living comes in many forms - which one is right for you?
If you live in the Lower Mainland, chances are you are likely to purchase a strata property at some point in your home ownership journey. First time buyers find the affordability of condos and townhouses make them a perfect first entry into the market. Growing families appreciate the increased size and yard space that one gets with a townhouse. Downsizers like the maintenance free lifestyle and flexibility offered with strata living.The different forms of strata living in BC include the following:
Bare land strata: this is the simplest form of strata living. Homes are owned individually and have their own yard. However, the roads, street lighting, public entry gates, and/or clubhouses are common property - owned by all of the homeowners collectively. Strata fees are usually low and are to cover the costs of maintenance of the common property.
Apartment or condominiums: Buyers often wonder what the difference is between condos and apartments.
In other parts of the country, condominium is a general term used to refer to strata properties generally. In BC, we typically use the term condominium to refer to apartment style living - that is a building that has been divided into individual units. Homeowners own their individual unit but the common areas of the building are owned collectively by all homeowners. Common areas typically include any amenity facilities, the external structure of the building, ie., the roof, and the grounds on which the building is located. Limited common property is property that is designated for the exclusive use of a particular unit, for example, patios and balconies. Parking stalls and storage lockers can be common or limited common property. It is very important to know their designation as it has implications on your ability to use them exclusively.
Townhomes: these can be attached, ie., duplex, fourplex, or detached, ie, an individual bungalow. Individual townhomes usually have a small area of yard designated limited common property and for their exclusive use. A townhome provides owners with a much more house-like environment and usually has a garage or separate parking stall attached to the unit.
Strata living involves living in a communal environment. No longer are you the sole decision maker with regard to your property.There are a number of considerations that one needs to be aware of when moving into strata properties. If you would like to learn more about strata home ownership to determine if it is the right choice for you , I would be happy to help you!
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