Strata Management Companies
These are the companies that general run the day to day operations of condo or townhouse stratas. Because most individuals have full time jobs and busy lives they rely on hiring experienced companies to maintain and deal with all the financials. If the strata you are looking at does not have a strata management company it might be too small to warrant one but this is something you should find out why. Another red flag would be if the strata is between or just hired a new management company and if they go through management companies quickly.
Unlike living in a detached home living in a strata involves a community vote. When maintenance, changes or upgrades are needed it will be decided through a majority vote of the owners within the strata.
Strata Minutes and Depreciation Reports
When deciding which strata to live in make sure that you and your REALTOR obtain the strata meeting minutes for the last couple years. These documents detail all the past, present and future issues.
Depreciation reports are now required by law and outline the plans, requirements and maintenance required for the next 25-30 years including foundations, roofs, exterior, windows, plumbing, pipes, etc. You want to see what will be required and what time of contingency the strata has planned for.
Older condos tend to be on par with the price of newer condos so you want to be careful what the age of your building is. There is nothing wrong with buying an older building as long as it was properly maintained and the strata has outlined a good depreciation report and has correct finances to cover everything.
The flip side is that older condos tend to be more unique, heritage status, larger in size and have character.