BC Notaries Offer 10 Essential Tips for Strata Property Buyers
Strata Property Purchases Rising due to First-time Buyers and Empty Nesters
For Immediate Release July 17, 2013
Vancouver, BC—The popularity of strata title properties is rising in BC as both first-time buyers and empty nesters embrace their relative financial accessibility and convenience. Strata ownership is a great alternative to owning and maintaining a house, but the Society of Notaries of BC caution that buyers need to understand it is a different form of ownership and those considering a purchase should know exactly what they are acquiring.
According to BC’s Office of Housing and Construction Standards, BC is home to half a million residential strata lots. This figure does not include mixed-use buildings that may have both residential and commercial units. Based on an average BC family of 3.1 people, this translates into more than 1.5 million BC residents living in residential stratas—34 per cent of BC’s population.
“The lower maintenance, shared amenities and relative affordability of condos, townhomes and other strata properties as compared to single-family homes offer benefits for many BC home buyers. But, like any major purchase, it’s important buyers ensure they really understand the rules and regulations specific to each strata property,” says David Watts, a Notary in downtown Vancouver.
John Eastwood, a Delta-based Notary and President of the Society, frequently acts for strata lot homeowners and reminds his clients that strata councils are “local mini-governments” that administer the Strata Property Act and the strata’s own set of rules.
“The bylaws can include restrictions on age, pets, rentals, and other factors intended to benefit all owners, but they also impose limitations on the owners’ use of their property,” Eastwood says. “In some cases, the bylaws are updated every few years, which may introduce further, unexpected restrictions.”
The Society of Notaries of BC offers 10 essential tips to potential strata unit buyers: