If you’re looking at purchasing a pre-construction condo, you’ll soon encounter strange new words that may make you feel like you’ve just set foot in a foreign country.
Since it’s never too early to talk the talk, here are some terms to learn that can help you make smart decisions:
This is the date your unit is ready for you to move in. It’s also the date your seven-year warranty takes effect. Note that it is different from your actual closing date, when the title is transferred to you (meaning you own it) and you begin to make mortgage payments. Your closing date occurs when the entire condominium project is completed and registered with the municipality.
This is the period between when you’re allowed to move in (occupancy date) and the date you officially get the title (closing date) to your unit. During this time, you’ll be required to pay monthly interim occupancy fees to the builder to cover things like interest on the unpaid balance of your unit, estimated municipal taxes and maintenance expenses.
These are the shared areas located outside the boundaries of your unit, such as the elevators, gym and party room. Tip: If you’re not sure what belongs to your unit and what is a common element, you can refer to your disclosure statement or registered declaration and description.
Exclusive-use common elements
These are areas that you have sole use of — think balconies, patios, lockers and parking spaces — but which are actually considered part of the common elements of the condominium property.
When your project is finished, it will be registered with the municipality as a condominium corporation. The corporation manages all aspects of your project, from regular maintenance to the warranty on common elements. As a unit owner, you can play an active role in your condominium corporation by electing members to the board of directors or becoming a board member yourself. (NC)