– You’re likely responsible for everything within your walls...check with your insurance agent who will check with the holder of the master policy. Unlike renting, you can paint the walls and make renovations — but you’re likely also responsible for repairs inside your unit, replacing appliances and insuring your unit and belongings. You should be sure to have a clear understanding of what you’re responsible for.
– You’re responsible for other people’s problems too. Sharing costs can be a boon, but the downside is you pay your share for problems too — like if someone damages a common area. If your association is involved in a lawsuit — such as suing the developer over building faults — you could be exposed to paying legal fees too.
– There are rules and bylaws. Noise restrictions may be in place after a certain hour, for example. Things like parking, pets, garbage disposal and outdoor fixtures (like satellite dishes) may be established by the condo corporation. You may want to know the rules — including who sets them and how they’re enforced.
– You have limited control outside your unit. You have the final say within your own walls, but you might not get a choice when it comes to decisions like redecorating the lobby or what colour to paint everyone’s front doors. It’s up to someone else when work gets done — like when your windows will get replaced. Ultimately, there are risks and rewards to any type of dwelling — it all boils down to what you want and what limits you can accept.