PennypinchMany people who work with condominiums raised an eyebrow after reading a recent Toronto Star story entitled “Maintenance fees take a toll on Toronto condo owners.”

The piece highlights the divergent philosophies about the interplay between common expenses and market values and the growing trend towards gathering, tracking and comparing common expenses data from building to building. Most notably, it cites the example of a local condominium that reduced its common expenses by 30% (probably by slashing contributions to the reserve fund) and is now witnessing a boom in unit resale values compared to nearby condos.Continue Reading The common expenses conundrum

Daily Commercial News reports on a trend emerging in response to the deteriorating physical and financial condition of older condominiums — "lender tenders."

The article cites a report by GRG Building Consultants showing that condominiums built in the 1970s are in worse shape today in terms of their building envelope and structure compared to complexes built in the 1980s and 90s. Moreover, increasingly stringent reserve fund requirements in the Condominium Act since the 1980s have created a financial gap between condominiums built in the 1970s and those constructed afterwards. The 1970s condominiums are less likely to have a properly-funded reserve to pay for major repair and replacement of the common elements than condominiums constructed since then.Continue Reading “Do you want a loan with that balcony retrofit?”