Offices, Condominiums and Apartments – How Have Things Changed In The Past 10 Years In Bangkok?

Hi. I’ve been working as a real estate agent in Bangkok since 2006. In that time I have seen some changes, but surprisingly very little has changed. Let me explain.

Apartment Rental Prices Bangkok 2008 – 2018

Rental prices of most apartment buildings have increased very marginally over the past 10 years. Whereas a spacious 3 bedroom apartment in Sukhumvit area would have cost 70,000 Baht 10 years ago, it may cost you 85,000 Baht today. That’s only a 20% increase over 10 years, actually far less than inflation, and in many ways an apartment is cheaper now than 10 years ago.

Why? It’s difficult to say but I would guess that ongoing political problems, 2 coups, and a pretty stagnant economy barely kicking over at around 3% growth in GDP each year are the reasons. This level of growth may be acceptable for a world leading developed nation, but for Thailand that (let’s face it) still has some way to go in terms of development, it’s not very good.

The apartment rental market in Bangkok is mostly governed by expats. Thai people don’t rent at these prices, either they don’t earn enough, or are sensible enough to buy a property in the suburbs, or are part of the immensely wealthy elite and already own several blocks in central Bangkok. As the number of expats has remained fairly constant, so have rental prices.

Newly built condominium buildings have seen a rise in rental prices, and there will always be a small percentage of people who have sufficient budget and only want to live somewhere very new, something is particularly true of Japanese renters, but the new buildings will become old and once they have been constructed and a rental price has been established, you will notice that the price will stay relatively stagnant from then on.

This is actually the same with condominiums for sale. Once a building has finished construction, a sales price and rental price is established, and it will remain stagnant at this level for years to come.

But prices have been increasing in Bangkok, everyone knows that!! So am I wrong?

Condominium Sales Prices Bangkok 2008 – 2018

I don’t think I’m wrong. There are some condominium buildings that have experienced a very good level of capital appreciation in recent years, but “on average” they haven’t.

Yes, prices have been increasing significantly in Bangkok, and this is something that all developers will happily promote to you when selling you their brand new project. They will show you graphs with an upward trend in prices, and show you that prices are increasing at least 5-10% year on year.

Prices of brand new buildings have been increasing a 5-10% year on year, but not completed buildings.

This is mostly down to increases in land prices. As land prices increase (and to some extent construction costs) so have the cost of new buildings. So new buildings get ever more expensive, but are completed buildings following suit?

No. And this is why I’m not wrong. A building that cost 150,000 Baht/sq.m. 5 years ago, may now only be 160,000 Baht sq.m. In this example around 1.5% compound growth. This building was brand new 5 years ago, and a brand new building today still under construction might cost you 200,000 Baht/sq.m. which is 33% more than the new building was 5 years ago, hence the 5%++ compound growth.

But the fact remains, the building that YOU purchased 5 years ago may have increased only 1.5% compound per year.

This is the ongoing trend with Bangkok property. New buildings constantly set new benchmarks in prices, and then remain the same. With even newer buildings adding a layer on top, setting new benchmarks, and then remaining at the same level. Even newer buildings still, just keep adding another layer on top.

This is why you will find such huge price discrepancy between buildings, even if they are located right next door to each other. An example would be Lumpini 24, a new condominium located on Sukhumvit Soi 24, where prices will fetch around 250,000 Baht/sq.m. So, a 60 sq.m., tiny little 2 bedroom unit will cost around 15,000,000 Baht.

Immediately next door is an older condominium called President Park, where prices have remained stagnant at around 60,000 Baht/sq.m. So, a very spacious 3 bedroom unit of 260 sq.m. will cost you around 15,000,000 Baht.

Four times bigger, located immediately next door, but the same price! So the old adage “Location, location, location” doesn’t apply here. It is ONLY based on the age of the building.

Here is an example of a newer building for sale, 275sq.m. asking 80,000,000 Baht: http://www.property-bangkok.com/viewproperty.asp?id=587

Here is an example of an older building for sale in a similar location, 366sq.m. asking 21,000,000 Baht: http://www.bangkokcondo.org/viewproperty.asp?id=614

Yes, the new condominium is much nicer, better design with newer lobby and sparkling facilities. But is the variation in price fully justified. I mean, 4 times the price!

Baring in mind that the interior of the new condominium will age and need replacing, and if you bought in the older building you can renovated the interior to have it all brand new.

In any event, whether you buy in the new condominium or older building is neither here nor there, the main issue being raised in this article is that prices of new projects may have increased nicely, but once you have invested in your condominium unit, you may not realise the same level of growth that you were told by the developer.

The only ones really seeing huge capital growth, are the land owners. And these are mostly already very wealthy Thai people, as non-Thai’s cannot own land. It doesn’t help the majority of non-wealthy Thai people who still remain financially strapped.

Office rental prices have also remained quite static. Over the past 10 years office rental prices have increased marginally, similar to the apartment buildings. However, as most investors (both Thai and Foreign) seem fixated on condominium buildings, the price of office space for sale has also remained quite static, and arguably office units for sale provide the best option for rental returns, given that office leases are normally minimum 3 years, and you don’t need to renovate the office space like you would with a condominium, with the former requiring a whitewash lick of paint, the latter new furniture, new bathrooms, new kitchen etc.

This is not to say that it is a bad idea to invest in Bangkok real estate. But you need to consider office space and commercial properties as well as residential, and you need to very carefully consider the building, as I previously mentioned, some condominium buildings have seen good growth over the past 10 years, whereas most haven’t.

You need to have a good eye. Best of luck!

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Getting Financed For The Condo You Want

Avoid looking at condominiums you really can’t afford. There is no reason to set yourself up to fall in love with a place and then you can’t get the money for it. You also have to be careful about getting financed but knowing you realistically can’t stick with such a payment month after month. Don’t put yourself in that type of position where foreclosure is possible.

Finding a Lender

Take your time to find a lender with plenty of experience so you can get the condominiums with the best choice for your needs. Ask your friends, family, and people you work with who they have talked to. Chances are you know someone who has purchased a condo I in the last year. You can also evaluate lenders online and set up appointments to talk to them.

Ask them questions about their experience because you want a lender that is easy to work with. They should be friendly and communicate well. They should return calls timely and answer ay questions you may have. They can walk you through the application process. Make sure you fill it out accurately and don’t skip any of the sections. Talk to them if you aren’t sure what to put.

Never lie or omit details when it comes to your application for one of the condominiums. Be honest and let them tell you what documents they need to get the processing done. The verification they request can include tax returns, verification of income, a photo ID, and consent to complete a credit report. Profit and loss reports are required for self-employment.

Evaluate the Loan Offer

Once they get the loan completed, they can share with you what can be offered towards one of the condominiums. This includes the maximum amount of the loan, the interest rate, and what your monthly payment will be if you borrow that amount of money. If you can find a condo you want for less, this means your monthly payment will be lower and that is always good news.

If you don’t understand the offer, ask plenty of questions. Don’t be in a rush to accept the offer until you know what it entails. You are making a long-term commitment when you buy one of the condominiums so don’t leave anything to chance with this part of the process. Once you are happy with the offer, it is time to find your place!

The Market

There are plenty of people interested in buying condos in this area. You are going to have more buying power though if you are already approved for the money. This means a great deal in the eyes of the seller. They will be more willing to negotiate the price with you than holding out for more from any other offer they may get down the road.

Compare prices in different locations too because a condo in one neighbourhood can cost you considerably more than one just a few miles away. If you need to stretch the money you will get with the loan, take that into consideration. It may be worth it to have more space and a slightly longer commute than the other way around.

Getting Yourself Into An Upscale Condo

Ask questions so you know exactly what you will be committing to if you buy such a condo. You need to know what your responsibilities will be, the perks offered, and more. You can be sure buying such a great place to live it a wise investment.

Lovely and Convenient Location

The majority of the luxury condos are located in a very lovey and convenient location. They are close to Windsor Park and the University of Alberta. The area is surrounded by beautiful trees and green grasses. You will enjoy the view from your new residence! The convenient location makes it very fast and easy to get to a variety of great places.

Your residence is where you can relax and unwind. You want it to be lovely inside and out. You want it to be appealing as you come home at the end of the day. You should have plenty of space for all of your personal items. It can be fun to decorate luxury condos to fit your personal sense of style.

Spend some time looking at the various styles of such upgraded condos in the area. You are sure to find those that really appeal to you the most. You may be interested in a traditional look or you may want something that offers all the newest design elements. It can be fun to shop around and compare them.

Things to see and Do

You won’t have to go far to find plenty of things to see and do. There are so many in the proximity. It will be fun to explore and to identify your favorite places you will go to again and again in the future.

There are plenty of recreational areas her for you to enjoy sports and exercise. There are trails for walking and jogging. The parks offer a relaxing place to have a picnic, view the water, and even to enjoy a concert now and then. There are art galleries and museums in the area to spend time leisurely exploring.

You will appreciate close access from luxury condos to educational facilities. There are many health care options in the area so you can feel good about getting what you need at any time. There is no shortage of great places to dine or to go shopping. All of it adds up to an exceptional value for you day after day in this area.

Getting Approved

Don’t assume luxury condos are out of your price range. It may surprise you to see how far your money will go. Check out the various price ranges and you will be happy to explore the financing. It is a good idea to go through the approval process before you start looking at the real estate. This will help you to know the price range you can afford.

It makes the entire buying process much easier. It also gives you some leverage when you make an offer on any of the luxury condos has to offer. The sellers will be impressed by the fact that you already have your funding in place. They are more willing to accept an offer lower than their asking price when it is a sure deal.

Condominium Insurance: Two Simple Things You Need to Know

As an owner of a condominium or perhaps a potential purchaser, there are 2 very simple things you need to understand about insurance. (Of course, there are many more than two things involved in this subject, but only two are critical if you’re worried that the subject will be a good cure for your insomnia… these are the important two, so pour the coffee and stay with me on this.)

Number One: The Condominium Corporation is required by provincial legislation to carry general liability, Directors & Officers, Errors & Omissions and machinery & equipment insurance and the Corporation’s bylaws can stipulate other coverage regarding the Corporation’s operations. These documents ensure that as an owner, your interest in the condominium as a whole, is protected. (This is also the insurance that your mortgage company will want to know about.)

If fire damages or destroys the building or a block of townhouse units, the Condominium’s insurance policy will cover the repair or replacement costs and owners will not be required to pay the rebuilding costs.

Your monthly fees include your share of this cost to the property as a whole.

Number Two: The Condominium’s insurance will not pay for your Uncle Bob’s lost wages when he trips on the ottoman in your den and breaks his leg. It will also not replace your puffy-white-cloud sofa when your red wine juggling routine goes awry.

These types of claims – personal liability and damage to personal property (alone) must be addressed through your own personal insurance policy. Specific coverage for condominium owners is available from most insurers and is generally more affordable than standard homeowner’s insurance, since your insurer is not liable for covering the cost of replacing the structure itself – rather, just the contents and (depending on your Corporation’s bylaws) any improvements you make to the interior of the structure. Your broker can help you to find the most appropriate coverage for your needs. (Hint: if you currently don’t have a broker or would like a competitive quote, you may want to check with your Condominium’s broker for a quote – some will offer discounts for owners in a property they cover.)

What you need to be aware of is that there are two types of insurance and that one is entirely your responsibility.

Recall the poor souls you’ve seen on the news whose condos were damaged or destroyed by fire – their unit will be repaired or rebuilt, but their personal belongings won’t be replaced if they didn’t have their own policy for contents. A final note in this regard – and this one should keep you from nodding off – is to be sure that your personal policy will pay any deductible that you may be responsible for. This situation can happen to anyone and certainly has in the past – you forget to close the bedroom window before you leave at Christmas – your pipes freeze, burst and flood your neighbour’s units. While the Corporation’s insurance will respond to the claim, you can be held responsible for the deductible amount. With this coverage on your personal policy, you won’t be out-of-pocket for this mishap (unless the Condominium’s insurance premiums are increased next year as a result of the claims history, in which case – all owner’s fees may be increased to cover the additional cost.)

Of course, this is a far more complex topic than what can be represented here before we have you looking for a pillow and blanket, so if you’re interested in more in-depth information, speak to your broker and/or your Condominium’s broker about further details.

Discovering Four Fabulous Sarasota Beach Condos

The communities surrounding four fabulous Sarasota Beach condos are characterized by their serene beauty and broad array of outdoor adventures. Located along the Gulf of Mexico on Florida’s southwestern coast, these sites offer exceptional waterfront living for seasonal and year-round residents. Water sports, shopping, museums, theaters, hiking trails and endless stretches of blissful seashores are among the area’s top attractions.

Siesta Key is an eight-mile barrier island. The Palm Bay Club is a seafront complex featuring one eleven-story and six three-story buildings. Nestled along Crescent Beach, these apartments have sweeping views of aquamarine waters. In addition to housing long-term residents, this exclusive community also offers visitors opportunities to reserve short-term rentals.

Harvard University’s geology department discovered the sands of Siesta Key are composed of ninety-nine percent quartz. This creates dazzling white, fine-grain sand which never feels hot. The unique sand and warm waters attract many locals and tourists. It’s considered one of the top ten locales in the state.

This enticing barrier island is also home to the Peppertree resort. The community features two-story townhomes, garden homes and five high-rise structures that extend across 400 feet of seaside property. A short drive across the north bridge leads into the downtown area, and the nearby south bridge provides access to many additional amenities.

The Lido Key is a barrier island connected to the Mainland by the John Ringling Causeway. Its attractions include an active nightclub scene, as well as the South Lido Park. L’Elegance is one of the newest luxury resorts on the island. A tennis court, heated swimming pool, hot tub, exercise room and sauna are among the on-site amenities. The building consists of about one-hundred units with two and three-bedroom options, ranging in size from 1,350 to 2,230 square feet. All have spectacular views of white sand and crystal blue waters.

Constructed in 1996, the Water Boat at Longboat Key is a modern two-tower structure with amazing views of the Gulf of Mexico and the Bay. The 16-acre site features large units, many exceeding three-thousand square feet. Balconies, large picture windows and high ceilings are among the unique features of these opulent homes. This island, stretching eleven miles, has a population of about 7,400, including retirees and working professionals.

Among western Florida’s many alluring qualities, these four fabulous Sarasota Beach condos rate high. For those seeking vacation get-aways, second homes or year-round water-front living, this exquisite coastal area offers many possibilities. A web search for luxury Sarasota real estate will provide more details.

Thinking of Buying a Condo Hotel? Here Are 20 Things You Need to Know!

1. What is a condo hotel or condotel?

Think of a condo hotel (also sometimes called a condotel or hotel condo) as buying a condominium, although one that is part of a four-star caliber hotel. Therefore, as an owner, when you are on vacation, you’ll get the benefit of more four-star services and amenities than you’d get in a typical condominium.

2. What types of services and amenities are found in condo hotels?

If you can imagine the niceties you’d find in an upscale hotel, then you can picture a condo hotel. Among the features are often resort-style pools, full-service spas, state-of-the-art fitness centers, fine dining restaurants, concierge services and room service.

In some locations, like Las Vegas, you’ll find condo hotels with their own casinos, retail areas, and entertainment venues. In places like Orlando, you’ll find condo hotels with their own water parks and convention facilities.

3. What is the difference between a condo hotel and a traditional condominium?

The big difference between a hotel and a condo hotel is that a hotel typically has one owner, either individual or corporate, but a condo hotel is sold off unit by unit. Therefore, a 300-room condo hotel could have as many as 300 unit owners.

4. Is it evident to hotel guests whether they’re staying in a condo hotel or a traditional hotel?

A hotel guest will likely never know that the hotel has multiple owners because the property is operated just like a traditional hotel and often under the management of a well-known hotel company like Hilton, Hyatt, Starwood, Trump or W. Also, each of the individual condo hotel units will look identical in design and décor to every other, just as they would in a traditional hotel.

5. Who typically buys condo hotels?

They’re primarily sold to people who want a vacation home but do not want to deal with the hassles typically associated with second home ownership such as maintaining the property or finding renters in the off season.

6. What is the demographic of the typical condo hotel buyer?

The spectrum of condo hotel buyers is pretty broad. There are families that want a second home in a vacation destination. There are baby boomers who are at or nearing retirement and want somewhere they can “winter.” There are also plenty of investors who purchase a condo hotel unit with little intention of ever using it; they’re in it for the potential appreciation of the real estate.

7. Can you live in a condo hotel?

Condo hotels are not typically offered as primary residences. In fact, many of them limit the unit owner’s usage of the condo hotel unit (typically 30-60 days per year) because the unit is expected and needed in the hotel’s nightly rental program where it can be offered to guests and generate revenue.

8. Who gets the money when your condo hotel is rented out?

The hotel management company splits the rental revenue with the individual condo hotel owner. While the exact percentages vary from property to property, the typical rental split is in the 50%-50% range.

9. Who finds hotel guests and then cleans and maintains the condo hotel units?

The hotel management company markets the property and books hotel guests. It also maintains the unit and ensures the smooth operation of all of the hotel’s services and amenities.

10. What are the advantages / disadvantages of purchasing a condotel over purchasing typical rental properties?

Advantages include:

· Hassle-free ownership; no landlord issues

· Rental revenue to offset some or maybe all ownership expenses

· A fantastic vacation home available for use whenever you want

· A real estate investment at a time when other investments may seem less attractive

· Strong likelihood of appreciation

· Pride of ownership –“I own a piece of a Trump”

Disadvantages include:

· Annual cash flow could be equal to or less than annual ownership costs

· Pets are usually not welcome.

· An owner’s condo hotel unit may be rented when the owner wants to it, so advance reservations are required to guarantee availability.

· The condo hotel unit is subject to the same dips in the market that affect all hotels in the competitive market set: hurricanes, terrorist threats, warm winters up north, price of gas, etc., all of which can affect a unit’s occupancy rate and the amount of revenue it generates.

11. Are condo hotel units difficult to finance?

Not at all, but they do take 20% down typically, whereas condos can be purchased with less cash down. It’s also important to make sure you use a mortgage broker who has had success in getting condo hotel financing deals done. Many banks still do not do them, but more and more are getting involved as condo hotels become more widely available.

12. How long have condo hotels been around and where are they located?

Condo hotels have been around for several decades, but the huge surge of four-star and five-star condo hotels that have been making their way across the country, started around year 2000 in the Miami area. The Miami-Fort Lauderdale area still has the most condo hotels, but areas like Orlando and Las Vegas are developing condo hotel properties at an even faster rate and will likely surpass South Florida soon. Other up-and-coming areas are places like the Bahamas, Panama, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Canada and Dubai.

13. How much do condo hotel units cost?

That’s like asking how much a car costs. There are different quality condo hotels. Some require greater amounts of money than others, obviously.

There are inexpensive condo hotels out there for as little as $100,000. These are typically found in properties that have converted their use from an existing hotel. They are hotel room-sized, lack kitchen facilities, luxury franchises, and other first-class amenities.

Then there are the four-star or greater properties that may start in the $300,000 to $400,000 range, but can go all the way up to $800,000 just for a studio unit. One- and two-bedroom units cost substantially more than a studio. Of course, the studios do come fully furnished and finished, and will be significantly larger in size than a typical hotel room, and may attract guests because of its name like St. Regis, Ritz or W.

14. What are typical maintenance costs?

On average about $1.00 to $1.50 per sq. ft., but the range can exceed $2.00 sq. ft. in the most luxurious properties.

15. Do you buy condo hotel units after they have been built, or can you purchase condo hotels in pre-construction?

Unless you are in a hurry to get started vacationing or you need to complete a 1031 exchange, it’s best to buy condo hotels in pre-construction as early as possible. That’s when prices are lowest and unit selection is greatest. You will likely wait two years or longer before closing on and taking possession of your condo hotel unit, but you will have locked in the price and will get the benefit of maximum appreciation.

16. Is there anything else investors should want to know about condotels?

There is more to buying this type of real estate than the old phrase, “location, location, location.” While most condo hotels are located in desirable resort and business area locations, what is most important is a good franchise with a strong reservation system.

Also, do not be fooled by an aggressive rental split. One way or the other, the developer of the property will have to staff, maintain and operate the hotel and its services like the restaurants, bars, spas and pools from his share of the proceeds. If he’s giving you a very favorable share of the rental, he’s also more likely to be charging you a higher monthly maintenance fee. Of course, this goes both ways. If the maintenance split that is offered is closer to 50-50, then your maintenance should be more reasonable too.

17. Any suggestions to investors in choosing which condo hotel to buy?

Get good advice. That means you don’t want to rely only on the pitch provided by an onsite salesperson at a condo hotel. You want to talk with a broker who specializes in condo hotels and who knows and understands the entire condo hotel market, not just the facts pertaining to a single property. He or she will listen to your wants and needs and then offer recommendations as to which properties best match your requirements. You’ll have an opportunity to comparison shop and consider the pros and cons of each available property.

A good broker can be the difference between your buying a condo hotel that will be problematic and not live up to your expectations or one that will provide you with years of great vacations, good annual revenue and a substantial profit when you sell.

18. Does it cost more to use a real estate broker to purchase a condo hotel than buying a unit on one’s own?

No. With new condo hotel properties, the prices are always set by the developer and are exactly the same whether you buy directly from an onsite salesperson at the property or using a broker.

The broker’s commission is always paid by the developer and is already built into the price regardless of whether an outside broker participates in the sale or not. Since a broker’s representation is free to buyers, it does make sense to enlist their aid and get the benefit of their advice before making a purchase.

19. How can prospective buyers find a good condo hotel broker?

Ask friends for broker recommendations or search online for “condo hotel broker.” Visit condo hotel broker websites and see if the information they provide seems comprehensive and unbiased. If their website seems to focus on selling homes or office space, and the condo hotel information appears to be an afterthought, steer clear. Your best bet is to work with a condo hotel broker who specializes.

20. How can buyers learn about new condo hotel properties coming on the market?

Condo hotel brokers can be good information sources as they often learn about properties prior to their release to the general public. Another option is for them to subscribe to a condo hotel newsletter such as the one we publish called Condo Hotel Property Alert. We offer it for free on our website http://www.CondoHotelCenter.com and it features a different condo hotel property coming on the market each edition.

The Perks of Living in a Condominium

One of the main goals in life of a person is to finally have a place to call his own. Having your own home is a clear indication that you have already done a lot of things in your life and that you are stable enough to be considered as a homeowner. However, planning to purchase your own home is difficult since you need to consider whether you would like to have a traditional house and lot, or to have a condominium unit. While most people would normally choose a house and lot, there are a lot of benefits in choosing to invest in a condominium. Here are some of the perks of living in a condominium.

Ensured safety. A lot of people find condominiums more appealing than a house on a lot. This is because they are easier to maintain. Condominium units are also easier to protect and therefore the safety of your family members is assured when you live in one. Although you may choose not to have CCTV cameras inside your unit, the halls of each floor are equipped with several cameras so that the building’s security personnel can easily monitor the people who are entering and leaving the condominium building. Some of the more high-end buildings have top-notched security systems which will make even the most meticulous and paranoid unit owner at ease. You can even instruct the security personnel in your building to only allow a limited list of people who can enter and visit you.

More affordable. Since a condominium unit does not entail land ownership, purchasing one is relatively more affordable than owning a house on a lot. If your condominium is within the city, you can do away with having to own a vehicle since you can easily walk or take the bus or subway to and from your unit to your workplace.

High Resale Value. If your condominium is at a great location, you can be assured that it will get a high resale value in case you want to sell it in the future. You can also get a high mortgage value for your unit in case you will need to have a loan.

Communal benefits. Another perk of having a condominium is that the shared or combined ownership of the building will let owners have access to the existing facilities and amenities such as the gym and pool for free. However, you must also be aware when you live in a condominium; you will have to pay for HOA fees or Home Owners’ Association fees. The fees collected through HOA will be used for improving and upgrading the shared facilities and security of the building.

Location and accessibility. Owning a condominium unit within the city will give you an enviable location and easier access to your place of work and other business establishments without having to have a long commute. If your condominium unit is within the city, you will no longer need to wake up too early just to avoid the rush hour traffic. Also, if you are the person who enjoys the nightlife, having a condominium unit will allow you to have easier access to the hottest clubs and entertainment venues at night.

Your Condominium Manager: Control-Freak or Nurturer?

Is your Board-Manager relationship dysfunctional? If you’re butting heads constantly or just can’t seem to get things done, you’ll need to examine the individual management styles of each and find some common ground.

This subject involves the management style of both the Board of Directors and the Manager and for each, there are two distinct styles. A newly-elected Board at the same property can be very different in its preferred style, from the previous Board, so this is a dynamic condition. The Board may be very involved, very hands-on and prefer to direct their Condominium Manager with specific and detailed instructions; or the Board may prefer that the Manager be very proactive and look after things with as little of their involvement as possible. With either management style, you as a Board should understand that no matter your preference, decision-making is still the Board’s responsibility – not the Manager’s. Allow me to reiterate this: decisions are not the Manager’s responsibility – even if you would prefer it that way.

For the Involved Board, your Manager will take direction and carry out the specific tasks you (reasonably) request of them (an example of this involves the Vice-Chair who regularly walks the property and sends a list of maintenance items and by-law infractions to the Manager to engage the contractors and send letters to the offending residents). For the Less-Involved Board, your Manager should advise you of maintenance items and by-law infractions and while they may act within the authority allowed to them by the Management Contract, they must still report to the Board and should have such actions ratified by the Board.

Whichever your style, be sure that both your Board and your Manager have a clear understanding of your preferences and of the specific procedures and expectations involved by both parties. The real caution in all this, is the style of the Manager. I have worked with many Managers over the years who, while yes, may have the knowledge and experience to tell you what the “right” decision is or how to handle things or who may even move forward and do them on your behalf. Many, in the interests of expediency or ego or both, forget that the Board must make the final decision. This should not be confused with the Manager’s job to provide solid information (or to complete certain tasks for which they have the authority or are responsible to perform according to your agreement) – this is intended in respect of actual decision-making.

Your Manager should provide guidance, professional advice, experience-based reasoning and all the research that the Board needs to make an informed decision, but he or she should never lead, point or otherwise influence the Board’s choices. We’re speaking here, of decisions such as: which of the three quotes to choose; whether or not to evict a tenant; or if a contractor’s job has been completed satisfactorily. Although some Boards prefer to have their Manager tell them which is the best choice, your Manager is a Facilitator, not a Dictator and should be proficient in assisting you to make the best choice – never to tell you what the choice should be. Because the final responsibility rests with the Board, your duty is to draw a line and be vigilant that this line is not crossed.

The Board carries some large responsibilities – if the Manager you’re paying is not fitting in with your style – find someone who will.

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Condominiums Can Be a Great Investment

For anyone thinking about investing in a condominium or a complex, consider the following rules to consider before doing so. Whether a residence or an investment, it pays to go by these rules.

The Rules of Condominium Purchase

• Don’t forget carrying costs

• Never rush into a purchase

• Buy at the right time

• Bargain prices may have high maintenance fees

• Always make a low offer

• Be careful buying during preconstruction

• Consider the physical facts

• Take into account future resale and demographics

These rules will give the buyer knowledge necessary for the size and type of condominium or unit offering the most on resale value. Investors save thousands and avoid ending up with an undesirable unit. For those that have previously owned a condominium unit, these steps will help them learn more so they can make an even better deal next time they buy. One can never have too much knowledge.

Never Rush – The Most Important Rule

It’s easy for someone to buy on impulse, especially if the condominium is presented in a very pretty package. However, most often when people fall in love with a good-looking investment and purchase on a whim without taking all the necessary steps to make sure it’s a great deal, they find out what issues the item has later.

This holds true for property as well, don’t end up with a “lemon.” Take the time to have inspections, get a good look at all the details, and consider everything from location, to condition and possible future value. The time spent before making an offer will make a huge difference not only in the amount offered for the unit, but also the satisfaction with the purchase overall.

Many investors that succumb to rushing to buy a condo unit are victims to:

• The excitement of owning a great unit

• The thrill of being a landlord

• Problems with important units within the property

• Sales pitch pressure and empty promises from the seller

• Not being prepared for all the issues that come with property ownership.

Taking time to go over all the benefits and possible issues before making a commitment to such a huge financial investment is smart. Take a breath and slow down, so that the real estate brokers’ or developers’ need for quick income and a crafty sales pitch don’t result in a less than wise choice.

Trust instinct and make personal decisions without the input from outside sources other than the property inspector. Just because the realtor is working for the buyer doesn’t mean they aren’t partners with the seller as well. By following the above rules, this will allow for a smart decision. It will also help the buyer develop skills necessary to make educated choices that will guarantee great transactions that are a true investment that will pay off in the end.

There are plenty of resources out there to obtain from libraries, homeowners associations, and other experts. Jump online if anything and get some information to guide on this exciting purchase. With the wealth of information at one’s fingertips, there’s no reason they can’t make a condominium investment that will be a real money-maker for them.

Making an Offer on a Beautiful Condo

Evaluate Property Values

To help you decide on the amount of money to offer, find out what the property values are in a given area. There are plenty of locations where you can purchase condo sales. The prices can vary depending on the neighbourhood, square footage, and overall location. Those closest to the downtown area where there are shops and restaurants cost more.

As you compare the property values, you can get a ballpark figure of what they are selling for. You don’t want to offer too little or your request will likely be denied. You don’t want to offer too much though or you can pay more than you really had to. It is always a good idea to try to negotiate with the seller. You don’t have to give them their asking price.

If they decline your offer, you can decide to increase it or not. Think about your budget and stick to what you can afford. Don’t get into a competition where you have to have it for emotional reasons. You need to look for condo sales opportunities you will be able to afford month after month.

Financing

Getting the money to buy one doesn’t have to be complicated. It is a good idea to look into financing early on though. Make sure your credit report has accurate details so you aren’t blindsided in this department. Focus on paying down debt and avoiding incurring any new debt as you go through the condo sales process.

If you incur new debt, it can lower your credit score and make it harder for you to get a good loan. You need the amount to be reasonable so you can buy the condo you really want. You also want the interest rate to be as low as possible. This is going to influence your monthly payment. With high interest, you also pay considerably more over the life of the loan.

What is Available?

You have several options when it comes to condo sales. You may have to fill out an application to get approved for one based on a background check too. Look online for listings including photos and videos of the property. Look for signs about them for sale and even locations where they are still being built. It is possible to buy before it is completed!

You can work with a qualified real estate agent too. They stay on top of the various condo sales in the area. They can help you to find the location, price range, and set up you really want. They can also help you to navigate thought the price offering stages and all of the final paper work once you secure the deal! This is a much better option than trying to figure it out.

The reputation of the real estate agency should be very important to you. This information can help you to get your hands on what you want before someone else does. Due to the high demand for condos in this area, you can’t drag your feet. You need to be on top of the new listings as they become available.