How to tell if a building is a good building?

Is This Building A Good Building?!

Just because something fits into your price range and criteria, it does not mean it’s a good building for you to buy into. We’re going to share some insight today on some of the fundamental items we look at when purchasing into a condo.
Now of course, none of us are silly here so we always recommend you read the available minutes, any engineering reports and have an inspection completed on any potential purchases. The below are basic fundamentals we keep a sharp eye on personally:
As of today, it is the year 2019. That means a building 20 years old was built in 1999 - Once you’ve let your age sink in, we will continue…………… 
OK good, moving on. A 20 year old building today, is VERY different from a 20 year old building in the year 2000. 1980 to the late 1990’s was prime time for the Vancouver leaky condo episode you, I’m sure, heard of. From the late 90’s a few key changes took place that improved our condo buildings significantly! These changes are common upgrades we want to look out for in older buildings.

  1. Building Exterior
From the late 90’s until today, finished concrete is the preferred building envelope exterior. This eliminates the need for rainscreening - A fix to those leaky condos you heard oh so much about! It is also more durable and requires less maintenance. If your potential buy is finished concrete exterior, this is a good first step. If the exterior is either brick, stucco or both, we want to make sure it is rainscreened and not going to rot from the inside out. A potentially, very costly task. Not to mention annoying to deal with whilst living in the building

2. The Roof
THE ROOF, THE ROOF, THE ROOF IS ON FIRE!! Ok seriously, once you’ve checked the roof is not on fire, you want to see if the roof is in good condition. This means checking the minutes/reports available, along with checking for any repair work done or existing damage to the roof. Hopefully the building has been proactive with a depreciation report and you can tell an idea how long the roof is roughly expected to last. Tip: Ask to get access to the roof when having your inspection completed!

3. Plumbing
Without a doubt the most invasive of repairs. Plumbing is quite literally ripped from the walls and you can be without water for various periods of time. Add that to the costly expense of replacing it. A good tell for the plumbing is if there have been growing spot repairs (areas that have leaked that need to be replaced.) Once the count starts getting high, usually a system replacement is going to be the next route! If you live in an older building with shared laundry, hopefully the replacement has been carried out to allow the installation of in-suite laundry. The standard systems cannot maintain the pressure needed for this feature so need to be replaced. Be aware on this one, if the plumbing has not been replaced it is not necessarily an issue, providing it’s not leaking regularly and is being monitored either via a depreciation report or plumbing/mechanical assessment. Newer buildings, 2000 onwards, SHOULD typically have a more solid and reliable plumbing system for the immediate years to come, but we still recommend checking to be sure!

We cannot stress this enough, search through the minutes with your REALTOR, have an inspection carried out and go through any available reports. There will ALWAYS be something that needs to be done to the building, you just want to minimize your risk as much as possible by ticking off the larger scale items.

Hopefully this has given you some insight! If you’re not in a reading mood, feel free to check our videos out where we discuss the same topic! You can find us here.

Until next week,
Mcinnes Marketing.

Jay Mcinnes
T: 604.771.4606

Ben Robinson
T: 604.353.8523