The Future of Older East Van Condo Buildings
East Vancouver has a lot of aging condo buildings – those built in the 1970’s and 1980’s are starting to look especially bad if they haven’t been maintained. Typically rental buildings look worse than strata (owner occupied) units because the owners will invest in the look of the building in order to maintain property values. Rental buildings, on the other hand, are typically maintained on a as needed basis.
I was walking through east Mount Pleasant the other day and noticed this building – 243 E 13th Ave. This building is a rental building that was sold last year and then completely revamped the exterior – new exterior paint, new windows, new balcony’s, new landscaping and more. I bet the interior’s were upgraded as well, but I don’t have any photos.
Take a look at the old building compared to the new building – what a difference an upgrade can make:
Condo Building Maintenance and Special Assessments
For condo owners, your building will need some type of an exterior upgrade – whether that’s a rainscreen, maintenance for an aging building, new exterior paint, balcony upgrades, new windows, or extra landscaping – it’s going to cost you money. Most of these projects are necessary, and dictated by professional Engineering reports on the current status of the building systems and any discovered problems. In order to pay for these projects, owners will most likely need to pay a Special Assessment (or Special Levy) – this is an amount of money needed from each owner in order to pay for their percentage of the project (based on the % of sqft you have of the entire building). Special assessments are typically due soon after the building approves the major project. These projects can take months to finish, but the end result can be pretty amazing, and will increase the value of the home.
You can’t avoid Special Assessments, especially with a majority of building in East Van (and across Vancouver) getting older and needing some maintenance work done. Of course, newer condo buildings likely won’t need any special large assessments in the first few years after the building is built, but this is also factored in the price so you’ll end up paying more for the unit upfront. The best thing to do is get a handle on the building’s prior maintenance record, found in any previous Engineering Reports and the Depreciation Report that many building’s are getting done. As East Van Real Estate Agents, we have done a lot of work in these neighbourhoods and probably have a good sense of the history of a building you may be interested in. Our job is to also to help you interpret these Engineering Reports and ask the right questions to the Property Managers so you know what you’re investing in.
Let us know if you have any questions about a unit or building in East Vancouver – we’re happy to help.