Condo living is becoming increasingly popular because people, both young and old, are drawn towards the low-maintenance lifestyle with all its modern amenities. And now with so many waterfront condos in Hamilton, it is incredibly tempting to make plans for moving in right away.
But before you hasten to pack your bags, there are a few things you should know about moving into Hamilton condos. For starters, you’re committing to a completely different lifestyle, complete with its own rules, regulations, and of course, condo fees. If you’re not prepared, you may even find yourself at odds with the homeowners’ association (HOA).
To help you get fully acquainted with new condos in Hamilton, we’ve compiled a list of the most common tips from condo residents.
1. Go Meet the Neighbours
As we mentioned above, committing to condo living means committing to a different living style. To put things in simpler terms, you’re now part of a new way of life or part of a tribe. This means you can’t (and shouldn’t) avoid the neighbours because you will eventually run into them at some point. The best time to meet your neighbours is usually right before you’ve moved in.
Most of your new neighbours will stick around for decades. Remember that when you’re about to shut the door on them in a passive aggressive way.
2. Get Comfy with the Homeowners’ Association (HOA)
When it comes to rules and regulations around the condo, such as pet policies, remodelling, and repairs, the folks from HOA are the ones calling the shots. After you’re done making your friendly trip to the neighbours, make sure to drop by at the HOA staff’s office to say hello. Even if you’re not good with people-skills, it’s always a good idea to develop a mutual understanding of how the HOA board operates and makes its decisions.
And here’s the best part: you can, if you want to, decide to contribute to their team and become part of the decision-making process. That way, you get a say in some of the rules and regulations. But if you’re new to condos in Hamilton, right now is probably too early for that.
3. Abide by the Rules and Regulations
There are a variety of things in your everyday life that the association may have a control over. You’ll have to start getting used to them. Start by getting acquainted with all the important rules that dictate pet ownership, sub–leasing guidelines, noise restrictions, parking regulations, and a lot more.
Speaking of pets, there are many condos for sale in Hamilton, Ontario that have excellent pet-friendly policies. But some do not. Make sure to learn all there is to know about relevant pet policies if you own a pet or plan to own one soon.
The Homeowners’ Association will probably have an extra copy or two lying around to get you up to speed about all the relevant rules and regulations. It’s worth the extra time to do some light reading so you can quickly get adjusted to this brave new world.
Some of the condominium documents will contain useful information about finances, insurance documents, owner’s responsibilities, the HOA’s responsibilities, and other relevant documents. This way, if any problems arise in the future, you’ll be equipped with the right knowledge.
4. Be Careful About Remodelling Your Condo
When it comes to remodelling, new condos in Hamilton can be both nightmarish and rewarding. Nightmarish because you need permission for major remodelling decisions. Rewarding because condos let you harness the power of numbers. Since more people are negotiating costs with contractors, you get to save big. This is true in the case of bigger projects because they will cost significantly less than if you were to do them on your own.
But before you decide to undertake any remodelling projects, you’ll need HOA permissions because of your legally binding agreement. For example, certain HOAs require a permit whenever the condo owner wishes to replace their carpet with hard flooring (stone, ceramic, wood, etc.). This is because adjusting your condo unit could impair the structural integrity of the entire building.
HOAs are also concerned about noise. In fact, noise is the number one reason for trouble with neighbours in condos, so your HOA will always want to maintain peace among residents. Depending on their rules, the plumbing (especially supply and waste) and electrical are usually considered part of the common property. Touching these will require a permit.
5. You’re Own Your Own When it Comes to Repairs
If your refrigerator stops working and needs repairs, you’re on your own. But the HOA will cover the cost for major repairs related to roofing and plumbing. This includes repairs related to the structure or wall. But if your expensive appliance broke down and needs repairs, you’ll have to make do on your own. Make sure to check in with HOA staff responsible for condos in Hamilton.
6. Utilize the Condo’s Facilities
Part of the condo experience is that it offers far better amenities than your average apartment. Many new condos in Hamilton offer luxuries like swimming pools, common areas, gym, and more. But the cost of maintenance for these will be directly coming out of your pockets. Since you’re paying for them, make sure you get your money’s worth.
Try going to the gym or visit the swimming pool in your free time to justify the fees. It is worth noting that many condo facilities are closing down because of the coronavirus pandemic.