We all understand the condominium structure. A condominium can be a high-rise, a low rise, a town home complex. But there are also detached single family homes that are located on lots that are considered condominiums. In this case, they are called bare land condominiums. And also with these structures, you have to pay condo fees. In a bare land unit, you actually buy land and the residential home that is built on it. Boundaries of a bare land unit are marked with stakes in the ground. All units are owned by way of title, just like any other property in Alberta. Read more about bareland condo’s and the bylaws…
…The bylaws that come with a bare land condominium are very important. They cover important matters like maintenance and appearance. Often, as an owner, you are responsible for the maintenance of the exterior, the roof, the foundation and driveway, as well as the landscaping around your home. However, the bylaws may indicate otherwise. Bare land condo owners may decide to have certain maintenance done collectively. This may work out more efficiently financially.
Where the elevator and hallways are common areas in an apartment complex, with the bare land condominiums, it would be the roads around the land, that are common areas. Your condo fees will cover the cost for maintenance and repair of the common areas, as well as, often, snow removal from these roads.
The bylaws will exactly tell you what you are or are not allowed. As well, they indicate what the condo fees include or exclude. The bylaws may also indicate if there are any architectural controls for building. This way the area will often get a higher end look and definitely consistency in appearance. This may help uphold up the value of the area. Also check for any time frame restrictions if you still need to build.
Just like any real estate that is owned in Alberta, all forms of condominiums come with rights of ownership. This is nothing different with the bare land condominiums. Owners have the right to rent their unit, to pass it on through a will etc.
They only way to find out if you are buying a bare land condo is to check the title of a property. In the recent past, the REIX (the insurer for real estate professionals) paid out the highest claim ever. The property was sold as a single family home and neither realtors on either end, checked the status of the property. When the buyer went to the lawyer for the paperwork, she heard for the first time there were condo fees involved because it was considered a condominium. This was never disclosed to the buyer, and the buyer had the right not to buy the property. This happened just after the boom, when property values tumbled in Calgary, resulting in a large claim.
If you are interested in buying a bare land condominium and have any questions or concerns, turn to the professionals to have those dealt with. If your realtor is not sure, call a condominium document specialist, or even better, your real estate lawyer.