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|Strata Property Act
|See step-by-step guide to buying real estate in Vancouver for U.S. buyers here: BC Real Estate Buying Guide For Out of Country Visitors
In Vancouver and environs condominium ownership is the most popular form of home ownership. This has come about over the years as a result of the scarcity and high price of land in a region surrounded by water, mountains and the U.S. border. There is also a strong drive to live downtown to enjoy the ambience of city life with easy access to all amenities as well as along the major transportation routes.
In many parts of Vancouver condominium projects offer fabulous mountain and ocean views as well as access to the Stanley Park Seawall, the beaches, parks and waterfront.
There are high density developments around many of the SkyTrain stations, particularly in the heart of Burnaby at Metrotown. The projected RAV transportation line from Richmond to Vancouver is poised to redevelop the heart of Richmond along No. 3 Road with high density housing and retail outlets.
Strata Property Act for Lofts and Condos
(very important for all condominium/loft owners)
In British Columbia a condominium falls under the Strata Property Act which came into effect in July 2000 as a replacement for the Condominium Act.
Strata properties include lofts, apartment units, townhouses, half-duplexes (in Ontario they would be semi-detached) which share the lot, bare land strata on which owners own their home but share the property in common.
The Strata Property Act is specific in the responsibilities of developers, unit owners, the owner elected Strata Council for the complex and the property management company which manages the building on behalf of the Strata Council who represent the owners.
The Strata Property Act addresses problems that arose in the 90's from building inappropriately for the wet West Coast Marine climate. The government offered financial programs for rehabilitation and almost every building in Vancouver and Richmond is now better than new!
This new Act has created levels of awareness, disclosure and transparency in managing and owning a strata unit. A Form B, prepared by the professional property manager for the building, is required for any sale and it discloses all information regarding building condition, projected assessments for improvements and the financial health of the strata complex.
The Strata Property Act outlines responsibilities for each area under the Act, including information on pets and rentals bylaws. At a properly constituted General Meeting bylaws can be changed with a 75% vote in favour by the eligible attendees who constitute a quorum.
Kinds of Lofts and Condos in Vancouver
Lofts in Vancouver
Vancouver in its early days did not develop many loft style warehouses that could be turned into modern residences. The exception would be in the Yaletown and Gastown districts. There are historical buildings that are now lofts and there are new buildings that have been developed with high ceilings and a loft style floor plan.
Live / Work residences have also been offered to the market in areas zoned for them. Old buildings are being redeveloped almost every month, like this one on Hamilton Street.
Contact me at to receive links of loft style properties for your perusal. Or use and bookmark my custom direct Vancouver MLS® Search to quickly review all lofts and condos in Vancouver. Or call me at 604.240.9700 and I'll put a custom daily search in place of all new listings that you will receive every morning by email.
Construction Type - Concrete
This is the most popular style of "condo" in Vancouver. Lowrise buildings are usually of frame construction and high-rise are of concrete. Most of the new construction downtown is concrete.
Construction Type - Frame
But in residential neighbourhoods where the condominiums blend with single family housing the construction is frame.
There is usually an underground parking space for each unit, there is a monthly maintenance charge to cover the management and upkeep of the common areas of the building. The maintenance charge is based on the "unit entitlement" or square footage of the suite.
Lower Maintenance Charges
As there is little snow removal or salt damage to common areas the monthly maintenance charges in Vancouver and Richmond are usually considerably less than they would be in Toronto for comparable accommodation.
Townhouses in Vancouver
Attached housing is very popular in areas around Vancouver including Richmond. They give the owners some private outdoor space on the ground level and are usually offer 2 or 3 stories of living space.
Maintenance fees and Parking for Townhouses
Monthly maintenance fees are still paid for common expenses, parking is usually in an attached garage.
The Vancouver Half-Duplex
This is a form of housing unique to British Columbia and is popular in the Westside of Vancouver where it allows buyers to purchase a house without the extra costs of being detached. Both owners hold the land in common and pay whatever costs they decide upon.
In Ontario and many other jurisdictions they would be semi-detached and each side would be freehold.
If you found the above information useful, don't hesitate to contact me at or by telephone at 604.240.9700 for a more in-depth conversation about your housing needs, whether your seeking is a vacation recreation home or a full-time residence. Vancouver is a great place to visit and even better place to live.
All the best!