Happy 2020 to condo owners, board members, and managers everywhere! New year, new you…new AGM? Chances are, you’re annual general meeting is scheduled in the near future. Are you 100% sure that you’re addressing and actioning the right opportunities to set your condo community, condo management, and condo corporation up for
If you’ve ever sat on a condo board, chances are, you’ve shared the same, pie-in-the-sky dream. You know the one: you walk into that board meeting, and everybody’s immediately on the same page. The business of the day gets taken care of line-by-line, point-by-point, with the sort of efficiency that would bring even the most
Well, everybody, the jig is up. We’ve all had a good run, but the next time you think to yourself, “Hey, maybe I could make a few extra bucks renting out my condo while I’m away on vacay,” you’d better be prepared to peel off a few of those dollar bills for The Man.
Ahhh, to live the life of a snowbird. Jet-setting from north to south, enjoying the warmer months here in Canada before heading down to enjoy some more warm months Stateside – that’s the way to do it. About one of the only drawbacks we can see when it comes to snowbirding is the concern about
Generally speaking, townhome-style condo communities are bustling hubs of activity full of people coming and going, residents enjoying the amenities, and folks getting together just for the heck of it. Once a year, though, something downright spooky seems to take place. At the end of every October, on the evening of the 31st, everyone simply
Your condo board runs a pretty tight ship. Meetings are efficient, AGMs are informative, and day-to-day operations are smooth and trouble-free. You do a good job keeping things on the up-and-up. The community is happy, dialogue between board members and condo owners is free-flowing, and overall, things are pretty danged good.
Maybe it’s the garbage that somehow makes its way out to the dumpster but simply cannot seem to find its way inside of the dumpster. Maybe it’s one too many hair-metal power ballads heard drifting up through the floorboards late at night. Or maybe it’s the fact that Mr. Tiny, the chihuahua that lives
You’ve made the decision to settle down and buy a condo in the City of Champions – congratulations! Buying a home is a monumental step in anyone’s life, whether it’s your first or your fifteenth time signing those papers. That said, every home purchase is different, and buying a condo in Edmonton is no different.
It’s been just over a month since the long-awaited amendments to the Alberta Condominium Property Act (CPA) came into effect on July 1, so we thought this would be the perfect opportunity to take a bit of a look back on the changes that took place, how they’re being received, and if –
Here in Alberta, we generally don’t get much of a summer – at least in the traditional sense of the word. What warm weather we do see each year tends to be short-lived, plagued by thunderstorms and spent smacking mosquitos out of the air. Despite all of this
Even if you’ve been an avid, dedicated reader of our blogs since day one – and if you have, kudos – chances are, there are still some things about condo management that you still might not be quite aware of. For example, did you know all the ways that condo management differs from property management
From Calgary to Red Deer to Edmonton and everywhere in between, Albertans are starting to catch on to what we’ve already known for ages: condo living is where it’s at. Generally speaking, spring is that special time of year for the real estate market when sales typically begin to pick up as people start to
Here in Alberta, we’ve grown accustomed to waiting exceptionally long periods of time for two things: the start of real, honest-to-goodness summer weather, and the arrival of true condo legislation reform. At the time of writing, we’re still waiting for both these things to make their appearance across our province – but the good news
It seems that we’re making a bit of a theme here on this blog lately around answering questions that everybody seems to have, but that nobody wants to admit they don’t know about. For example, our last blog focused on sussing out the different responsibilities and expectations between condo boards and condo management companies.
The condo management business is a funny one. In nearly every other industry you can think of, there exists a clear set of expectations and agreements regarding the role and relationship between client and service provider – but somewhere along the way, those lines got a bit blurry for folks in our industry of work.
You’ve finally done it. They say that there’s no investment quite as sound as real estate, and you’ve taken that to heart. Just like a show on the local home and garden TV network, you’ve gone condo hunting, weighed the pros and cons, and signed on the dotted line to purchase a second condo unit
Picture this… You’re a few years into your very first experience as a condo owner. You did your homework and bought a brand-new condo from a reputable builder. You scrimped and saved and were finally able to come up with that down payment, all in the name of being able to settle down comfortably
Are you somebody who really enjoys micro-managing things? Do you like biting off more than you can chew? Looking for a full-time job that pays absolutely nothing? Then have we got the gig for you: condo community self-management! Okay, okay. We’re having a bit of fun up there with our intro, but in reality, condominium
Generally speaking, when we imagine situations that might require taking out an insurance policy, the particulars are usually quite thrilling: travelling to far-off lands, for example, or taking part in any number of death-defying activities like skiing or white-water rafting. Even driving a car fits the bill, given the speeds and risks involved
February’s a funny month. It often finds condo board members torn between two conflicting desires. On the one hand, most folks are desperately looking forward to the end of winter and the return of warmer, sunnier weather. On the other, the imminent arrival of spring means that you’ll finally have to tackle those repairs highlighted
If you’ve been following this blog for any amount of time, you’ll know that we’ve been talking about amendments to the Alberta Condominium Property Act (or CPA) for a long, long while now. It might be hard to believe, but for as long as we’ve been chatting about these changes, the government’s been discussing them
Over the course of the past several years, our economy has undergone an interesting shift, moving away from one based on sole ownership towards one centered around the maxim of sharing. From cars to clothes to cats (yes, even cats!), the sharing economy is shaking things up all over – and nowhere is this more
Happy 2019, everybody! We hope you had a wonderful holiday season and a fantastic time ringing in the New Year. Of course, with any flip of the calendar comes a bevy of New Year’s Resolutions to back it up,
Here at Catalyst Condo Management, we make it a point to hold ourselves to a higher standard. We don’t just mean this with regards to condo management – although, of course, this is a goal that we’re constantly striving after in our day-to-day work – but in how we carry ourselves within our communities, as well.
Whether you’re a first-time condo owner or are simply starting out by renting a unit, congratulations! The world of condo living is wondrous and wide (and sometimes even a little bit weird!) – there’s nothing quite like it, and for us, there’s no other way we’d rather do it. That said, if you’ve only ever
If you’ve ever taken possession of a new home, you know that there’s lots to consider – from building inspections to mortgage approvals, the list is a mile long – and that’s just for handing off one solitary dwelling. Now, imagine all the work that goes into turning over not just a single unit,
Can you feel that in the air? No, not smell of pumpkin spice lattes. No, not the chill of snowfall in the early days of autumn. No, not the sound of sleigh bells in the middle of October – Christmas is still two-and-a-half months away, for crying out loud! We’re talking about Halloween!
Here at Catalyst, we love what we do, and to us, our services are pretty straight-forward: we offer condo management services that put an emphasis on sticking up for the little guy, advocacy, and generally just treating condo boards and residents with the most exceptional, awesome service we can muster. That said, though, it’s surprising
Condo insurance can be a daunting subject to get familiar with. Between master policies, individual plans, claims processes, deductibles, and everything else involved in understanding and securing coverage, plenty of folks decide to take what we fondly refer to as the “ostrich approach” and just bury their heads in the sand, preferring to simply
In the digital age we find ourselves in, there’s no shortage of options when it comes to transferring and moving money around. When you can choose to safely send money from one party to another using anything from banking apps to online third-party services to delivery-by-stagecoach
Okay, right off the bat, we’ll be the first people to agree with you: the knee-jerk reaction most people have at the thought of needing a lawyer is one of cold, primal fear. Maybe we’ve all been watching too many Law & Order re-runs, but whenever there’s talk of needing to bring on a lawyer
Getting people excited about sitting on their building’s condo Board of Directors can be a bit of a tough sell – and honestly, we can’t say that we blame anyone for being reluctant to make the commitment. Condo boards have earned themselves a bit of a bad rap. Oftentimes, all that residents hear about are
Breaking up is hard to do – especially when it comes to your condo management company. Sometimes, though, it’s necessary to make a change, because just like that one boyfriend you had who insisted that flipflops DO SO count as “formal attire,” you deserve better. That said, it’s never easy cutting ties with the folks
If you’ve ever kicked around the idea of investing in a condo, you’ll most likely have noticed a curious thing: everybody around you is secretly a master-level real estate expert. Don’t believe us? Next time you’re hanging out with a group of friends, just casually mention that you’re considering investing in a second property, and
The Canadian government has finally set a date for the nation-wide legalization of cannabis: October 17, 2018. While this soon-to-be-national-holiday for cannabis users across the country
As we go about our lives each and every day, it can become easy to take all the innovative technology that surrounds us for granted. Every once in a while, though, it will hit you as you realize that
For a first-time condo buyer, just simply throwing your hat into the intimidating ring of real estate, mortgage applications and bank meetings can be a stressful proposition.
There are plenty of great perks that come along with being a condo owner. You get to be part of a close-knit community, the overall costs are generally more affordable than those associated with owning a stand-alone home, and so long as you’re paying your condo fees,
Quick! Your condo neighbour accidentally set the microwave timer for two hours instead of two minutes, and now those hot pockets he was warming up have caught fire and set the whole condo building ablaze!
One of the great things about condominium living and ownership is that your home is your castle. Your sanctuary. Your escape from the rigors and pressures of the outside world. When you come back to your condo at the end of the day, you are the master of your own domain.
If you’ve got some cash burning a hole in your pocket and are on the lookout for sound investment opportunities, then condo real estate could be the right opportunity for you! Putting money down on an investment property is a great way to build some equity,
One of the most useful tools a condominium has to plan for the future is the humble reserve fund study. If you’re sitting at your computer, scratching your head and trying to recall just what exactly a reserve fund study is, don’t worry, we’re here for you.
If you’ve ever rented out your condo before, you know that finding a decent tenant can feel something like winning the lottery. Leasing out your property is a nerve-wracking experience, and nothing is more anxiety-inducing than feeling like the folks you’ve got living in your condo might not be taking the greatest care of your …
Condo living is changing. The world in 2018 is a very different place than it was even just five years ago: virtual reality is now commonplace, we all carry supercomputers around in our pockets called “Smartphones,” and eccentric billionaires are launching their electric cars into space!
Reserve Fund Studies (RFS) are crucial for supporting a healthy lifecycle of any building. The issue with how many RFS’s are conducted is that, while they should be conducted and updated every five years, they then remain stagnant and quickly become outdated. This means that there will always be a margin of error that continues …
Solar power as a renewable energy resource has taken huge strides in the past few years. In fact, due to current government funding, it’s now even more economically feasible to install a complete solar system that can operate. In fact, it’s also now cheaper to produce solar energy than energy from fossil fuels, due to …
At Catalyst, industry innovation drives us to continue improving how we support our condo property management clients. Part of this involves viewing condo buildings as an interconnected environment, identifying how to tie together building maintenance planning with capital planning efforts. The end goal? To help our clients better utilize their resources. To support our condo …
Inherited some property? Perhaps you received big promotion at work and have a bit of extra cash? Or maybe you just feel like you’ve got too much free time on your hands?
A new year always ushers in new changes, and even though we’re only a month into 2018, we’re already seeing some key trends emerging within the Calgary condo market. Like all trends,
Is your condo building thinking about going green this year? And no, we don’t just mean adding a healthy coat of green paint on your condo’s walls. Here, green is a blanket term for those initiatives your condo corporation
In January 2017, seniors’ advocate Ruth Adria argued in the Alberta courts for more fair and equal treatment of people in our province, regardless of their age. Adria’s intentions were to set the groundwork for the more equitable treatment of seniors as they age,
Condo living is typically advertised as “hassle-free living” or “you don’t have to worry about anything, just move in and enjoy life.” Then, because life happens, you need to make an insurance claim with your building,
This is it! The year that you’re going to purchase a condo unit as a rental property and grow your real estate portfolio. And investing in a condominium is a great asset to invest in. Unfortunately, investing in a second property isn’t as simple as purchase and see rewards.
Here at Catalyst Condo Management, we’re big proponents of condo living. What a surprise, right? But, seriously, the blend of communal living, convenience, and general lifestyle that condo living offers is perfect for us,
And just like that, we’re nearing the end of another year. With the New Year just around the corner, wouldn’t it be nice if your condominium’s building maintenance caused as minimal interruption to your condo residents as possible?
Condo change is in the air here in Alberta making it an exciting time to be a condo owner! For years, the government has kicked around the idea of reworking the Condominium Property Act (CPA).
The plain truth is that Alberta is a cyclical economy, where we go through steady boom and bust markets. Markets where everything is happening all the time and then markets where everything is stalled.
If you’ve ever lived in a condo complex, chances are you’ve come to dread walking up to the front door at the end of a long day and seeing that dreaded 8½ X 11 sheet of paper taped to the glass:
It’s pretty clear that the Calgary Real Estate market is going through a change and discovering what it’s “new normal” will be as we come out of the downturn. After years of rapid construction, particularly with condominium buildings,
Buying a home is one of the biggest purchases most individuals will make in their lifetime. With such an important decision comes excitement, nervousness, and of course, stress! Is this the right home for you?
What You Should Expect from Your Property Manager You own a condo unit and are keen to rent it out. Along the way, you realize that you just don’t want to manage everything that goes into renting your condo, such as putting a rental notice
Your condo building isn’t just a place to rest your head. It’s a place that multiple people call home, coming together as part of a community. Just as with every community, it’s important that you know what’s happening to stay on top of key events,
You’re moving into a condo – an experience unlike any other. While some may be of the belief that a condo is a condo is a condo, this is simply not the case. After all, buying a condo is different than renting an apartmentor living in a house with a yard of your own.
Condo Managers and Property Managers are not the same thing. There, we said it. While they are similar, there are clear differentiators that separate these two roles. It’s important that your condo board delineate the differences between the two services to ensure that you and your condo unit owners receive the proper service
A common condo owner / condo board discretion tale: a condo unit owner recently changed their washing machine in their suite. Unfortunately, as the individual unit owner replaced their machine, the hose used to connect to the water supply
Green bins are finally coming to Calgary, bringing a much needed “greenness” to our city. But what does this mean for your condo building? How will your condo manage the aspects of implementing this new program and, once implemented,
What your condo management contract is actually saying In reading your Condominium Management Services Contract, do you feel like it’s not talking to you? “There’s so much jargon,” “it’s full of redundancies, but isn’t saying anything clearly,
We’ve all been around them – the one person who needs to be heard, who always has an opinion and likes to make sure everyone knows it. But, what if this person is doing more damage than good to the overall effectiveness of your condo board?
What condo building in their right mind would spend $1000 on energy efficient light bulbs? Well, those interested in short term pain for long-term sustainable gain. Over the past number of years, “energy efficient” has made its way into everyday conversation.
Renovating a condo is unlike renovating most other properties. Renovating a new condo is also different from revamping an old condo. If you are considering condo renovation, you should be aware of the rules governing renovations in the building.
How Airbnb and short term leasing affects your condo living Your condo unit is your home, so you should be able to do whatever you want with it (that’s legal, of course), right? Not so fast. Part of the role of your condo board is to ensure the security
Without wanting to kill your neighbours You’ve made the leap and sold your home in favour of downsizing to a smaller space. But, what do you do when you no longer have neighbours just beside you, but above and below as well. Living in a high-density
Why your condo corporation needs a registered business number Did you know that your condominium is more than a residence? In reality, your condo is a corporation, similar to that of a non-profit. Yep, that’s right, you’re living in a corporation!
Making real impact from within for your condo building This is it! This is the year you’re joining your Condo Board to become more involved with your condo community. Before you sign up, make sure you understand the realities of what being an effective
When it comes to condo management, it is always recommended to set a code of ethics for the board members. They are required to act in an honest manner and in good faith. As a board member you should act in the best interests of the association.
The ceiling can have a leak or the plumbing may fail. There is no telling when such issues can arise, but they are really inconvenient. If you have a condo management company that offers 24 by 7 repair support, you can remain assured that there is always
Safety is one of the main concerns when managing a condo community. You should be well prepared and take proactive measures to reduce any risks. It is the board’s duty to ensure that building operations are protected and residents’ safety
The choice of the right property management company will have a significant impact on how successfully your community property is managed. Timely payment collections, following maintenance schedule, communicating effectively with residents,
Managing your condo community can be a time-consuming and complex task. Usually, it is the board members who take up all the responsibilities related to the day to day management of the community property. There is a world of a difference
When it comes to creating new policies for your condo association, it is important to keep all points in mind to eliminate any disputes or complex situations. Make sure that everyone including the members and residents fully understand the responsibilities
Managing a condo association board can be a time-consuming task in itself. If you have a medium sized community, condo management can be a full-time job for board members. There are so many ways a condo management company can ease your job
When it comes to repairs and maintenance, condominium residents face lots of uncertainty. If repairs are required in the common areas and apartments, who should be responsible for them. This is frequently occurring issue that can be seen in
Condo boards hold complete responsibilities for managing their community. The board is responsible for managing all fiduciary and financial aspects of all the projects. You can outsource several aspects of your functions to a condo management company,
Raising the annual assessments is simply the most detested steps you can take. It can be even more concerning at a time when the economy is not doing so well. The key to prevent the board from taking this action is to follow other methods to increase
Property maintenance is one of the key services provided by a condo management company. Not every company will be able to meet the highest standards in the industry to address all your maintenance needs while meeting high-quality standards.
Managing a condominium or HOA with a board can be a fulltime job. Even a small condo requires dedicating a lot of time and effort to ensure that keeps running smoothly. If you hire a condo management company, it can make a huge difference in saving your
Condo maintenance is part of the daily operations of condo management. Snow removal is one of the most important tasks and the level of complexity and work involved will depend on many factors. So what should it cost? What are the factors involved
The management needs for a high-rise condo building will be different from those for a small townhouse community. The scope and scale of services provided can vary significantly based on the different needs of the communities. So what should you look
Many Canadians think that special assessments are mandatory. However, that is not the truth. If you have a well-managed condo community, you can rely on your reserve funds as and when it is required. There are ways to prevent special assessments.
Post tension cables are used in concrete construction to add strength to thin and long slabs. This allows more span lengths between support columns. The cables have steel wires within plastic sheath. They are tensioned after pouring concrete,
VERY IMPORTANT changes implemented by CRA effective October 3rd 2016 say that if you sell your primary residence it MUST be reported on your 2016 tax return (hefty penalties apply if you don’t report it). See below. Please feel free to give us
The millennials are expected to make one of the biggest impacts on Canadian real estate market in the near future. The impact could in fact be bigger than what their baby boomer parents made. They make up about 25% of the country’s population and
As rental condos grow in Calgary, finding the right condo management services in Calgary has become a difficult process. Most services perform similar and industry standard processes and functions, making it difficult to differentiate between them.