Kelowna Properties: 4 Things You Should Know About Strata Properties


Strata buildings are becoming a popular choice among homebuyers in search of Kelowna properties that are convenient and affordable.

Strata properties are becoming an increasingly attractive option for people looking to buy Kelowna properties. In terms of financial accessibility and convenience, they offer good value for first-time homebuyers and young families, as well as empty-nesters who no longer want the hassle of maintaining a larger home. 

Before you commit to buying a strata property, it’s important to understand the responsibilities and the restrictions specific to the strata property you’re considering. 

No two stratas are alike, and your real estate agent will help you comprehend the particulars of the Kelowna properties you’re looking at. Here are some of the key considerations:

1. Higher Density Living

One of the first things you should be aware of with strata properties is that you’re buying into higher density living. Some of the Kelowna properties that fall into this scenario include:

  • Townhouses
  • Condominiums
  • Apartments

Two of the main benefits of this are that you can share amenities and you’re not solely responsible for the upkeep of your property. The tradeoff is you’ll be living in close proximity to your neighbors.

2. Understand the Restrictions

As mentioned, each strata property has its own unique rules and regulations, and understanding them ahead of time will help you determine whether they’re suitable for your lifestyle. Strata bylaws can include restrictions on a wide range of factors that are intended to benefit all owners. They cover things like:

  • Age
  • Pets
  • Rentals

By reading up on the bylaws, you’ll understand what you are and aren’t allowed to do.

3. Additional Fees

The strata bylaws will indicate what provisions are in place for:

  • Insurance
  • Property maintenance
  • Parking
  • Snow removal
  • Landscaping
  • Contingency contributions
  • Water and sewer

This is important so that you understand what’s included in your strata fees. For example, in some places you might be required to pay for hydro, gas and water on top of your fees. In other places, they might be included.

4. What Are You Buying Into?

From a financial standpoint, it’s a good idea to ensure the Kelowna properties you’re considering aren’t problematic in any way. A good way to go about this is to read the monthly strata meeting minutes over the past half a year (or longer). You can also glean a lot of information from:

  • AGM minutes
  • Depreciation reports
  • Property condition disclosure statement

Using these information sources, you’ll be able to learn whether there are any:

  • Disputes among neighbors and council
  • Past problems and repairs
  • Major upcoming expenditures (i.e. re-roofing)
  • New bylaws being proposed at an upcoming AGM

It’s also worth inquiring how much money is in the strata’s contingency fund. In the case of an emergency, you want to make sure there are sufficient funds to cover it.

If you’re considering a strata property as a first home, read our post: Real Estate Advice: Am I Ready to Buy a Home?

Are you a first-time homebuyer looking for Kelowna properties? Come and talk to the Kelowna realtors at Quincy Vrecko & Associates. We help clients find suitable homes in a range of price points.