8 things to do before you move in

8 things to do before you move in

Pat yourself on the back - you’re now a new condo owner! So what do you need to do before you move in? Let’s take a look:

1. Arrange a visit
Before the possession date (the date when you officially take ownership), you're typically allowed to revisit the property for two "buyer visits." This is a great time to measure the windows for drapes, bring in paint samples or take measurements to see where your furniture will fit. If you're planning on renovating, this is when you bring in your contractor to do a work assessment.

2. Hire movers (or ask your friends for help)
Hiring a moving company can take the pressure (and the heavy lifting) off your moving day. Not sure where to start with finding a mover? Check online reviews, ask a friend, or talk to your Condo Pro about who they recommend. But if movers aren't in your budget, don't worry. Hit up your friends and family for help on moving day - just don't forget to feed them, and be ready to return the favour when they move!

3. Update your mailing address
It might sound simple, but it’s an easy task to forget about. Take the time to update all your bills and subscriptions with your new mailing address. And don’t forget to ask for the sellers' forwarding address so you can mail them their stuff.

4. Register with the property management company
In many cases, your new property management company will send you a welcome package after your purchase, but it's always a good idea to be proactive and register with them. That will ensure they update the building directory to your name so your guests can reach you, and ensure packages will get to you when they're delivered.

5. Buy home insurance
Your condo building will most likely include building insurance as part of your maintenance fees - that will cover the common areas of the building, like the lobby, hallways, amenities and other shared areas. However, that insurance doesn't cover the inside of your individual unit. Home insurance is a good way to protect your contents - and yourself. Some plans go beyond contents to cover such things like personal liability and special assessments.

6. Get your utilities set up
Heat, water and hydro can be included in your maintenance fees, but that can vary from building to building. It's a good plan to set all of that up before you move in, along with other services like cable and internet.

7. Get to know your condo board and your building’s common areas
Attending a condo board meeting is a great way to get to know your building mates and learn about your new home. Ask the front desk to see when the board gets together and check out their meeting. This is also a good time to get the lay of the land in your new home. Get familiar with the ins and outs of parking, getting into the gym, booking the shared entertaining space and more.

8. Learn your rights and responsibilities as a condo owner
As an owner, you have the right to vote at owners’ meetings, elect board members, review corporation records like financial statements, request a meeting of owners, and get a court order to make the corporation carry out a duty required under the Condominium Act. And since you share ownership in the building with others, you also have responsibilities to pay your monthly condo fees, (including any special assessments, chargebacks or liens), maintain your unit and make repairs, follow the condo’s rules and by-laws, and resolve any disputes (if you can't resolve an issue directly, you can turn to the Condominium Management Regulatory Authority of Ontario (CMRAO) or the Condominium Authority Tribunal.

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