Don’t buy a condo if:

There are five kinds of people who should not buy a condo. Rent one, maybe, but never buy one.

Social deviants
Deviating or divergent. esp. from normal social standards.
—Canadian Oxford Dictionary

The majority of owners in any given condo corporation will follow certain social standards. These standards will differ from condo to condo depending on the residents' ages, income levels and ethnic origins.

Anyone who moves into a condo needs to fit in with these values.

A building full of seniors or families will not tolerate loud parties late at night, marijuana or cigarette smoking in the staircases or a "cool dude" who roller blades his way through the lobby, the mail room and up the elevator.

In other buildings residents who stores bicycles on the balconies, have a satellite dish bolted to the side of their unit or regularly park in the visitor's parking will feel the board's wrath.

You are obstinate
“Stubborn isn't a word I would use to describe myself;
  pigheaded is more appropriate.”

  —Michael Bloomberg

If a resident gets into a dispute with the board, it can become very expensive if they do not change their behaviour but continue to butt heads with either their neighbours, the board or both.

A condo is no place for people who have difficulties getting along with others.

If you hate rules
A few weeks ago, (Jan 2015), an owner—who was having difficulties with her property manager—told me that living in her condo was like being back in high school. There were dumb rules for everything.

Condos are full of rules and paperwork has to be filled out for many requests. If you have a delivery coming, you need to sign a legal document and give a cheque to book the elevator. You need to fill in a form to use the theatre and leave ID before you can borrow the billiards or ping pong equipment.

You may have restrictions on how many over-night visitor parking passes you can have a month, how often you can use the basketball court and what you can store on your balcony.

In some condos, your dog must be on a leash or you have to carry your dog whenever you are in the common elements. In other condos, you can't have pets. Many condos do not allow gas or charcoal barbecues on balconies.

Booking a guest suite is far more of a hassle than booking a hotel room and almost as expensive. I advise most people to spend a few extra bucks and book a room at a restaurant.

You have a low family income
Condominiums are not cheap housing.

A purchaser needs to understand that the common element fees should rise every year at least to keep up with the rate of inflation. You will also need to be able have the money to maintain your own unit. You will need to pay for unit insurance and replace appliances.

You will need money in the bank to be able to absorb the cost of one or more special assessments if they become necessary.

Work out the total costs of buying before you sign the purchase agreement. The total operating costs should be no more than 30% of your net income.

If you will just be able to make the monthly payments, then buying the unit is probably not a wise decision.

If you are looking for a bargain
Buying a used condo is like buying a used car. If a condo sounds like a bargain, there is a reason for that. You get what you pay for.

You should never buy a unit in a neglected condo corporation as the financial risks are just too great. A building that has been poorly maintained is not an investment; it is a trap that may drive you into bankruptcy.

If you cannot understand what the status certificate and the attached documents say, you need to pay someone to read them and explain them to you.

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