A poorly built condo will need a larger reserve fund to pay for future maintenance.
That larger reserve is funded by the condo fees that the condo owners pay. Higher condo fees mean lower demand and lower resale value. Conversely, lower condo fees mean more demand a higher resale value. As such, if you care about the resale value of your condo, you need to make sure you’re buying one that’s well built.
Claridge is one of the largest builders of condominiums in Ottawa. They’re responsible for recent projects such as:
- Claridge Plaza
- Stirling Park on Merivale
- Waterstreet in the Lowertown
- Fusion at LeBreton Flats
- Icon in Little Italy
- Moon downtown
It’s natural to wonder whether they can turn out so many units while keeping an eye fixed on the quality of their builds.
So how do Claridge condos stack up?
In short, better now than before. All home builders are required to warranty their home through the Tarion warranty program. Tarion publishes the number of warranty claims on their website.
When we take a look at their warranty history. In 2009 and 2010, Claridge enrolled 961 homes in the warranty program, of which 11 had chargeable conciliations. In the years since then, Claridge has enrolled 2593 homes and had 7 chargeable conciliations.
For comparison, Valecraft (a builder with a strong marketplace reputation) has had zero conciliations on 864 enrollments since 2009 and domicile (a Homeowner’s Choice Finalist) has had 0 conciliations on 604 enrollments. Not all of these enrollments and conciliations are for condos, but they do speak to the overall quality of the product sold by the builder.
It’s also worth noting that the absence of warranty claims doesn’t necessarily mean that the builder is producing a high-quality product. It may just mean that they’ve developed the organizational wherewithal to address complaints before the complainant takes the matter to Tarion. Nevertheless, even if the data doesn’t say, definitively, that new Claridge builds are built to a higher standard than older ones, it does give us reason to be cautious about Claridge condominiums.
No matter who built the condo you plan to buy:
- ensure that your REALTOR® obtains the status certificate,
- minutes of the annual general assemblies, and
- the most recent reserve fund studies.
These documents may reveal issues that could adversely affect your condo fees (and your property value) in the future.