Perhaps you are planning to move to Trillium Tower at City Gardens from a house, another city, or even another country and you are not really sure what a strata is, or you simply need a refresher. We connected with Matt Wallin, one of the owners with CML Properties to share information on what a strata development is and how it can benefit you. CML Properties manages many strata developments and is the proposed strata manager for City Gardens when it opens.
Here are Wallin’s Top Five Reasons to live in a strata complex:
1. Sense of Community
A strata is the most prevalent form of development in Canada – for good reason. A strata increases density in our cities, thereby reducing urban sprawl, congestion, commuting time, and pollution. Being a part of strata means owners are joining a community and typically means living near your neighbours, with a focus on being respectful and community-minded. There’s also the peace of mind of knowing that your neighbours are close by keeping an eye on things.
2. Enhanced Security
Many people enjoy the enhanced security offered by living in a strata building. Newer buildings have state-of-the-art technology to keep out intruders and provide surveillance of the common property.
3. Less Worries
If you work away from home or love to travel, you can simply lock your front door and leave. You don’t have to worry about who is going to cut the lawn, deal with emergencies, take out the garbage, clear snow, or arrange for window cleaning.
With an aging population, maintaining a house and yard can be very challenging, and the strata takes care of this for you.
Strata living is also perfect for younger professionals who may rather relax and enjoy themselves with their limited personal time, rather than work on property maintenance issues.
For a development like Trillium, the strata will be responsible to repair and maintain all common property. This includes exterior window cleaning, janitorial of common spaces such as the lobby, hallways, and amenity rooms, central heating and air-conditioning systems, insurance, garbage and recycling, building security, property manager oversight, and common utilities such as hydro, natural gas and water/sewer.
4. Owner Controlled
When you live in a strata, being a team player makes life so much better for everyone. Strata governance decisions are typically decided by the majority in a democratic fashion, so some flexibility is required if things don’t go your way.
The strata council plays a significant role to ensure the successful operation of the strata. Volunteering to serve on strata council can be very rewarding, allowing you to work closely with your neighbours to protect your investment, plus learn about strata law and influence the vision for the property. An active, engaged strata council is crucial for running a great property, and it is important they have the owners’ best interests at heart. Trillium will have a competent and experienced strata manager, making service on the strata council that much easier!
5. Economical Living
Strata living can be very economical. When you spread costs for insurance, utilities, landscaping, snow clearing etc. over many homeowners, the costs are reduced substantially due to economies of scale. This is especially true for a strata with many units.
Kelson Group, the property developer of City Gardens, has laid out the projected strata fees for each unit very clearly in their disclosure statement. Strata fees are based on the size of the strata lot and average $330 per month.
The calculation of each unit’s share of strata fees is prescribed in the Strata Property Act legislation. The fees are only an estimate, as the property is a few years from completion. The nice part is that strata fees get set every year by the owners at the strata’s annual general meeting through the budget approval process. The owners are in full control and if they feel fees are too high, they just have to decide what expense items they want to reduce or remove from the budget.
For people wanting to live in an economical, safe, connected, and supportive community, strata living is the way to go!