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    0 The Pros & Cons of Professional Condo Management vs. a Self Managing Board

    As a condo owner, I've been asked on several occasions at AGMs to discuss the benefits of having a professional property management company take over running our self-managed condominium. Every unit owner in our building knows that this will mean an increase in our monthly condo fees, but will the benefits make the extra costs worthwhile? Let's look at the pros and cons of each type of condo management.

    0 How is a Deed of Trust Different from a Mortgage?

    A deed of trust might make it easier for you to get a loan to purchase your new home than trying to get a traditional mortgage from a bank. That's because you're basically giving over the deed to the property to the lender as security for the loan. But not all states allow the use of deeds of trust.

    0 Three Situations When You Should Buy Property as Tenants in Common

    The two most common methods of property co-ownership are joint tenancy and tenancy in common. These two forms of co-ownership differ greatly, particularly with respect to disposition of the property. Here are three scenarios in which tenancy in common ownership is recommended.

    0 Sharing a Party Wall Isn't Always a Party

    A party wall is a common wall that divides two adjoining buildings, units or apartments and shared by the occupants on each side. A party wall usually provides structural support and/or fire protection between the two buildings or units but its maintenance and upkeep can cause rifts between neighbors.

    0 A Transfer on Death Deed Can Avoid Probate on Your Property

    A growing number of U.S. states have enacted laws that allow a home owner to record a Transfer on Death Deed (also called a beneficiary deed or a TOD) during their lifetime. This form of deed will transfer ownership of their property directly to the beneficiary (grantee) named in the deed when the owner (grantor) dies. This is a low-cost and trouble-free alternative to setting up a living trust in order to keep real estate property out of probate.

    1 What is My Risk Exposure as a Condo Board Member?

    If you've ever sat on the Board of Directors of a condominium or strata corporation, you know that the role can at times be frustrating, stressful, thankless, and time consuming. But it can also be rewarding, because it gives you an opportunity to directly enhance the value of your property and improve the quality of life in your community. But is there any liability risk involved in serving on the Board? And if so, what is the level of your exposure?

    0 Condo, Strata, Co-op, HOA - What's the Difference?

    For many city dwellers, home ownership in a common interest development (CID) such as a condominium / strata, townhome, housing cooperative or HOA is a desirable and affordable option. With so many options available, how do you pick the right one? What are the differences?

    0 Condominiums - Who Owns What?

    How much of the unit does the unit owner own, and what constitutes "common property" of the condominium? In other words, who pays for an element like a window if it needs to be replaced or repaired?

    0 Is Your Vacation Home Paying for Itself?

    Rental properties such as cabins and cottages are becoming increasingly popular as they are generally more cost-effective than staying in a hotel and more comfortable for extended stays. This gives vacation property owners an opportunity to have their property pay for itself by generating revenues when they're not using it.

    0 10 Good Reasons to Sign a Contract When Renovating Your Home

    Before you start that major renovation...

    Are you planning to use a contractor to renovate your home? Before you do, have a set of plans drawn up and enter into a written construction contract with the contractor so the project can be performed in accordance with your specifications. These are critical items that will protect your interests as a homeowner and the interests of the general contractor as project overseer.

    Here are 10 good reasons to have a written renovation contract signed and i...