Top 5 Things You Should Know About Living In A Strata

There are many benefits associated with strata living. Strata homes tend to cost less to buy than single dwellings, which opens up more opportunities for young people who want to own their own home. Stratas also offer a sense of community for residents who can take advantage of common amenities. And, because of the way stratas are set up and managed, residents don’t have to worry about making arrangements for repairs, maintenance or services. If you think strata living is for you, there are few things you should know:

1. Each strata operates with its own set of rules called bylaws. These bylaws set out the guidelines for all residents, for example if pets are allowed and what kind of changes owners can make to an individual unit.

2. Strata owners pay a monthly fee to cover off services and amenities, such as insurance, cleaning, snow removal, yardwork, repairs or maintenance. This can vary from strata to strata.

3. If there are plans for significant upgrades or repairs, as a resident, you’ll have to cover off a portion of those over and above the strata fees.

4. Most strata residences use the services of a property management company so it’s a good idea to find out who they are and determine if their cost is covered in the strata fees or if there’s a separate charge.

5. There are common areas in stratas that all residences make use of. The maintenance and upkeep of these common areas can be part of the monthly fees or it may be separate.

How To Avoid Frozen Pipes

Can we talk about the snow in the Lower Mainland?! As a homeowner, its important to check and make sure that exposed pipes don’t freeze or burst. This can cause serious flooding and/or water damage and that would be bad! 

Here are some basic steps you can take to reduce potential risks:

  • Identify problem areas. Pipes most at risk for freezing are those that are exposed or uninsulated or located in either exterior walls or the outside of your home.
  • Make sure your garden hose is disconnected from your outside faucet. A frozen garden hose can cause an interior pipe to burst because it expands and puts increased pressure on your plumbing system.
  • Add insulation to exposed pipes in unheated areas such as attics or garages.
  • Consider rerouting pipes that have proven to be troublesome in the past.
  • If you’re planning to be away from your home for any length of time, make sure your furnace does not dip below 13 degrees Celsius (55 degrees Fahrenheit). You should also turn off your main water supply and drain the system to avoid possible leaks. (This can be done by turning on all faucets and flushing all toilets.)