Reflections of a Condominium Owner – with Kathleen Schrumm

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A condo owner of 27 years, Kathleen Schrumm reflects on her thoughts on being in the condominium industry.

Kathleen was first introduced to the condominium industry with her vacation townhome, which she purchased in 1995. A 21-unit, six-year-old basic, self-managed complex, with no other amenities other than a garbage shed and bike racks.

For Kathleen, this was just the right taste to gain a healthy appetite for the condominium industry and what could be provided long term.

That experience made purchasing her second condo in 2005 as her permanent home, a no-brainer. This time the condo was in a complex of 153 bungalow townhomes with a management company.

When asked if she always wanted to be a condo owner, Kathleen replied, “With our vacation property, a condo was the ideal choice, as we knew that we would not be full-time residents.”

A condo comes with peace of mind to have a community looking out for each other’s interests. Kathleen shared that, there is a certain level of security she wouldn’t have gotten, in a separate cottage. Another perk Kathleen was happy to share with us, was having the outdoor maintenance, such as grass cutting and snow removal, all handled for her.

When the time came to make a choice to make a condo her permanent residence, Kathleen shared that the pros outweighed the cons. “The pros of easier living,” shared Kathleen, “with the cons of loss of personal choice of external things like gardens and condo rules in general.”

The resources available to Kathleen at the time of her first condo purchase were limited. She expressed how she felt that real estate agents were more focused on selling units, rather than providing in-depth knowledge and understanding of the purchase at hand. Though she had a lawyer go over the documents, and had the instinct to request time to review the rules, declarations, and bylaws before finalizing the sale.

Presently, Kathleen is happy to see how many resources are available to the condominium community and shares that CCI makes resources attainable and appropriate to potential owners. Word of mouth and newspaper articles are frequent enough to help potential buyers gain insight into the condominium community and what it means to own a condo.

However, in the future, Kathleen would like to see more clear and concise direction from the Ontario government and condominium industry providers such as CCI with resources and education on the different types of residential condos. CCI readers, stay tuned to our weekly blog for further educational resources.

Purchasing a condominium means there are a lot of rules to abide by. Though Kathleen and her husband were diligent about reading the rules and bylaws of her community, it can be alarming to learn that many neighbours do not take the same care when joining a condominium community. Luckily, there are strong and fair condominium boards and property managers who make for the best condos. When the communication is open and clear between the board, manager, and owner, it makes for a happy and healthy community.

A suggestion from the seasoned condo owner is that the government of Ontario make it a requirement that all new and potential owners should be required to take a course to fully understand what it means to be a condo owner, and what responsibilities lie ahead of their purchase. This way, all owners may be inspired to share their talents for the betterment of all. Currently, only condominium directors are required to take a course. 

At the end of the day, after all is said and done, when asked what she loves most about being a condo owner, Kathleen replied “the ability to live in a beautiful complex that is maintained by others, and that we have the freedom to travel without worrying about the safety of our property because there is a manager and board of owners looking after the interests of the whole complex.”

Being a part of a condominium community is a unique experience, and when all owners understand their responsibilities and take initiative, it makes for a happy, healthy, and proactive community. Attending your AGMs and providing your voice with your neighbours will help the community as a whole, and reflects well on the communication between the owner, the property manager, and the board.

Getting the appropriate information out to new and potential owners is crucial, and Kathleen Shrumm is a prime example of how to be a proactive and responsible condo owner.

Build your relationship with your property manager and board today. Reach out to see how you can lend your talents to your community!

Conference Sponsorship, annual conference, annual golf tournament, Grand River Chapter, Canadian Condominium Institute, Become a Member | CCI-GRC

Maggie Matian
Marketing Manager for CCI Grand River

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