Sunday, April 29, 2012 5:07 PM EDT
Consumer interest in real estate in Montreal is on the rise. Though our prices are still below the national average, the market isn't showing signs of cooling down.
The "After", Anile and Christian's duplex in N.D.G., Montreal (More photos below). Photos by Chris Kralik.
The smaller boroughs on the outskirts of the downtown core are attracting a growing population of young couples and families and one area in particular known as N.D.G., (Nôtre-Dame-de-Grâce) where I grew up, has seen a huge boom of exactly that.
Small cafés and restaurants, lovely green spaces, local schools, independent grocers and shops, and only minutes from downtown are but a few of the alluring aspects of this area. Due to the increasing demand in housing, rows and rows of charming duplexes have over the years gone from rentals to co-ownerships.
The "Before", Anile and Christinan's duplex in N.D.G., Montreal (More photos below)
I recently visited one such dwelling in N.D.G., belonging to my friend Anile Prakash and her husband Christian. Anile and Christian bought into, and renovated an upper duplex they now co-own with another party. Sound like a headache? Perhaps, but after seeing the possibility, I fell in love.
The renovated kitchen of Anile and Christian's duplex, N.D.G., Montreal (More photos below)
Luckily, Anile, having been through the buying and reno experience, has shared some sound advice about what to expect:
- Read the co-ownership agreement carefully, go over it with your real estate agent or your lawyer just to be safe, because the agreement varies from building to building. There will be all kinds of info in there about how to proceed with renos, your right of first refusal, whether you're allowed to rent or not, etc.
- There are only a few banks in the city that finance co-properties and you're usually assigned the bank it was originally set up with, so you can't shop around for a mortgage. You'll need to count on your credit rating to get you the best rate possible.
- Arrange to meet the other co-owner of the building before you buy the property. While it doesn't guarantee smooth sailing, it helps to get to know them a little bit, before committing to such a big purchase -- what's their lifestyle like (work schedule, kids, etc)? What are their priorities? Etc.
- Furthermore, when meeting with the co-owner you should try to decide on details such maintenance and certain renovations you will both be responsible for -- for example the roof, the front yard, etc.
- It will cost a bit more to hire a notary to finalize the sale because co-ownerships require more paperwork.
- Research your insurance companies ahead of time because they, also, will need more time to prepare a co-property document and not all insurance companies are willing to cover co-ownerships.
- Co-properties, as opposed to condos, benefit from lower city and school taxes.
- You need to have 20% available for your down payment.
- Thanks to Anile, there is definitely a lot to consider when embarking on a co-ownership, but with a home as beautiful as theirs, it's certainly worth considering!
Bathroom "Before", Anile and Christian's duplex, N.D.G., Montreal
Master bedroom, "After"
What do you think? Would you consider co-ownership?
Guest bedroom "After"
By: Michelle Carangi of Montreal-based design office and blog, Holley&Gill