How close do you like to have your neighbours? This is an important question, since the answer to it may automatically filter the available options. Condos, duplex or multi-unit homes, townhouses and housing co-operatives automatically bring you closer to your neighbours and are sometimes unavoidable in urban centres.
In many cases, you will have to share more than just hallways and the roof deck; condos and co-ops usually have their own Board, shared ownership of amenities, and community meetings. On the other hand, the Board should be able to take care of most issues and maintenance on their own, so you might not have to get directly involved with the little things.
If you indeed decide to go with a condo, you are strongly encouraged to peek into past meeting minutes to find out about the governance culture and decision history at the condo of your choice. If you find out that a handful of malcontents have been stalling innovation or renovation, or that the maintenance of common areas has been fiercely discussed in every single meeting for the past year, this should warn you that the community may not be the right one for you after all.
If nothing else, the meeting minutes will give you an overview of any big steps the community is planning and of the history (and steepness) of any fee increases.
Now that you know which questions to ask yourself, your agent, and the seller before deciding for a home, learn some tips for touring houses in Vancouver.