The insurance experts at BCAA provide tips on how to protect your biggest investment.

To buy or not to buy, that is the question! As the market cools off (ever so slightly), now might be the perfect time to invest. Before you do, we spoke to the insurance experts at BCAA to talk about the pros of buying, and what protection you should think about (in addition to consulting a strata's rules and regulations) if you do decide to dip your toe into the condo market.

1) You can renovate

A new penny-tile backsplash, marble countertops, brass pendant lights€”you can reimagine your perfect kitchen in any style and shape you choose. Just don't let your handy work go to waste, work with your insurance company to make sure any improvements you€™ve made to your unit are covered too.

2) You can flex your green thumb

No matter the size of your condo's balcony, you are free to create yourself an urban oasis. Depending on what your strata allows, you can add a barbecue, sleek ceramic planter baskets or even whole privacy trellises and vertical gardens. Your patio is an extension of your home, so make it your own and enjoy it!

3) you've in charge

It is such a pure joy to be in charge of your own home. You don't have to wait on a landlord to fix the water pressure or look at the leaky pipe under the sink in your bathroom. The flip-side is, now you've on the hook to fix the leaky sink. It's important to keep an eye on things at home and ensure proper maintenance. If something does go wrong, like that leaky pipe damages your unit€”or units below you€”you could be out of your place for weeks or even months. Make sure you have insurance coverage for any additional living costs this might cause you, like moving costs  and rent. 

4) You can rent it out short-term for extra cash

Home sharing and short-term rentals are a great way to earn extra cash, especially when you can capitalize on times you'll be away on vacation anyway. However, there is always an increased risk when you let a stranger into your home. That's why BCAA has introduced Short-Term Rental Coverage to cover homeowners for loss or damage to the building or personal property while It's being rented out on a short-term basis. there'seven some coverage for your renters€™ belongings while they€™re in your home€”how's that for earning a 5-star rating on the rental site?

5) You could gain equity over time

Probably one of the biggest benefits of owning your own condo is that your payments go towards paying off your own mortgage instead of someone else's. Over time, the value of your home has the potential to grow, which can give you more opportunities to trade-up to higher-value properties or sell and live out the rest of your days on the beach. To make the most of your investment, get to know your building and your area. If you've buying in an up and coming neighbourhood and get into the market in the early stages of the development plans, there'sa good chance your investment value will grow with your neighbourhood.

There so many things to consider when buying a condo, so It's important to do your research. It's also important to have the right insurance; be sure to talk to the experts at BCAA who can walk you through exactly what you need for your unit and strata policy. To find out more about condo insurance or save 5% when you buy online, visit BCAA has customizable coverage starting at $35 a month and 24/7 emergency claims teams ready to help you at any time.