Condo First Review in St Albert, meet the Owner Carol Malko

Posted by Sharon Gregresh on Saturday, January 13th, 2018 at 6:25pm.


Carol Malko is the owner of Condo First Review, a business looking to help buyers make informed decisions about potential condo purchases. Having 30+ years of experience in the Real Estate business, Condo First Review seeks to make confusing condo documents easy to understand since buying a condo also means buying into a condo corporation.

Describe your business

Our goal is to provide buyers the information they need to make an informed decision reducing any risk of surprise when buying into a condominium corporation. First, we ensure the buyer has all missing document (90% of packages need both updated and missing documents), then we provide point by point analysis, this allows them to deal with any financial obligations prior to the sale and go forward with complete peace of mind.

What made you decide to open this business?

We felt it was a very needed service to protect Buyers, the Real Estate Agent and their Brokerages as well. The Document Review is similar to having a home inspection, when you buy a Condo you are buying a part of a corporation which you need to know how well it is being operated. You don’t want to be buying any “baggage” as one might say; Financial Debt that has not been dealt with.

What was it like when you first started?

I believe we created much more transparency between Property Management Companies and buyers, in the beginning they were very resistant to offering some information. Everyone soon learnt that we are here to help buyers and corporations work together for the same goal. Buyers didn’t put an offer because they don’t want to buy and we are here to help them either find a way to do that or negotiate what is needed.

What would your customers say they love most about your business?

We Save them Money! Our clients are mostly impressed with the amount of financial detail; this does offer them a way to negotiate should there be unresolved issues.

What’s the most memorable experience you’ve had working with a customer?

Some of our clients have saved surprising amounts of money and emailed us with gratitude. They were thankful to have been told about our service. This is what makes our jobs “So Gratifying”!!

What do you love about St. Albert? 

I love the hills and greenery, there are so many parks and green belts. When I was a child I remember coming to the Sturgeon River to swim with my family. The people in St. Albert seem so grateful to be part of such a great community and that is infectious. Great restaurants, my son loves that there is still an East Side Mario’s as they seem to be closing elsewhere. Also love the boutique style of shopping, so many great shops and specialty stores. We enjoy supporting the small businesses as we are one too!!

What is something most people don't know about the business?

Most people don’t know this services even exists! When people find us they are relieved and sometimes surprised there is someone to help them. Also, most people believe their Lawyer does what we do, they do NOT do a comprehensive future analysis. There are so many misconceptions when the average person looks at the amount of the reserve fund balance. Just because it seems like a lot of money doesn’t mean it is enough; you must look at the history and the futures cost data analysis. Only an expert knows how to analyze this properly and explain it in a way that will make sense to the buyer.

Do you have any exciting plans for the future that you want customers to know about?

Yes, we are growing to other provinces in Canada and also have expanded to Arizona this January with future plans for Hawaii. This will help out of state and province buyers purchase with confidence.

Why should someone have a condominium document review?

Our goal is to provide buyers with the information they need to make an informed and confident decision in an easy to read format. Having a CondoFirstReview document inspection service provides the buyer with information prior to the purchase that may uncover details that can be resolved before they complete the sale. CondoFirstReview ensures that the buyer receives all of the missing documents and completes a point by point analysis of each category from the documents into a format so the buyer understands what is important to the specific unit that is being purchased. The CondoFirstReview informative review also serves as a full reference guide with important information for future use.

What are the benefits of a condominium document review?

The document review is comparable to a home inspection prior to buying. The difference is that you are buying into a corporation and you will inherit any existing responsibilities including the financial obligations of the condominium corporation. The document inspection service reduces the risk of surprise and the time spent on getting the information that is needed to know if there are any additional costs or "Special Assessments". The review informs the buyer of all the financial requirements, how they are determined and the responsibilities of being an owner, providing the buyer peace of mind.

Condo First Review
Address: #110, 5 Giroux Road St.Albert, AB T8N 6J8
Phone: 780-920-5552

Photos by Paul Thurlin of Edge Photography 
Interview Conducted and Video by Sharon Gregresh, REALTOR Century 21 Masters
Edited by Samantha Gregresh

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