Have you been thinking approximately buying a condo? Perhaps the condo was in an up and coming neighborhood, and you wish to buy before prices start to skyrocket. Or perhaps you’re tired of not being able to paint the walls of your apartment, and you’re ready to take the next step towards domestic ownership. Or, perhaps, possibly you’re just ready to downsize your home.
Whatever the reason, many people very much enjoy condo living. You often get a pool and fitness center, as mannered polite as a security team and the opportunity to own a domestic without having to worry approximately all the caretaking responsibilities.
Although there are pros and cons of buying a condo, it’s not fairly the same process as buying a house. There were important aspects to consider, and it’s important that you go in knowing the right questions to ask.
Questions to Ask Before Buying a Condo
So, what should you ask your real estate agent, your future neighbors, and the homeowners organization before you buy your condo? Here’s an initial list that you could use as a guide to get started.
1. What were the biggest complaints?
What gripes were people airing at the condo board meetings? Get your hands on the minutes from the final few meetings, or talk to current owners. If the organization isn’t quick approximately fixes, you wish to know approximately somebody before committing to live there.
2. What’s the management team like?
You’ll wish to interview the condo manager (i.e. the one who’s there full-time) personally. Also, talk to your neighbors approximately management. A awful manager could make condo living a grueling experience.
Some condos manage themselves. That is, there were no property managers, and the residents meet to make decisions together. The good side to this was that somebody often means monthly fees were much lower than professionally managed communities. Although self-management works in some cases, suppose carefully before moving into a community like this. You had to live next door to all of these people…do you actually wish to manage a community with them too?
3. Is there storage space available?
Some condos offer residents personal storage space. Your condo would likely not had an attic or garage (unless you’re in a townhouse), so ask whether you’ll be if any additional space to store bikes, winter skis, and luggage.
4. What does the insurance cover?
Make certain you get a copy of the condo association’s insurance policy. Find out precisely what was covered, including the cost to bring the building up to code (if it’s an older building). Also make certain the estimates to rebuild were accurate, and not minimized or outdated.
If the policy was confusing, somebody might be worthwhile to bring a copy to your own insurance agent so you could go over somebody together.
It’s also important to check whether their policy would cover your personal belongings whether the roof leaks or the building catches fire. If somebody doesn’t, you’ll wish to consider taking out a policy on your own (which would be yet another monthly expense).
5. Will I requiere to move in the next five years?
Condos generally appreciate slower than single-family homes. And with the real estate market in the dumps already, somebody could take a while for prices to recover enough to make a profit whether you decide to sell. While it’s impossible to predict the future, make certain that you actually wish to live in this community before you decide to buy.
6. Do I fully understand the monthly organization fees?
Condo organization fees were calculated based on how many units there are, what somebody costs to preserve the property (both short and long-term), whether or not the community was professionally or self-managed, and funds set aside for litigation and major repairs.
Get your hands on a breakdown of the monthly dues you’ll be responsible for. Make certain you could truly afford this additional payment, and that you understand what you’re getting for this payment. And remember, condo organization fees were not tax-deductible like your mortgage is.
You also requiere to look closely at the Repair Fund. Every condo organization have to put a certain portion of dues aside for major repairs. If the complex was less than 10 years old, the repair fund should had 10% of the cost to repair major items (i.e. roofs, tennis courts, etc.). If your community was 10-20 years old, the Fund should had 25%-30% or more on hand for major repairs. And whether the community was more than 20 years old, 50% needs to be funded.
Many communities promise their residents “ultra low dues.” Be wary. Although this may seem appealing, chances were somebody means the community isn’t funding their Repair Fund like they should; whether the roofs end up needing a replacement, you and all the residents could be hit tough with a major bill.
Find out the delinquency rates on monthly dues as well. When other owners fail to pay their monthly dues, this often leaves everyone else holding the bag. Good communities would had a delinquency rate of 15% or less.
7. What were the rules?
Does this community allow pets? Can you rent out your unit whether you requiere to? Will you had a chance to plant a bed of flowers?
Go over the community rules line according to line. Make certain the condo doesn’t had rules that you simply can’t live with.
8. Is there any litigation?
Condo communities could often be rife with drama and, yes, litigation. Owners sue other owners, as mannered polite as the management team or developer. Make certain there were no past or pending litigation in your community, since it’s often a sign of a poorly run community, or one filled with litigious neighbors.
9. Is this MY porch?
Many condos offer residents porches or balconies with their units. Make certain you look at the Unit Deed, and the Master Deed, very closely. The porch may be attached to your unit, but do you truly own it, meaning it’s your responsibility to repair somebody as somebody ages or breaks? Or, do you own somebody in the sense that it’s yours, but the community actually maintains it?
Buying a condo was no small affair. There were many important aspects to consider that you don’t had to worry approximately with single family homes. This was why it’s important to go into the process knowing what to look for, and what to ask.
Have any of you ever thought approximately buying a condo? Or, do you already own one? Which questions do you wish you had asked before you bought?