18 September 2018

5 Things to Know Before Buying a Condo

5 Things to Know Before Buying a Condo

The average price of a condo in the U.S. today is a little over $300,000, though in many places you’ll pay much more for a house, and in some southern cities, such as condos sold by a Miami realtor, you may be able to find much more affordable options – like the one-bedroom unit that sold for$142,500, according to bizjournals.com.

No matter where you’re looking for a condo, to ensure the best decision, there are a few things you should know before buying.

Are the Majority of Owners Absent?

The percentage of absent owners, or investors who own units, can impact your ability to obtain a mortgage or re-sell the unit. In places like Las Vegas, New York City and Miami, where condominium buildings are primarily owned by investors, there’s virtually no financing for condos because the FHA doesn’t approve condo projects in which over 49 percent of units are investor-owned. Units in buildings like this with financing problems lose value as they can often only be sold for cash, and at a lower price than they might sell for otherwise.

Verify all Fees

Condos come with all sorts of fees, with some charging more for common fees than others. Verify that all are within your budget before making an offer. Most of the time you’ll notice real estate listings include a section listed as “HOA” with the monthly chargers for any homeowner association fees.

Thoroughly Check All Agreements, Regulations, Declarations, Etc.

While you may need to read through a lot of paperwork, it’s a must before buying. It’s a must to be familiar with all the ins and outs, as these documents outline how the condominiums are governed and operated. You’ll want to know if you’re able and willing to follow all the rules and guidelines before making a commitment.

Determine the Insurance Costs

As a condo association’s master policy will cover parts of the dwelling’s structure, you may be able to get lower rates on a homeowners’ policy as compared to a single-family dwelling. Of course, this will depend on the exact policy the association has which means it’s important to review it first and speak to several independent agents to get quotes to find the best rates for the policy you need.
Talk to Current Owners/Tenants to Learn About Complaints

It’s important to learn what the biggest complaints are about living in the building you’re considering – and, whether not you can live with them. Speak to current owners and/or tenants, and if possible, get the minutes from the last few condo board meetings. If there are big problems, like repairs being so to fix, you’ll want to know about it before buying.

Interview the Condo Manager

Is there a condo manager there full-time? If so, be sure to interview them to get a feel for what it’s going to be like to deal with him or her before you buy – a bad manager can make for a very difficult living experience. If there isn’t a manager and residents meet to make decisions, realize that you’ll be living next door to them and you’ll have to manage with them too, making it more important than ever to have friendly, open and communicative neighbors.

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