Make sure you’re asking the right questionsand getting straight answersbefore you decide to buy a condo.
Owning a condominium can be great alternative to single-family home buying. You can often get more bang for your buck in square footage and features, and youre not solely responsible for maintenance and upkeep.
Here are some of the issues to look out for while you shop for your condo.
Most condo developments operate with a Homeowners Association (HOA), a group of residents who enforce community rules and collect monthly or annual dues. Leigh Gillig, real estate Endorsed Local Provider (ELP), advises buyers to always find out how much the dues are and what they cover.
Association fees usually cover insurance on the exterior of the building, but coverage can differ, she said. Utilities are always a question. Ask if any of them are included in the fees.
You also need to know the last time the HOA dues were raised. If its been several years, you can bet a hike is coming soon.
Even if youre paying all cash or getting a conventional mortgage to buy your condo, youll want to buy in a development thats approved by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), real estate ELP Patrice Miles said.
An FHA-approved condo will have a stable community and HOA that operates on a budget with healthy cash reserves. It also means their rental-to-occupant ratios are normal and everyone is up-to-date on their dues, Patrice added.
You can look into these issues too. An HOA shouldnt have a problem allowing a potential buyer to review its books or answering your questions. If they do, this isnt the condo for you.
Periodically, condo residents are required to share the costs for assessmentsdevelopment-wide improvements like new roofing or road maintenance
A buyer will want to know if there are any upcoming assessments before they buy, Patrice said. Who wants to buy a condo and then get hit with a $2,500 roof.
Top 5 Things You Need To Know Before You Buy a Condo
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