Are you in the market for a condominium? Buying a condo involves a different process than buying a house. When you own a condo, you are buying a unit in a multi-unit development. Similar to apartment living, you might have to share hallways, entryways, and community amenities. Owning a condo can be a wonderful experience when you make the right purchase. However, because condos are still a part of a shared living space, buying the wrong condo could be a nightmare, so read further to avoid making such a mistake. Here are some tips for buying the right condo:
Work With A Real Estate Agent With Experience Buying and Selling Condos
Condo sales work differently than house sales, so make sure that your real estate agent includes extensive experience with condos. For most condo sales, you will have to sign a contract with the condo community in addition to signing a sales contract. The additional contract with the community lists the association rules and regulations.
Get Pre-Approval Before You Look
Some lenders do not allow for condo purchases, so obtain pre-approval for a loan before you begin your search. When you are pre-approved for a loan, you understand the kind of budget that you are working with. This ensures that you will not find a condo you love only to learn that it’s out of your price range. If you would like to obtain a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan, then you must make sure that the condos you are looking at are FHA approved communities.
What Are The HOA Fees?
Most condo communities require monthly, quarterly, or annual Homeowner’s Association (HOA) fees. These fees help to cover insurance and maintenance costs, but be sure to check into the HOA’s financial statements. You want to make sure that the association has enough fees to cover major repairs and you also want to make sure that the money is being spent responsibly. If the community has extremely high fees, you might not be able to afford living there.
What Do The HOA Fees Cover?
As mentioned above, most HOA fees cover insurance and maintenance, but do they cover any other additional services? Will the fees cover any utilities such as trash, water, and sewer service? Will the HOA pay to maintain the roads in the complex or lawn maintenance?
What Kind Of Rules Does The HOA Have?
Different condo communities involve different rules, so make sure the community that you want to live in has reasonable rules. After all, you will be living in close proximity to your neighbors. If the rules are too restrictive, then you may want to look elsewhere.
You Must inquire About Special Assessments
Say what? Special assessments refer to a substantial fee that is charged to each HOA member to cover a significant project within the community. If the community requires some type of structural repair, this would be paid for by a special assessment. The reason that you must research this is that your HOA fees could significantly increase for a period of time if a special assessment is scheduled in the future.
Research The Neighbors
Unlike living in an apartment, you could be forced to live next door to awful neighbors for several years. If you are a young working professional, chances are that you would not enjoy living in a condo community with mostly senior citizens. Likewise, working professionals would probably rather not share walls with a group of rowdy college students.
If you are thinking about buying a condo, then contact our mortgage brokers today for a free consultation. Our mortgage brokers will make sure that you find the best mortgage rates available.