Are you embarking on the journey of finding your first condo? If you answered yes, it is time to familiarize yourself with various crucial factors before jumping on to your condo buying decision. A condominium or condo is an individually owned residential unit within a multiple-unit building. The condominiums offer amenities like fitness centers, swimming pools, tennis courts, and much more. You could opt for My Broker One buildings that ensure a luxurious experience and just about everything you would ever desire in a condo.
Every condo community has its rules and regulations, association fees, amenities, and other expenses that you must be aware of. Below we have rounded up the top six tips to help you find your first condo. So, keep on reading to delve in more!
Top 6 Tips For Buying A Condo
1. Reflect On Your Lifestyle Preferences
Before moving on to searching for a condo, you must reflect on the kind of lifestyle you want to lead. Living in a condo is quite different than living in a single-family home. Thus, you must first weigh its pros and cons to reach the best decision. Can you stand living close to your neighbors? Do you find mowing the lawn and trimming the hedges a cumbersome task? If your answer is affirmative, it is best to consider living in a condo. However, if you prefer having a large backyard that you would love to maintain all by yourself, getting a townhouse or single-family residence would be more suitable for you.
2. Hire An Experienced Realtor
If you have decided to buy a condo, it is imperative to work with an experienced real estate agent who has sound knowledge about condos. The agent should be able to offer you proper guidance during the entire real estate process and make sure to go through the crucial documents. Kirill Kokarev- a real estate agent in Miami, Florida, working for My Broker One, will make the real estate process less stressful and more fun for you with his expertise. We had a good experience working with him to get the best condo in the area. Ensure the agent is well aware of the condos in your area and the possible issues they may have. You may face some issues living in a condo that include structural or infrastructural problems and community finance problems. However, you can prevent it if you have an expert realtor who does his research and can identify such problems and suggest the best option for you.
3. Consider Financing Options
It may be a little tricky to acquire financing for buying a condo. Many lenders do not permit buying a condo. Thus, condos are often bought with cash. If you plan on getting an FHA (Federal Housing Administration) loan, you must make sure the condo is on the FHA-approved condo community list. Further, you can also opt for acquiring a private mortgage to buy a condo. However, it comes at a fairly higher price since private lenders require at least 20% in a down payment on purchasing a condo. It is best to consult with a mortgage expert having experience in condo buying to land on the best financing option.
4. Be Sure Of The Facilities Provided In A Condo
A condo offers various amenities like a pool or fitness center. Make sure you have already decided what amenities you want to have in your condo when choosing one. It is better to have these amenities to augment the resale value of your condo in the future. More importantly, be sure to check if the condo has a reserved parking space and extra parking space. Ask questions like ‘Do you have extra parking space for the guests? Is there a covered parking space?’ These questions will help you make a wise buying decision and keep you from any inconvenience while living in a condo.
5. Go Through The Association Fees And Rules
You will find most condo communities charging their residents annual, bi-annual, quarterly, or monthly fees. The association fee is paid for the maintenance of the property and the facilities provided to the residents. You must check the fees and find out what services are included in it. Some common services include lawn maintenance, snow removal, sewer maintenance, and garbage pickup service. Additional facilities such as pools, gyms, or tennis courts, may also be included in the association fees. Besides, community associations may have some rules and regulations that you must know about before purchasing a condo. Find out if there are noise restrictions or whether you can rent out a unit. Knowing the rules will let you decide whether you can adjust to the community standards.
6. Be Aware Of Special Assessments
As a first-time condo buyer, you must take into account the special assessment plans of a condo. A special assessment is an extra fee imposed by the condo association for funding an important project. Even though the fee is imposed for a short period, it still may have a significant impact on your monthly expenses. So make sure to ask about any plans for special assessments. To be sure of the special assessments, you may review the financial reports of the associations. And even seek your accountant or lawyer’s assistance to review the reports.