Things to consider before buying a condo
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Condominiums are individually sold units within a shared piece of property or living complex. The condominium community lifestyle is rapidly gaining popularity for its value for money and the freedom from the hassle of maintenance. Condos typically come with a wide range of amenities such as swimming pools, fitness centers and playing courts, at a comparatively affordable price. For many people and families, condos are a better alternative as compared to traditional, single-family homes. Having said that, it’s important to be aware of what you’re signing up for before you make the purchase. Here are a few things you would want to know before buying and owning a condo.
Rules and Regulations
First things first. To make the most of your living experience in your new home, make sure you know what’s acceptable and what’s not since there are certain details that are non-negotiable for you. This includes clarifying whether you’re allowed to rent out your condo, make modifications to your own unit, parking rules and so much more. If you have pets or would like to get one, this is something you must clarify before moving into your new home. We would suggest going over the guidelines set by the condominium association line by line, we promise it will make life so much easier for you and your condo community. There are plenty of condos to choose from, ensuring it’s the right fit for you. Head over to this page to find the condo of your dreams.
Most condos do not provide personal storage facilities. Although you will have a parking lot, you’re going to have to live without an attic or personal garage. Be sure to ask the management about any extra space that you may have access to, so that you can store any bicycles, equipment or luggage that may need to store.
One of the most important things you must remember to do before investing in a condo is to read through the condo association’s insurance policy. You don’t want to skip to the end and click ‘I agree’ without reading the terms and conditions, this time. Go over which costs are covered and which aren’t. This includes coverage of your personal belongings in the case of fires or severe leakages. This is especially crucial if the building isn’t as new as others because the association may be required to upgrade it after a point. We all know this can be a daunting task, so consulting your own insurance agent to help you understand the insurance policy better may be a good move.
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The association fees are additional payments levied by the condo management on all condo owners, that are pooled together for maintenance or any major repairs. Since the association fees are a considerable amount that needs to be paid on a monthly or yearly basis, it is important that you are aware of what you’re getting into, well ahead of time. Keep in mind that, unlike your mortgage, association fees are not tax-deductible. The upside to this, however, is that you save yourself the hassle of upkeep and maintenance- definitely a deal that’s hard to turn down. Either way, make sure to figure out how much your association fees are and what it includes.
An aspect that outweighs the costs involved in buying and maintaining a condo are the many benefits that come with the condo lifestyle. Examples of these benefits include swimming pools and fitness centers. For many people living in traditional single-family homes, these benefits are often too expensive. However, the costs of maintaining a pool in a condo community are shared, making it more affordable. To top it all, this may help you save money by not needing to purchase a separate pool or fitness membership.
Here’s what we’re trying to say. Every condo has its own feel to it so there is a lot you need to consider before you make the down payment. Each condo comes with a unique community, living experience, benefits, costs and rules. You want to know everything you possibly can about the condominium, its management and the community it offers you and you want to find out before you make the purchase and move in. Ultimately, only you know what will work for you and ensure that your new condo becomes your new home.
I’m still iffy about condos. They can have great benefits, but you are always at the mercy of the condo board.
These are all very good points. Like most things, there are lots of advantages to condo living but disadvantages as well.
Very good points in this article. I own a Townhouse.
Last night there was a big fire at a condo complex in town, 100 people including kids displaced, now have to go to a shelter. Nobody was injured, a miracle considered the fire started in the middle of the night. It spread from one unit. Our town has high taxes, but the fire marshall is terrible about inspections. I’m scared we still have over 100 fire code violations. My neighbor at the complex in another building called me to say she is scared, too, because the management had them re-install a fire code violation after the fire marshall left. She said she is going to tell them to undo it, and that she is going to call the fire dept if they don’t, but I don’t think she will. I’ve been threatened and retaliated for calling three years ago when they had to fix 19 violations that were deemed “immediate jeopardy.” I wouldn’t be surprised if this complex is loaded with violations the town never made them fix. I hope ours are fixed soon, we each have to pay but don’t have the authority to do anything.
So that’s what a condo is! I’ve heard it mentioned so often in tv/films and books but we don’t really have the same set-up here in Ireland. We do have the same investor ownership problems though, and that’s raising the rental/purchase cost for the rest of us. It all boils down to greed and the wonderful (!) capitalist system.
I’ve always been leery of condos. I’m not nuts about the idea of some board controlling what I can do with my property. I feel the same way about homes that have home owners associations. I just avoid them.
With condos, you also need to keep in mind they can change the rules. The condo board has been working over a year with a lawyer to get our condo changed so that nobody can buy a condo here unless they agree to live here for at least one year, in order to stop the flow of investors buying them up. Many complexes are getting huge investor ownership, and turning complexes into a big rental, with a lot of problems. The bad part is it will make it hard for people like me to sell, as only investors are buying, some seniors here like me aren’t going to vote for it. Our condo fees have tripled since I moved here, and have had over $20,000 in assessments alone. I am hoping to move out to either senior housing or a small house. I’d be careful about condos. There’s all of this the article says and more.