Whether you are looking for a swanky city crash pad, a beach retreat, or a low maintenance space to call home, buying a condo can be an exciting venture. Loaded with perks that single family homes cannot provide, a condo is a worthy alternative. Many potential condo buyers are drawn to the idea of compact and low-maintenance living, but do not consider the potential drawbacks of their purchase. Educating yourself on the differences in condominium living and knowing the right questions to ask, will guarantee that your purchase is one that will leave you satisfied.

Know your neighbors

The ease of combined living also carries the burden of very close neighbors. When shopping for your unit, pay close attention to the nearby units and ask your management company for general information about who you will be sharing space with. If you are seeking peace and quiet, moving in next door to a family with 3 small children is probably not a good move. Neither is selecting a unit next to a sweet old lady if you plan to party all hours. If your condo will be your full-time home, you will want to find out if units near you are strictly vacation rentals as this may also impact your quality of living.

Review all paperwork with your agent

Be aware of all fees associated with your property. Ask your agent to list them out clearly along with a description of everything that is covered. You may be surprised to discover that some properties offer maintenance service but do not cover plumbing. Other places may offer full management for rentals if that is your main purchase purpose. The fees associated with these services may be monthly or yearly, and could carry hidden fees. Be very diligent in reviewing all paperwork. Chances are, you will be required to sign contracts specifically relating to the association. 

Quick Tip

Making sure that all policies and procedures are in line with your lifestyle and expectations will save you from future misunderstandings with your neighbors and management group.

Do your research

While on the unpleasant subject of disagreements, we suggest checking to see if your condo group has any pending lawsuits that could affect their finances. Multiple lawsuits may just be a red flag telling you that this property isn’t for you. Be sure to ask about the Reserve Fund. This fund is set aside for unforeseen issues with community areas or major repairs. Checking the amount in the fund and any scheduled repairs should also provide information on the general condition of the building.

With many appealing benefits, purchasing a condo is a great fit for many home buyers. Taking the time to research multiple properties will equip you to make a smart purchase that you will be happy with!


Sources: www.chicagotribune.com, www.foxnews.com, www.bankrate.com            



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