Five Important Tips For Condo Buyers
Purchasing a condo is the first step towards owning an actual home for a lot of people. On the other hand, it’s not the same thing as buying an actual single-family home, as other considerations and concerns come along with this decision. If you’re someone who feels like you’re ready to make this kind of decision, there are five important tips that you should first make a note of.
Obtaining a Loan
When it comes to condos, lenders treat these properties a little bit differently than they do actual single-family homes. In fact, the Federal Housing Administration has imposed a set of regulations that they will follow before agreeing to issue a loan on a condo. For example, a minimum of 80% of all of the units on the property must already be occupied. Furthermore, the building must also be on the list of properties that are approved by the FHA, which means that if it isn’t, you may have to look elsewhere. However, you may still be able to obtain a loan without the backing of the federal government, but expect to pay much more money, as lenders will often require a down payment of approximately 20% or higher.
Since there will be a lot of people living so closely to one another, this has led to virtually all condo properties establishing their sets of rules as a way to help keep things in order. Before moving in, be sure to familiarize yourself with all of the property’s rules involving factors such as pets, the possibility of whether or not you can rent out your unit in the future, quiet hours, and shared spaces.
The condo association typically levies various charges for expenses such as repairs and insurance that affects every resident at virtually every condo property. Chances are you may want to ask exactly how much these fees are; however, it’s just as important to know exactly what these fees pay for, as approximately one-third of these charges are typically put aside for something such as major structural repairs or an emergency fund. No one ever wants to move into a condo only to find out later on that the condo association is flat broke and can’t even afford to fix something urgent such as a leaky roof. The condo association should be more than willing to show you exactly where the fees are going each and every month, as well as exactly how much money they have on hand if there are currently any outstanding liens against them.
Minutes from Meetings
If there are ever minutes that are taken at condo association meetings, make a request to see them. These will help to give you a good idea about the overall culture of the property, as well as if any issues are causing problems for the residents or if the property management is effective at responding to any and all concerns. Furthermore, you will also be more up-to-date about all of the latest news regarding the property as well. Additionally, you will also be able to find out information regarding whether or not there are any pending lawsuits against the property as well, which could affect your decision to move there in the first place.
Upkeep and Maintenance
It’s always important to be aware of who takes care of the property before you decide to purchase a condo there. For instance, inquire as to whether or not there is another person who takes care of everything or if the residents are expected to help as well. Any condo property that isn’t too up-to-date on upkeep and maintenance can be rather stressful to live in, and it can also hurt the overall resale value as time goes on. This makes it all the most important that upkeep and maintenance are taken extremely seriously.
Furthermore, if something were to go wrong, it’s important to know exactly what you’re responsible for. For instance, if a pipe bursts above you and causes damage to your living room, you should ask about who will be responsible for repairing that issue. On a lot of condo properties, the responsibility of the condo association stops at the midway point between your unit’s walls. This means that any issue that takes place inside your unit is ultimately your responsibility.