If you’re in the market to purchase a new home or property and are trying to find the right one for your needs, you may not have considered a condominium yet in your search. A condo may offer everything you’re looking for and more – but we understand that they’re not for everyone.
Buying a condo can be an exciting opportunity. It can be the solution to needing a space of your own without the responsibility of caring for a yard, amenities, and other access. It can also open doors to purchasing a single-family home in the future or becoming an investment property down the line.
With a condo purchase also comes some potential limitations, including fees, insurance needs, and a lack of privacy. By doing your research on purchasing a condo, you can decide if it’s the right housing option for you. We’re sharing six things you should consider before settling on a condo. Dive in!
Consider your priorities
Assess your priorities and make a list of what you want. We recommend this for any home purchase, whether you’re looking at condos, single-family homes, or other properties. So grab a pen and paper and write down your wants and needs.
Your wants should include just that: things that you want but could possibly negotiate on. Your needs should be the things you need to make the purchase. Understand the difference between the two and then recognize what items have to be available in your purchase to make it the right one.
Consider financing options
How are you planning on purchasing your property? If financing is part of that mix, understand that condo purchases may differ slightly from what you’re familiar with. For example, condo buyers can use conventional loans or FHAs, but know that condo mortgages are generally trickier to secure than those on single-family homes.
After the collapse of the Champlain Towers in Surfside, FL in 2021, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac rolled out new rules requiring condo associations to verify a building’s physical soundness and adequate financial reserves.
This means that working with a realtor specializing in condo purchases is more important now than ever before.
Consider condo insurance requirements
Condo associations usually purchase insurance that covers damages to shared areas of the building and liability insurance. This cost is usually split with condo owners but does not cover individual units. It is generally on the condo owner to purchase their own HO-6 insurance. With HO-6 insurance, coverage varies but often includes things like fixtures, appliances, and personal property.
Consider your new condo board
Condo boards are run by volunteer members who donate their time and frequently don’t have formal experience or education in managing properties. However, their limited knowledge can make meeting minute logs extremely important so those influenced by board decisions can see the board priorities, discussions, and decision-making process.
Consider the building’s history and age
Do your research on your potential condo’s building and learn more about its history. For example, what has the structure gone through in the past? Are storms or natural disasters common in that area? Public records and local logs can also shed light on your building’s past. Generally speaking, you’ll want to look for a structurally sound building with durable, lasting materials.
Old condo buildings may be stronger than newer builds but can bring about an array of complications. New builds, on the other hand, may offer up-to-date amenities and beautiful finishings but not have the longevity of older buildings. While neither is ‘better,’ it’s important to recognize their pros and cons.
Consider condo association requirements
A set of rules and regulations governs every condo building or complex. You can usually find these requirements in a document called ‘Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions’ or CC&R’s. It may also be referred to as a ‘declaration’.
The condo association or a homeowner’s association enforces the rules outlined in your CC&R. Their primary goal is to oversee the maintenance and management of the common areas of your building and to establish standards for within the complex. For instance, there may be noise-making rules that determine the type or number of pets each unit owner can have.
It’s essential to make sure you’re comfortable with the rules set out in your condo association’s declaration document. That way, you won’t find yourself in an uncomfortable situation when it’s time to move into your new home. After all, you want to adapt to your new community and feel like you belong.
Find the perfect condo for your needs!
If a condo sounds like the right purchase for you, the next is finding a team who can help you find exactly what you’re looking for. The team at The Matt Weaver Group is here to help. Connect with our experts today to find the perfect condo for you!