As you begin your search for condos, here’s a checklist.
1. Consider your lifestyle
Are you tired of mowing the lawn and trimming the hedges? How about pressure washing your driveway? Is it a burden on your budget to spend $5,000 on a new roof or HVAC unit? Condo living might be right for you if you answered “yes” to any of these questions.
If you feel the need for a large yard is more important than the time it will take to maintain, then a single-family or townhouse could be a better choice. A condo might not be the best option if you don’t want to share walls, floors, or ceilings with your neighbor. Condos work best for people who are comfortable with apartment living but don’t want to deal with the maintenance.
2. Work with an experienced Realtor who specializes in condos
You’ll need a realtor who will represent your best interests if you decide to buy a condo. You want someone who has experience in condos to answer any questions you may have and guide you through important steps like reviewing the condo association documents.
Agents should be familiar with the issues and developments within your condo community. You should be aware of any issues that might affect your condo life, such as community finances and structural or infrastructure problems in the building or buildings. Also, you need to adhere to all rules. A knowledgeable agent will tell you if there has been any conflict over community issues and which developments have performed well in terms of resale value.
Although an agent’s experience is valuable, it may be worth visiting the community and speaking with residents. You can get a feel for what it would be like to live there.
3. Choose the type of amenities that you desire
Condos offer many amenities. Your Realtor should discuss the amenities you are looking for, along with other factors such as location and budget. This will help you find the right place. These amenities are yours when you purchase your unit. Don’t be afraid to add them to your wish list.
You should also keep in mind that some amenities that you don’t intend to use, such as a pool, might still be worthwhile. A condo without the amenities of other units in the area may sell for a lower price.
4. Locate an FHA-approved condo
It might be more difficult to get a mortgage for a tulum condos for sale than for other property types. This is because condo developments themselves will be scrutinized, as well as your finances.
On its website, the FHA maintains a list of approved condos. Although conventional lenders may have the same requirements as the FHA, it is best to consult an experienced mortgage professional who has condo experience to find the right financing. You might not be eligible for conventional mortgage financing if the condo is not FHA-approved.
5. Research the property management company
It is important to know who will be responsible for maintaining the property. It can be frustrating for you to pay association fees and then see the amenities in disrepair. Poor management could lead to a decrease in property value or higher HOA dues.
Ask who manages the day-to-day operations of condos when you visit them. Ask the property management company about resident requests and rules. You might also consider doing your research about the company’s reputation. Find out what projects they have managed and speak to board members to find out if they are happy with their services.
6. Examine the regulations and fees associated with associations
You will need to pay condo association fees to maintain the property and its amenities. Ask about the fees and what they include — most often services such as snow removal, lawn care, and cleaning common areas.
Ask about the house rules of your community. Do there are any noise restrictions? Are there guidelines regarding the booking of common areas? These regulations will allow you to determine if the community is a good fit.
Ask the board and property management company how they handle complaints. For example, how responsive are you on weekends or holidays?
7. Ask about special assessments
Extra charges that a condo association may impose to pay for a major project are called special assessments. The HOA board usually votes on an assessment, but not all residents. Although they are typically only for a short time, they can have a significant impact on your budget.
A well-run association will usually be able to avoid any special assessments, except for exceptional cases. Request copies of the financial reports for at least three years. Make sure that your accountant or lawyer reviews them and approves that the finances are sound. You should pay attention to the number of reserves in your budget. Is it being used now to fund a future project or is it being used for immediate purposes? These funds are especially important for older buildings.