Considering buying a condo? A condo is a huge commitment, so make sure you read these five factors to keep in mind to ensure you pick the best condo for you!
Get the Amenities You Want
One of the huge perks of buying a condo is having access to amenities! There are so many condos to choose from, so why not be picky? Narrow down the search by knowing what amenities will positively impact your everyday life. For example, maybe you go to the gym regularly- many condos offer gym memberships right in your own complex. Or maybe you love to swim, but would never want to maintain a pool. Another perk of condo amenities is that they are cleaned and maintained, so you don’t have to lift a finger! Whether it’s a hot tub, gym, or fire place - make sure you choose a condo that offers amenities to fit your lifestyle.
You may also want to consider having access to fresh air or open space. During the 2020 Stay At Home Order many condo owners were disappointed by the fact that they didn’t have a balcony or a park close by, so it may be helpful to check what outdoor areas are available.
Find The Perfect Location For YOUR Needs
Whether you’re looking to live in the condo or rent it out, location is key. If you plan on living in the condo there’s a few key questions to ask yourself:
How far will my commute to work be?
How far will my kids commute to school be?
Am I close enough to the city/mountains?
Am I near restaurants/parks?
Do I feel safe and comfortable in this area?
Location is one of the most important factors to being happy in your condo. Just think- if you are too far away from your daily activities, this will be an ongoing hassle that you can do very little about. Make a list of what types of places you want to be close to and use that list to narrow down your search. Also, make sure that you feel comfortable and safe in the area. Drive through the complex at night to make sure the parking lots are well-lit.
If you plan on renting out the condo some questions may include:
Is this area in high demand?
How many rooms could I rent out?
How far is the condo from where I am living?
Just because you are not living in the condo does not mean you can forget about location. You do not want to get stuck with a condo that you can’t rent out. Make sure you set yourself up for success by doing research and getting professional insight from a real estate agent.
Know Your HOA Fees
HOA is the Homeowners Association. Condos typically have HOA fees that can include various services, such as maintaining the common areas. Remember that even when the condo is paid off, there are still HOA fees to pay. Before you set your heart on a specific condo, make sure that the HOA fees are going to be manageable for you. On the flip side, also take into consideration what your HOA covers cost-wise. As well as maintaining amenities, many condos also include garbage disposal, water/sewer fees, and other costs that add up quickly.
Pick The Right Agent
Before you go condo shopping, understand the benefits of a great real estate agent. Agents have talent and knowledge that will help you find the best condo for the best deal. They understand the market, know the neighborhoods, and have many skills to assist you in the purchasing process. Even if you do have some knowledge when it comes to real estate- moving can be stressful. Hiring a professional is a great way to save time, energy, and get the most for your buck.
Know The Association Rules
You planned on adding a fence for privacy, but then you realize that it is against association rules… now what?! Make sure you check the rules before purchasing a condo, so that you don’t set yourself up for disappointment. You want to be able to make the place your own, so knowing and understanding the rules is a must. Some condos are more strict than others, so list this as an important, pre-purchase task. However, once you get under contract on your new condo you will have time and opportunity to explore the association rules during what’s called the Due Diligence Period. If you should find something in the rules that you find unacceptable, in most cases, you will be able to get out of the contract without any penalties.
Buying a condo is a huge personal and financial commitment, so be sure to keep these five factors in mind before you buy! At the end of the day, it comes down to how much time and research you put into the search. A simple first step is writing out a list of what it is you are looking for. From there, you can do the research and find a real estate agent to assist you with the rest.