Buying a Condo

We are fortunate to live in an area with a number of different types of housing available – stand alone homes, townhomes, houseboats, and even condos! If you are considering a condo, there are definitely some things to keep in mind:

  • Whether there are 4 units in the building or 40, each condo unit has a set of rules and regulations that determine how the condo unit is run, the monies it collects from condo owners, how it spends them, and how the building and property are maintained. The condo association regulates and enforces these rules. If you are considering buying a condo, I recommend getting a copy of the condo association rules, minutes from all condo association meetings, and financial statements showing the reserves that the property has.
  • Make sure you learn about any anticipated condo association dues increases that are scheduled or anticipated.
  • When there is an improvement done to the outside of the building, common areas, or grounds, condo owners will sometimes need to foot the bill for these if there isn’t enough in reserves to cover it. This is why it is important to look at the reserve balance. Also ask about the assessment history.
  • Inquire as to any pending or settled lawsuits with any builders or contractors. Ask for all documents pertaining to this. Lawsuits could be a sign that something could be wrong with the construction of the building.
  • Make sure you understand all the rules and regulations about the outside space (including decks, doors, storage, etc.). You don’t want to have plans for adding potted plants around your front door only to learn that isn’t allowed.
  • Make sure you understand what parking spaces come with your condo and where your guests will park.
  • Get a copy of the rules that pertain to common areas such as a clubhouse, picnic area, meeting room, swimming pool, fitness center and more.
  • Inquire about the percentage of renters there are versus owners. A lot of renters in the building can affect resale value. On the flip side, if you are thinking of buying a condo to rent it, you need to know whether or not you are allowed to do that.

If you like the convenience of being able to leave, knowing your property has very close neighbors and not have to worry about exterior maintenance, a condo could be just the ticket!