Be in the Know Before You Buy that Condo

Condominiums appeal to buyers for many different reasons but there are a few things to consider before you decide to buy. Just like any purchase, doing a little research beforehand may save you a lot of aggravation later. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you are considering buying a condo:

·        Drive around the condominium community and observe the look and feel of the common areas. Most condo associations use funds collected from the monthly association dues to maintain these outside common areas. There are also rules and restrictions on owners as to what they can and cannot do on the outside of their condo. Do you like the way the community is being maintained? Are people abiding by the rules to maintain the desired look and feel?

·        Review these rules and restrictions before you buy. This may be one of the most important things to do.  For example, if you like to plant flowers or a garden but the rules say that is not allowed, you are going to be disappointed and regret your decision. Know the rules up front and decide if you can live with them.

·        Ask the seller of the condo if they will allow you to review the association’s budget. Are the funds being managed properly? Is there enough money in reserve to handle necessary maintenance projects in the community? How many people are delinquent in paying their dues? This may be especially important when you go to get a loan to buy the condo or when you are ready to sell it. Lenders may take this delinquency rate into consideration.

·        Review the association’s meeting minutes if possible. Are there any lawsuits being dealt with? Are there a lot of noise complaints? Are people being respectful with their pets?

All this investigation will paint a more detailed picture of what you are buying into when you decide to purchase a condominium. Do your research and read the fine print so that you are not blindsided or disappointed.