Condominium buyers are a small percentage of the home buying market, but they are still active buyers who could benefit from some timely advice. Buying a condo is not like buying a residential, one-family home. There are many things to take into consideration when you are looking to buy a condo, and several aspects of the transaction that are different than what you may be used to.
Is A Condo Right For You?
There are a lot of reasons why a condo may not be right for you, and you have to take those reasons seriously as you make this important decisions. In many condos, your neighbors will literally be on the other side of the wall. Some people do not like being in such close quarters with their neighbors, despite how spacious a condo may be.
If you are the kind of person who enjoys watering and cutting the grass, doing your own home repairs, and making improvements to your home during the summer, then a condo may not be for you. Most condos charge residents to pay for a maintenance service that runs the facility, and all upgrades that you plan on doing to your condo have to be approved by the condo association before they can be done.
Financing Is A Little Different
A majority of condo purchases are done in cash because lenders simply do not like to finance condos. You can get an FHA loan for your condo, but the condo must be on the FHA-approved list before a lender can finance. There are usually no options for condo financing without at least 20 percent of the purchase price down. So if you are going to buy a condo, be prepared to have a large down payment ready.
Ask About The Fees
One of the more significant ways that owning a condo is different than owning a home is that condo associations tend to have a list of fees that you would not normally expect to pay. This list of fees varies from condo to condo, so it is important to ask about them before you sign on the dotted line.
Aside from maintenance and garbage removal fees, condos can charge for facility replacement costs, extra insurance, and a variety of other reasons. You might think that you can afford the financing on a condo, but the fees might put you out of the running and put the condo out of your budget.
Ask About Included Features
The condo you are looking at might have no problem giving you your own parking space, but your visitors may have to park in a pay lot across the street. Another area where condos vary from residential homes is in the features that are or are not included with your condo purchase. Along with parking, you might have issues with renting your spot out temporarily, additional storage, and quiet hours. Always ask about the features of a condo before buying to make sure you will enjoy living there.
Buying a condo has many benefits, but it also comes with challenges. Before you buy a condo, it is important to understand what you should be looking for and how you should handle the purchase to make sure that you know exactly what you are getting into.