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Facts on Buying a Condominium

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From fees and maintenance to contracts, there are many facets to consider before signing along the dotted line when buying a condo. Joining a condo association that is poorly run with delinquent owners can spell death for an otherwise beneficial situation. Be careful when purchasing a condo.

  • Buying a condo means learning the details of the neighborhood association. This includes how it is governed, how it handles the money and upkeep and any issues residents have run into.
  • Owners will be responsible of the inside of the home, while management will be responsible for the outside. This may influence your decision of buying a condominium.
  • A condo offers you amenities that you otherwise may not be able to enjoy if you purchased a house. It also is a viable option for someone who doesn’t want to (or can’t afford to) pay for land in addition to a house.
  • There will be less privacy in a condo; it will be more like an apartment, living in close quarters with others.
  • Buying a condominium commonly means being centrally located, near many conveniences and locations of interest.
  • Condominiums often take longer to sell than houses. Think of the long-term affects of owning a condo, including future resale values.
  • Management needs to take the burden of running the condo and making sure it is kept up to maintenance; this shouldn’t be the responsibility of the owners.
  • If other members don’t pay the dues, the rest of the association ends up burdened with this responsibility. Research what how many owners are delinquent on their dues.
  • The condo association should have ample funds to cover routine and unexpected repairs. Make sure the condo association is properly spending its money.
  • Know that not all condos are created equal, and rules will vary. Have an expert review the laws of governance in ample time before you settle on a condo purchase.
  • Find good realtors and real estate lawyers to walk you through this complicated and risky process.
  • Compare the cost of buying a condominium and what you get out of it versus a house purchase. It may be more of a value to purchase a house.

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