The decision to purchase a condo should not be one that is taken lightly and before you make a major commitment, there are important questions to ask before buying a condo.
Condos can make for a great lifestyle choice, but you need to make sure you understand what you are buying and what you are buying into before you make such a major commitment.
Questions to ask before buying a condo #1
How much are the monthly condo fees and what are they used for?
It is important to figure this out beforehand not only so that you can plan your budget, but also to give you a clear indication of what the fees you are paying will cover if there is something wrong with the complex.
Questions to ask before buying a condo #2
What are the specific rules of the condominium?
Unlike a detached home wherein you can make a ton of noise and the cops will only show up after 11 p.m., condos are different in that each complex is separated by no more than a wall, so it is in your best interest to figure out what the rules and regulations are beforehand.
Inquire what the rules are in terms or noise, pets, the limitations of your property, if you’re able to install things like a satellite dish, if you have access to a garden area, etc.
Questions to ask before buying a condo #3
How much is in the reserve fund?
Find out if the condo association has conducted a reserve-fund review in the last five years. For condo complexes that are one to 10 years old, the reserve fund should have 10% of the cost of replaceable items (roofs, tennis courts, swimming pool, etc.).
If the condo owners reveal that they simply don’t pay very much in the way of maintenance fees, then let that raise alarm bells: that means that either the condo complex is not being well-maintained or the is living well beyond what it can actually afford.
Questions to ask before buying a condo #4
Are there any management issues or projects underway?
Ask to have a look at the minutes of the condo association board meetings and figure out what the condo owners have been discussing.
The minutes might reveal that the condo complex is having management issues, or it may reveal that some exciting projects are underway. It is best for you to figure this out before making such a significant decision.
Questions to ask before buying a condo #5
Is the condo association self-managed?
Some condo complexes are self-managed, which means that the members of the association are responsible for hiring trades people and legal professionals.
While this may work swimmingly in a well-organized condo association; too often, however, this leads to major disagreements and, in some cases, the heads of the association lean towards hiring friends and family members to complete certain jobs, which may not be the best decision.
Questions to ask before buying a condo #6
How many owners live in the condos?
Depending on the size of the complex, usually, if the renter population is well over 10%, a rental policy should exist and stipulate the rules and regulations when it comes to renters.
Some condo buyers prefer to live in a condo complex where most of the dwellers are the actual owners, as people tend to care about something more when they are fully invested in it. but with a solid rental policy in place, there shouldn’t be an issue in such a situation.
Questions to ask before buying a condo #7
What’s the condo fee delinquency rate?
Once you find out the delinquency rate of the present owners, you will be able to properly assess the contentment, or lack thereof, of the owners.
If the condo owners are not paying their association dues in a timely manner, that may reveal that there is some serious discontentment going around the complex, or it may possible indicate that the association is underfunded. Either way, this is not good news.
Questions to ask before buying a condo #8
Is the homeowners association currently involved in any lawsuits?
More often than usual, condo owners end up in litigation with the developer of the condo complex, the manufacturer of building products used in the construction, or even with an individual condo owner.
Although these lawsuits may not be deal breakers, it is recommended that you discuss these issues with your attorney beforehand.
Questions to ask before buying a condo #9
The master insurance policy, what does it cover?
Before committing to a condo purchase, first find out what exactly is covered under the master insurance policy umbrella. Some master insurance policies are exhaustive, while others might surprise you.
Make sure to enlist the services of a real estate lawyer to go over the document and ensure that you understand the document.
Be ready before buying a condo
Any other questions you think were left out? Please feel free to let me know in the comments below.
And if you’re ready to begin your condo hunt, check out ComFree and find your dream home today.