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Condominium living can be a highly desirable and lifestyle for many home buyers. It is important to know what amenities are included like swimming pools, exercise facilities, parking for guests, etc. It is also important to review the Condominium documents carefully to find out if pets are permissible, remodeling   is allowed or what type of approvals and renovations are permitted. Some do not allow wooden floors because of noise issues below to other unit owners. It is also important to know about the financial condition of the Condominium Association and the condo unit you are considering specifically the condo dues and any unpaid, pending or planned assessments.

Other questions to ask involve what utilities are included in the Homeowner’s Association fees (HOA.)

What is covered in your HOA fees? What utilities and common areas? Cable and internet charges can impact your monthly financial obligations.

How old is the building itself? It’s important to recognize the difference between the age of the building and the age of a unit. A newly renovated unit in an older building may leave the condo owner with high deferred maintenance charges or capital improvement assessments for roofs exterior painting etc. imposed in future HOA fees.

Always review the minutes from previous Home Owners Associations meetings.  This can give you a sense of history of the complex and its challenges. You can also get a feel for the Management of the condo complex and what issues are affecting the condominium complex. You can become knowledgeable about any pending lawsuits which could impact the value of your unit. There could be future legal fees you are responsible for.

What is the history of HOA fee increases? If they have not increased in a while you may have an increase shortly.

Are there a high percentage of renters in the complex?  If so it may be very difficult to get the unit financed. A high percentage of renters can have negative consequences. Units that are not used as a primary residence   have a higher probability of default than owner occupied residences. Lenders are aware of these situations and are reluctant to lend on a condominium in a building that has a high percentage of renters. Additionally, renters can create problems for the condo complex. They may not have the same pride of ownership as an owner occupied unit or consideration for their neighbors and be less likely to follow HOA rules and guidelines. Will YOU have rental restrictions on the unit if you decide to rent it later?

Always get a copy of the Condo Associations Rules and Regulations and Bylaws before committing to buy. Do your due diligence and make sure you are comfortable with everything. Ask questions if you are unsure and get legal advice if you are uncertain of the language or consequences contained in the condo documents.

Once you have done your research using our proprietary data, always work with an agent who is very experienced in condominium sales in the area you are interested.

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