What to Know Before Buying a Condo

Purchasing real estate is one of the biggest decisions that you will make. You may be torn about whether to buy a townhome, single-family home, or condominium. If you are considering purchasing a condo it’s important that you think about certain things. Here’s what to know before you buy a condo. 

1. Examine if the condo lifestyle is for you. 

Different types of homes require different types of care. Consider whether you want to worry about things such as mowing a yard or snow removal. If these don’t appeal to you a condo may fit your desired lifestyle. However, if you see yourself desiring a large yard or don’t want to worry about noise, another option may be better. 

2. Connect with a realtor who specializes in condos. 

If you had heart issues you wouldn’t see a podiatrist; you’d see a cardiologist. Why? Because they specialize in what you are dealing with. The same can be said for shopping for a condo. If you are interested in a condo you want to find a realtor who specializes in condos. That way, he or she will be aware of potential issues, resale values, necessary documents, and the proper steps to take. Still, it’s always a good idea to visit the community on your own during the day and at night. Talking to the residents can also help you gauge what the community is like. 

3. Decide upon your non-negotiable amenities. 

All condos are different and some offer more amenities than others. One condo may take care of common area maintenance and snow removal whereas others may also have a pool and a gym. You can’t always have everything you want, but each of us has certain non-negotiables. You should ask yourself which amenities are necessary when purchasing your condo. Amenities are also important to consider when it comes to reselling the condo as they may help to boost the price. 

4. Ensure your condo is FHA-approved. 

When you apply for a loan to purchase a condo, they will consider not only your personal finances but also the condo development and any issues it has had. It’s important to find the proper financing for your condo. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is responsible for insuring FHA mortgages and has its own list of FHA-approved condos. Having an FHA-approved condo can help you to secure an FHA mortgage or even a conventional loan. 

5. Research the property management company.

Finally, it’s also important to look into the property management company responsible for the upkeep of the property. Since you will be paying association dues to your home owner’s association (HOA), you will want to ensure that you are getting what you signed up for. In other words, you’ll want to research the property management company to see if there have been any complaints or issues concerning doing their job and doing it well. Be sure to review the association fees and regulations to understand exactly what is included and how much the fees will increase annually. 

6. Inquire about special assessments.

Sometimes an HOA board may vote to complete a special assessment. Special assessments are large projects that come with extra charges imposed upon residents. For instance, the HOA may require that you replace your windows over the next year. While these assessments are generally limited in time, they can impact your wallet. This should be taken into consideration before purchasing a condo. Can you afford the extra expense? Keep in mind that most well-run HOAs usually don’t have special assessments. Therefore, it may be good to take a look at the HOA’s previous financial reports over the last few years to see if the financial health of the association is up to good standards. 

PALUMBO LAW Helps Those in Rhode Island with their Property Insurance Claims

At PALUMBO LAW, our experienced Rhode Island Condominium Law attorneys understand Rhode Island condo law and will work strategically to help our clients to get what they deserve. If you believe that a condo unit owner has committed a nuisance, we can help. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, call us today!