You found it. The perfect condo. It has everything you can possibly want – lots of room, the perfect location and lots of potential. What more could you ask for? On the surface, everything is great, but there could be some issues lurking underneath. Here’s what you should look for before you sign on the dotted line.
The Condo Association
With pretty much any condo, you are guaranteed to have to work with a homeowners association (HOA). Check the HOA’s board minutes, house rules, bylaws to give you an idea of what the HOA expects of you. Can you abide by its rules? Are there quiet hours? Do they allow pets? Are there breed and size restrictions? Is there a policy that dictates whether or not you can rent your unit? Can you have a grill on the patio? These are all questions that should be considered before you buy. You can find the answers to these questions in the Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (CCRs).
By looking into the bylaws of an HOA, you can find how often the board meets, what the roles and responsibilities board members have and how the HOA is run. Remember, once you purchase a condo that’s governed by an HOA, you agree to adhere to the bylaws & CCRs. That includes paying your dues and paying them on time.
The board minutes will give you insight as to how meetings are run and what issues are important to the community. Are there complaints about a certain neighbor or other issues like plumbing? Also read the financial statements from the HOA to make sure that it’s financially solvent – you want to be sure there’s enough money in the bank to take care of any maintenance issues.
When you’re living in a condo, you’re essentially sharing a wall with someone, and you’re sharing a community with many. If you can, spend time in the area during different parts of the day. Spend some time in the community center and talk to neighbors. You can usually get a sense of the community. Is it a loud community? Are there dogs running around off-leash? Is there a lot of noise from the upstairs unit? Is there loud music?
The amenities basically come down to one thing – what are you getting for your condo association fee? Amenities would include a parking, activity center, pool, secure access, doorman, community room. Be sure you take a look at what comes with your condo association fee.
Overall, living in a condo can be a fantastic experience. We’re here to help you do the due diligence before you buy. Contact Ron today to get you in the right home.