Home Buying in Austin>Question Details

Jon Huffingt…, Home Buyer in Austin, TX

I'm thinking about buying a condo, is it important to get an agent that specializes in condos or do most agents have the knowledge to help me?

Asked by Jon Huffington, Austin, TX Tue Jun 4, 2013

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I would think that any agent with a few years experience would have handled several condo transactions. I have 10 years experience in residential real estate and have helped many condo buyers and sellers. If you would tell me your needs/likes and budget, I would be most happy to assist you.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 4, 2013
I have a condo in SOCO and a real good realtor who knows everything about the condo complexes i own and in the area is, Barbara Ditlow 512)638-7977. She knows a lot about economics and where the prices are going in Austin. Very knowledgeable.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 5, 2013
Hi Jon,

Condos are a breed of their own. I have lived in, purchased for myself and others and leased out condos. I have done extensive research on who here in town can lend on them and why and how. The agent that you hire should be just as knowledgeable because they are tricky. Are you an investor or owner occupant? That will matter as well. I also highly recommend running the unit you select past your lender to ensure that they can lend on it, too, because not all lenders finance them depending on warrantability.

Good luck!

Angele Moyseos, Broker
Vox Real Estate LLC
512.466.8252
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 5, 2013
It is important to work with someone who has experience with condo sales. From recognizing warrantable vs. non warrantable, what to look for in the HOA docs, and other factors that benefit the buyer.

Please feel free to contact me anytime without obligation.

Thanks,

Steve Nusinow
(512)922-7588
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 5, 2013
Is wise to get someone who has a focus on due-diligence, strategic positioning, and a strong work ethic. If that happens to be someone who specializes in Condos, great! however, it's certainly not rocket science to deal in Condos. In fact, sometimes limiting the reach and the range has it's downfalls. Take for example someone who "specializes" in Listing/Selling real estate, working only with Sellers. Well, how can they possibly do the best job for you in reaching and connecting with Buyers if they don't understand how Buyers think, act, respond, and trend towards? The only way to truly be an expert Selling Agent (for you the client) is to best-understand Buyers. I see it quite often.

Selling a lot of condos isn't necessarily in YOUR best interest, whereas knowledge of lending requirements for condos, the ups and downs of HOA companies and what to look for in a development, - combined with the desire to ensure you get make a good purchase with a sound transaction... well now, that's of great value to you.

After all, the Agent does in fact make more money the more you buy and sell, so if you snatch up a lemon, most likely you'll be calling that same Condo guy to sell your Condo, right?

Anyway, send me a direct message through my website below and let me know a bit more about what you're looking for in your condo purchase and I'll give you some more information specific to your needs. If you support Green movements, you'll also like my mileage-reimbursement program as Austin's Zero-Emissions Realtor.
Web Reference: http://shawnmon.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 4, 2013
Jon, Good question. The Realtor doesn't necessarily need to specialize in condos, but needs experience as a couple of agents have mentioned, because there are some differences between single-family residences and condominiums. Some good examples of differences are the healthiness of the HOA finance wise, insurance differences, and the warrantability of the condominium complex. That is basically the percentage of occupancy, the percentage of completion, and the percentage of owner occupants versus renters. I personally have a few lenders who specialize in non-Warrantable Condos, which most lenders do not work with. I also have a great team of lenders, inspectors, etc. to assist us throughout all phases of the process as needed. I have bought and sold many condos over the years and have come across just about every situation you could think of. In other words, I know condos very well! I also do not charge anything for my extensive services, and my lenders do not charge my clients anything for the pre-approval process, which is your first step.

I have many, many years experience dealing with condominiums, am a Residential Specialist, and am one of the top agents in Austin. I also happen to be a Master Instructor who teaches Buyer Representation, Negotiations, etc. as well for Keller Williams Realty, the #1 rated Real Estate company in the United States and Austin.

Feel free to contact me if you have not yet chosen a Realtor and I would be happy to assist you. I know some good deals here and there and can probably find just what you're looking for and negotiate the best price, terms, and conditions for you, my client.

Joe Jarusinsky, Realtor/Master Instructor, Keller Williams Realty, Austin's #1 Real Estate Company, Ranked #1 by Buyers and Sellers (JD Power & Assoc. 2012)
Call 512-261-4415
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 4, 2013
Hello Jon-

A lender who can do a non-warrantable condo is a big deal when looking for your loan. Most condos are going to require a larger downpayment, expect 20% in addition most condos have monthly HOA's and actually have a higher interest rate involved than a residential house would. A home owners association on a condo does sometimes cover insurance, water, common area maintenance and other services and amenities. Let me know if you would like to meet or talk to discuss the process further.

-Adrianne@kw.com/512.300.7647
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 4, 2013
Hi Jon,

Condos are a different animal than single family homes. You would best be served by working with an agent who understands these differences and has done many condo sales.

Your purchase can be affected by the type of financing you are approved for, whether or not you intend to live in the unit or rent it out now (or in the future), how much the HOA dues are, what they cover, rules regarding pets, what you need special permission for if you want to remodel (like flooring choices), etc.

Aside from HOA dues, its also important to understand the financial health of the condo association as well as the physical condition of the building(s), grounds and amenities as a serious problem with the buildings, pool, etc could trigger a very large and unexpected special assessment. I have seen newer buildings that suffered construction defects that created special assessments for units owners well into the tens of thousands of dollars each. In some cases, this caused many unit owners to default on their mortgages and it prevented units for sale from being financable - a disaster for all of the homeowners!

I have 10 years of experience in residential real estate and focused heavily on condos and townhomes as a mainstay of my business. I'd be happy to help you if you need it.

Tim Andrews
Realtor
Keller Williams Realty
512-765-5883
timsellsaustin@gmail.com
http://www.timsellsaustin.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 4, 2013
Hi Jon, From my experience, I would have to say that condo specific experience is not a must for an agent to help you but, they do need to know the basic differences that could effect your purchase. There are 2 main differences when purchase a condo vs. a standard residential home. The first is making sure the condo's are warrantable and your lender is able to provide a loan on the specific condo you choose. The second difference is making sure the condo association is financial stable, knowing what the monthly fee is and what are included in the fees...such as water and trash collection. Best wishes on your condo search - trust your instincts and work with someone who you feel will work hard for you. Laura Rosales-Realtor
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 4, 2013
Most agents can handle it, but it's nice to hire one that's done condos before. You can hire me or Google "Condo Joe." He's the man.

Cheers,
Doug
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 4, 2013
Hi Jon!

Yes! It is definitely important that your agent have experience in the transaction process with a condo purchase. As well as the overall buying process, especially If you're seeking assistance in determining which area of town or buildings to chose, having an experienced condo agent is essential! There are many hidden gems (and unpleasant items) in many of the buildings I've bought and sold in as well as pre-built new construction purchases. Many of those are being sold below market, it just depends on your time frame! Let's talk.


I would be happy to provide references as well as a complimentary consultation.


Here's a link to some recently sold and available properties,
http://matrix.abor.com/DE.asp?ID=125825008

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Michelle Adams,
REALTOR® GRI, CNE
Real Estate Consultant
Ultima Real Estate
512.574.2969 direct | 512.852.4412 fax | 512.22CONDO Office
Commercial property available on riverside, $389,000!

http://www.UltimaAustin.com
RESIDENTIAL & COMMERCIAL
Sales | Leasing | Purchasing | Land
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 4, 2013
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