Before you begin condo shopping here are some tips I recommend for a better buying experience that you need to know and as a buyerâ€™s agent it is very important to advise you and get the facts to you so you can make an informed buying decision. Since price is important all of these items should be taken into consideration for your benefit.
â€¢ Find out exactly what the maintenance fees are. Donâ€™t even walk into an open house before you know how much youâ€™ll have to pay to the condo association every month and what those fees cover. Dues can range anywhere from several hundred to thousands of dollars a month. Does it include trash, cable or satellite? When was the last time the association board installed a new roof? How often is the building painted? These are all questions you need to ask before you ever set foot inside a unit.
â€¢ Read the condo documents carefully. Every condo association has them and the board is required to give you a copy when you purchase the property. But donâ€™t wait until then. Get a copy before you make an offer and read the fine print. If you decide to rent out your unit and the condo board doesnâ€™t allow leases, you need to know that before signing a contract. The condo docs will also tell you if there are any age restrictions on tenants. They also cover rules concerning common property such as a pool or tennis courts.
â€¢ Examine the building exterior and grounds. Each condominium complex may have different associations and each one runs differently. Thatâ€™s why one building may look well-kept, while another in the same community is old and tired-looking. Drive by at different times during the day to determine how often maintenance crews are working.
â€¢ Get a copy of the condo boardâ€™s financial statement. Remember, owners elect the condo board and you need to find out how well the association manages money. You pay dues every month and you want to find out where every penny is going and how itâ€™s spent.
â€¢ Talk to residents. Walk around on a Saturday afternoon and chat up some of your potential neighbors. If you tell them youâ€™re thinking about buying there, some may be very candid with you about life in the community. Even if theyâ€™re not, you can often read between the lines and sense any problems or discord in the complex.
â€¢ Finally, negotiate, negotiate, and negotiate! Remember, this is a buyer's market. Study comparables carefully and don't be afraid to make a low-ball offer. Sure, the seller can turn it down without a counter-offer, but with a glut of condos on the market, you'll surely find another one you like just as much.
Will Rodgers was a very sharp person and he said it best â€œKnow what you are doing, Love what you are doing and believe it what you are doing.
Let me know if I can assist you in any way.
The Premier Group
Village Real Estate Services