Condominium association fees vary from complex to complex. They are usually a measure of shared costs, such as maintenance, insurance, up-keep of common areas, certain utilities, association management and other ongoing costs pertinent to the development. Typically, an ownerâ€™s costs are apportioned based on their unitâ€™s size in comparison to the other condominiums in the complex. Always inquire as to a complexâ€™s fees, as they are generally readily available and always influence your investment decision.
In considering any condominium as a potential investment, one should consider all the potential costs, including assessments for special needs â€“ costs additional to reoccurring association fees. These are often repair or maintenance items that manifest occasionally over time. While good management generally anticipates such costs, including them in the ongoing fees, sometimes such needs crop up requiring more immediate attention than originally projected.
Also, donâ€™t just consider current costs â€“ look at any historical data available. This will provide solid information as to trends, how quickly costs have risen, the frequency of assessments, etc. Also, critical to any condo investment is the associationâ€™s delinquency rate for non-payment of dues and assessments, and the timing of ownersâ€™ payments. Do owners routinely meet their payment deadlines, allowing for a more seamless administration of the complexâ€™s operation? The relative affordability of a complex often speaks to how well-managed its association is and how responsible its owners are.
In considering your personal investment wishes, look first at your overall budget â€“ up-front cash available for down payment and closing costs, and what you might afford on an ongoing monthly basis. Measure this against anticipated purchase costs, marketability as a resort rental, association fees and expenses. The result should speak to your investment appetite and what you can comfortably afford.
Finally, if you have a complex in mind, start there. Gather the requisite information to make an informed decision, determining if itâ€™s within your budget. Then work outwardly from there, redirecting your criteria as necessary, considering condominiums that fit those parameters. And it is a good time to investigate, as inventories are up and prices are down â€“ currently providing a much better affordability index.
Please let me know if you require more information or have any questions. Thank you and good luck!
ERA Neubauer Real Estate, Inc.
Panama City/Panama City Beach, Florida