With today’s information technology, we can find almost anything there, including condo units. You don’t need to waste your time screening for the good ones physically. You only need your phone, put the right keywords, and check their homepage for the details. In this article, you’ll learn how to do just that.
Determine Whether a Condo is the “Right Fit”
It’s very important to ask yourself before buying your first condo, “Should I Buy a Condo?” As mentioned above, owning a condo is much different than owning a single family residence. Weighing the pro’s and con’s is a must!One major difference between a condo and a single family residence is the proximity to your neighbors. It’s very possible you may have multiple neighbors condos attached to yours instead of your own, free-standing residence. Can you envision yourself living that close to your neighbors?
Another important consideration in determining whether a condo is the “right fit” or not, relates to the maintenance that is usually included in the association fees. If you enjoy cutting the grass and planting your own flowers, than likely a condo is not going to be the right fit. Most condo communities include the lawn maintenance, snow removal (if applicable), and exterior maintenance.
Hire a Real Estate Agent Who Has Experience Selling Condos
Selling a condo is much different than selling a single family, multi family, or vacant land! The purchase contract for a condo is not the same as it is for other types of residences. There are different contingencies than the common contingencies that are in a residential purchase and sale contract.
One main difference when purchasing a condo is that most communities will require a contract to be signed in addition to the typical sales contract prior to closing. The contract that a community will make you sign usually will state that you understand and agree to the association rules and regulations.
Due to these differences, it’s important you work with a real estate agent who has experience selling condos! A real estate agent who has experience selling condos, will know how to guide you through the process and ensure important documents are not overlooked.
Obtaining Financing Can Be Tricky When Buying a Condo
Financing of a condo is not the same as a single family residence. Just like purchasing a single family home it’s critical to get pre-approved prior to looking at condos as well as determining whether it is the “right fit.” Obtaining financing can be tricky when it comes to purchasing a condo, as many lenders and loan products do not allow condo purchases.
Condos are very often purchased with cash due to the regulations of lenders and programs. If you’re planning on obtaining a FHA (Federal Housing Administration) Loan, the first step is to make sure the condo community is on their approved community list. Normally FHA requires that 80% of the units in the building are owner-occupied, so make sure the community is on their approved list, before falling in love with a property!
A buyer still can obtain a private mortgage for a condo purchase. This often comes at a much higher cost, as many private lenders will require a minimum of 20% down on a condo purchase. Purchasing a condo may not be the best fit if you do not have a substantial amount of money saved for a down payment.
Know What the Condo Includes
This may sound like a silly tip, but it’s important to know exactly what the condo includes. When purchasing your first condo, make sure you find out if the condo includes a reserved parking spot or additional storage! Does the condo community offer additional parking for your guests who visit you? Is the parking spot in a covered garage?
During a recent condo sale in Rochester, NY, the seller rented her parking spot out to one of her fellow community residents. Fortunately, there was no long-term agreement between the seller and their neighbor! It’s important you know that the parking spaces and/or additional storage areas are going to be available at the time of closing before you purchase the condo! The last thing you want to find out is you have no where to park your car a week prior to closing.