Buying a condo can be a great way to dive into homeownership without worrying about all the upkeep that comes with single-family homes and townhouses. Condo dwellers can also typically take advantage of shared amenities, plus the condo association to take care of building maintenance.
However, condos aren’t for everyone, so it’s best to figure out what your lifestyle and budgetary needs are first.
7 tips for buying a condo
Here’s a condo buying checklist to go over as you start your search.
1. Consider your lifestyle
Hate to mow the lawn and trim the hedges? What about pressure washing your driveway? Are your finances such that having to lay out $5,000 or more for a new HVAC unit or roof will be a burden? If you answered yes to these questions, condo living may be for you.
However, if the desire to have a large backyard outweighs the time you’ll need to spend maintaining it, then another type of property, like a townhouse or single-family home, could be a better option for you. Similarly, if sharing walls, ceilings or floors with a neighbor seems unappealing, a condo may not be the answer. Condos tend to work best for those comfortable with apartment living.
2. Work with a Realtor with experience in condos
If you’ve decided that buying a condo is for you, you’ll want to find a real estate agent who’ll have your best interests in mind. Ideally, you’ll want someone with a track record in condos so they can address any concerns you might have and guide you through crucial steps, like reviewing the condo association documents.
Your agent should know the condo developments in your area and what issues they might have. Things that could negatively affect your life in a condo might include community finance issues and structure or infrastructure problems within the community’s building or buildings. A good agent will be able to tell you if there’s been acrimony over community issues, and they will know which developments have fared best in resale values.
3. Decide what types of amenities you want
Condos can offer a wide variety of amenities. When working with your Realtor, make sure to address the types of amenities you want, in addition to other factors like location and budget, so you can find the perfect place. You’re buying access to these amenities when you buy your unit, so don’t be shy about putting them on your wish list….