Thinking of buying a condo? It’s not a choice that should be taken lightly but one that’ll forever be playing on your mind if you choose not to do so. It could be the opportunity you’ve always dreamed of and the time could be just right for you. But as with anything, there are pros and cons to buying condos. It’s important that you go into this fully prepared so here are nine questions to ask when buying a condo.
Your realtor isn’t the only person you should be asking questions. Ask local residents questions to get a feel for your new neighbourhood and ask yourself questions as you need to be completely sure a condo is right for you.
Questions to Ask Your Realtor:
What Does the Insurance Cover?
Make sure that you get a full copy of what your insurance covers. This includes the cost to refurbish the building (if it’s pretty old). Make sure that the estimates to rebuild are in there too.
It’s also important to check whether your personal belongings will be included in your insurance policy. For example, if the roof leaks and damages your top-of-the-range laptop, you’re going to want a replacement, aren’t you?
So, it’s definitely worth seeing whether you’ll be covered. If not, you’re going to have to take a policy out yourself.
What are the Monthly Association Fees?
Your condo association fees will be dictated on how many units there are in your condo neighbourhood. They’ll also be based on what it costs to run the condo for the month, whether or not your community is professionally or self-managed and whether funds are going to be set aside for litigation and major repairs.
It’s vital that you get your hands on a copy of the monthly expenditure. You can’t be making a decision as big as this blind, can you? That would be totally irresponsible. Make sure that you can afford this figure. Don’t kid yourself despite how much you want the beautiful condo you’ve always dreamt of. Condo association fees aren’t tax deductible.
You should always review the repair fees included in the clause. Every condo association should set aside money for major repairs. For example:
If the complex is less than 10 years old, the repair fund should have 10 percent of the cost to repair the major items set aside.
Is There Any Litigation?
Litigation is the process of taking legal action. Make sure there’s no past or ongoing litigation in your community, it’s a sign of a poorly run neighbourhood or bad neighbours.
What Amenities Will the Condo Be Sold With?
You want to know exactly what you’re getting for your money, right? Well, before you set your heart on your dream condo, make sure to check whether it’s got the likes of an infinity pool, a gym, a spa and of course 24-hour security.
Yes, these amenities will increase the price, but they’re completely worth it to provide the ultimate luxury escape away from the big city to relax and unwind. Plus, when you can’t be there, these attractive qualities will make it easier for you to rent out your condo for other visitors to have the most perfect stay.
Questions to Ask Local Residents:
What are the Biggest Complaints?
What are the biggest problems in the area you’re looking to relocate to? Try and get your hands on some of the minutes from the latest board meetings. This should help you decide whether or not you could settle into this area well.
What’s the Condo Management Team Like?
You want the best possible management team, for obvious reasons. Management schemes are different in all condo associations. Some are self-management, which can be a good thing as it means monthly fees are usually lower. Although it works sometimes, it can be a tricky situation as you have to live with all these people, so personal moves may influence community matters.
Questions to Ask Yourself:
The condo lifestyle has its own set of amazing advantages. But you need to compare the benefits of buying into a condominium vs that of a privately owned condo.
The main benefits of owning a condo are:
- You free yourself from the responsibility of handling any outside work that may need doing, such as maintenance and repairs. Many of the costs are shared and accounted for in your reserve fund.
- Many condos offer great amenities that you wouldn’t see in a privately owned place, for example gyms, spas, pools and party rooms.
As with anything though, there are potential pitfalls to joining a condominium. One particular drawback is:
Continued condo fees.
The benefits of privately owned condos are:
- You have complete flexibility over the condo. It’s yours to do with as you please. Live in it for as many days of the year as you want or solely rent it out; the choice is yours.
- There’s no fixed contract so you can opt in or out whenever you like. You don’t have to stay for a minimum term.
Privately owned condos also have their drawbacks too, including:
- A large up-front monetary investment. A lot of people won’t have the surplus cash to stump up front for a luxury condo.
- The amenities that come with a condominium, generally don’t come with a privately-owned condo. Which are, for a lot of people, the draw that persuades them to purchase one.
- A large investment. And we’re not just talking about cash. You’ll have to invest a lot of your time and life into living the condo lifestyle. This can be quite the shock if you’re not fully prepared.
To see if you’re truly ready to live the condo life and invest into this life-changing pad, ask yourself these additional questions:
- Can you really afford it?
- Do you slot into the condo lifestyle well? Will it suit you?
- Will it make you happy?
Make Sure Your Condo is Perfect For You
So, you’ve asked around and yourself the above nine questions and have decided that the fabulous condo lifestyle is for you. Great. Well, now you need to make sure that you find the perfect condo that suits you inside and out. It’s a big decision so it’s crucial that you choose the condo that’s going to be the best for you.
Luckily for you, we’ve created a checklist that’ll enable you to determine whether a condo is the one for you or not. Download it for free today below and happy hunting for your dream condo that you’ve always wanted.