Before you sign on the dotted line for your dream vacation condo, there are probably a few questions you’d like answering. Where do I start? What amenities should I be looking for? What should I ask my real estate agent?
With so much to think about, it can be a little overwhelming. So we’ve put together the ultimate list of questions to ask yourself and your realtor when buying a condo.
- Where Do I Start and What Do I Need to Buy a Condo?
- Where Should I Buy a Condo?
- What Amenities Should I Look for When Buying a Condo?
- How Do I Find the Right Real Estate Agent?
- What Does Insurance Cover?
- What Is the HomeOwners' Association?
- What Are the Rules and Policies?
- Can I Rent My Condo Out?
- How Do I Make a Competitive Offer?
- What Will I Need When Closing My Condo Deal?
1. Where Do I Start and What Do I Need to Buy a Condo?
After doing some research online, you might enquire about vacation condos. Condos are especially popular in desirable places with high property value, like city centers or vacation hotspots. Before anything else, you need to work out how you are going to finance your vacation home purchase. From savings? Inheritance? Re mortgaging your existing home? The starting point is often a conversation with your financial advisor or existing mortgage broker.
It’s important to know what you can afford before taking any further steps in the condo buying process.
If you fall in love with a vacation condo somewhere warm and inviting and you know it is within your budget and finance is in place, you will be ahead of other interested buyers who don’t and be able to make a quick decision.
2. Where Should I Buy a Condo?
If you’ve decided it’s time to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and have your own slice of paradise, then the first thing you’ll need to consider is where in the world you want to buy a condo.
As a prospective buyer, you should view locations as soon as possible to ensure your perfect condo lives up to its name. Take your time while you’re there to see just how wonderful life could be.
It’s hard for us to be impartial. Even though there are spectacular destinations all over the world for you to consider, none are quite like the island of Bermuda.
3. What Amenities Should I Look for When Buying a Condo?
When considering condos, it’s important to find out as much as possible about the amenities available. If you’re aligned with the 81% of renters who think a pool is important, upscale condo hotel resorts will typically include one.
Some developments offer access to swimming pools, gyms, restaurants, bars and even the beach. This and so much more are included at Bermudiana Beach Resort, Tapestry Collection by Hilton, an upscale vacation condo complex.
Speak to your realtor to determine exactly what you’ll receive if you buy a condo with them.
4. How Do I Find the Right Real Estate Agent?
Purchasing real estate of any kind is complicated and often requires the help of an experienced real estate agent. Buying a condo in another country requires specialized expertise to make sure everything runs smoothly. It isn’t mandatory to have one but we do advise it.
Find an experienced and licensed real estate agent who understands the intricacies of buying a condo in this location. They’ll offer expert advice and guidance to make sure no obstacles stop you from enjoying the island.
5. What Does Insurance Cover?
Ensure 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 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’ll want a replacement, won'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.
6. What Is the HomeOwners' Association?
When buying a condo or an individual property within a residential community, you’ll be encouraged to join and contribute to the HomeOwners’ Association (HOA). It exists to ensure all shared amenities available at the condo are looked after and that all homeowners contribute to the maintenance of the whole property.
Before committing to a condo, you should research their community association and determine exactly how much you’ll need to pay and what the fees will cover.
7. What Are the Rules and Policies?
One of the key advantages of a condo is it’s more affordable than owning a single-family home. This does, however, mean you’re part of a condo community and are subject to rules and regulations.
The rules are in place to make every resident’s life less stressful. There might be a restriction on noise after certain hours, for example. These rules guarantee the peace and quiet you’ve been searching for.
8. Can I Rent My Condo Out?
Typically when you purchase a condo, you’ll want to rent it out when you’re not using it so it contributes to its own running costs. If you could make the hassle of renting, vetting tenants and maintenance easier, would you? Condo hotels are worth considering as many are operated by prestigious hospitality companies like Hilton who offer optional rental programs.
The on-site management company will maintain your condo to the standards required by the branded letting program. All the hassles that come with renting out a condo are covered and you can potentially reap the benefits.
9. How Do I Make a Competitive Offer?
Work with your agent to find a competitive number you’re willing to offer. You might get only one chance to make an impression on the seller and they’ll likely be looking for list price or above. So, figure out the price you’re willing to pay for the condo and make your offer.
Keep in mind that if a condo has been on the market for less than six months, the seller will often look for the listing price. When a property is on the market, there’s usually a little bit of room for negotiation. However, when buying in a new development, the price stated is usually non-negotiable as it could affect the pricing of the other residences.
If a condo has been sitting on the market for a while and it’s still empty, they may be willing to negotiate or offer some incentives.
If you can offer a 30-60 day closing time frame, that’s usually more attractive to the seller than an offer for more money. It might just be the edge you need to beat the competition and secure your dream vacation condo.
10. What Will I Need When Closing My Condo Deal?
You’ll need to work closely with your lender and the settlement attorney handling the closing. You should have already reviewed the closing statement beforehand and be well aware of the final numbers.
Closing shouldn’t take more than a few hours, so you’ll also need to have your champagne on ice to celebrate.
These questions should be asked when buying a condo, but we also have a more detailed step-by-step timeline you can follow. There’s no doubt buying a condo can be a great decision if you want access to more amenities, less maintenance and a closer community.
Purchasing a condo for the first time is exciting. Let’s get started.
From Enquiry to Offers: The Complete Condo Buying Timeline
Purchasing a condo is exciting. However, it’s difficult to know what the process is, especially when purchasing real estate in another country.
To help you see the full condo buying journey, we’ve created a useful timeline. Get access by clicking below.