Before you can get the keys to your dream vacation condo, there’s a lot you need to consider. You’ll have to think about the location, the cost and whether or not you need to pay maintenance fees. With so much to think about, it can be a little overwhelming, so we’ve put together the top seven things to consider when buying a vacation condo.
- Location, Location, Location
- Resort Amenities and Facilities
- Homeowners' Association Fees
- The Right Realtor
- Is a Condo Right for You?
1. Location, Location, Location
If you’ve decided that it’s time to escape 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. We’re a little biased, but although there are amazing destinations all over the world for you to consider, none are quite like Bermuda.
For activity lovers, discover the deep sea fishing, scuba diving and championship level golf courses the islands have to offer. Or, relax and kick back on Bermuda’s coral sand beaches and take a swim in crystal clear water.
Immerse yourself in the local culture that takes influences from all over the world and explore the historic forts and Royal Naval Dockyard. Before committing to a condo, make sure to pay this beautiful island a visit to make sure it’s the right location for you.
Once you’ve decided on where you want to buy, the “macro location”, you should then consider the “micro location”: is it downtown or out of town you want, beach or mountain, what is in the neighbourhood, what infrastructure is close by, how easy is it to access, what views do you get from the property?
2. Resort Amenities and Facilities
When considering condos, it’s important to find out as much as possible about the site’s amenities. Some developments offer access to swimming pools, gyms, restaurants, bars and even activity equipment, like bikes and beach gear.
Be careful of an enticing brochure that lists a huge number of amenities, only for you to find that they’re only accessible to those that have certain condos. Speak to your realtor to determine exactly what you’ll receive if you buy a condo with them.
A hotel-condo is a serious financial investment, even if it’s much cheaper than buying a house. With some condos, including our own, they’re rented out to other visitors throughout the year when you aren’t there. This can bring a source of income when it would otherwise be empty and unused.
Despite the income you’ll receive from renting, you’ll still need to make sure you can afford the initial investment. Talk to your realtor to determine exactly how much you’ll need to pay. It might be that you decide to buy a smaller condo than you’d originally planned.
4. Homeowners' Association Fees
Homeowners' Association fees are often a surprise for first-time owners of condos. With the majority of condo developments, residents are required to pay for common expenses like insurance and maintenance.
Ask about the association fees to understand what they specifically include. It’s also important to check if there is a pool of reserve funds that cover any major repair. This prevents you from facing a large bill that you weren’t expecting.
The fees can cover water, sewer services, grounds maintenance and the upkeep of the amenities you have access to. There may be some exceptions, so make sure you have all the information beforehand.
One of the key advantages of a condo is that it’s more affordable than owning a private property. This does, however, mean that you’re part of a condo community and 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. It’s also vital you check the development’s policy on pets. You don’t want to invest in a new condo, only to find that your furry friends aren’t allowed on site.
It might be that you’d rather not live in a community that has to deal with rules like this, but for many, these rules guarantee the peace and quiet you’ve been searching for.
6. The Right Realtor
Buying a property of any kind is complicated and requires the help of a realtor. Buying a condo in another country requires specialized help to make sure everything runs smoothly. There are usually additional contracts that need to be agreed and signed.
It’s important you find an experienced realtor that understands the intricacies of buying a condo in a country you aren’t originally from. They’ll be able to offer expert advice and guidance to make sure there are no unwanted obstacles.
7. Is a Condo Right for You?
You should weigh up the advantages and drawbacks of owning a condo before committing to any purchase. Think about the financial implications and how often you’ll be able to visit. After you’re happy that you’re making the right choice, take time to ensure that the specific condo you’re looking at is the right one for you.
It might take multiple visits before you’re happy that you want to invest in a more permanent base. Talk to the neighbors, explore the country and do as much research as possible to give you all the knowledge you need to make an informed decision.
Finding the Perfect Condo
There’s a lot to think about when it comes to choosing the perfect condo to suit your specific needs. It’s a major decision and one you shouldn’t rush. By taking your time and conducting lengthy research, you won’t have to worry about buyer’s remorse when you eventually do sign on the dotted line.
To help with the selection process we’ve put together a comprehensive checklist. It features a list of important questions to ask and steps you should take when buying a condo. Click on the download link below to get your free checklist.