Buying a vacation condo for the first time is rewarding. Nothing can beat retreating to your perfectly located condo after a long day in your favorite location. But there’s a lot to think about and it can be a little overwhelming, especially when it’s your first time purchasing a condo.
We’ve highlighted some important considerations in this blog, so you know what to look for when buying a condo. We’ve also signposted some additional guidance to help you during this exciting time.
1. The Perfect Location
If you’ve decided it’s time to escape the hustle and bustle of urban life and have your own slice of paradise, the first thing you’ll need to consider is where in the world you want to buy a condo.
Location is everything. Condos are situated all over the world, from the US to the beautiful island of Bermuda. Before you rush into purchasing a condo, you need to find the right one for you and your family. We know you aren’t just buying a condo for the view but also for the lifestyle, culture and charm of the location itself.
Visit the condo firsthand to experience the location and surroundings to see if it’s right for you. Don't forget to look around the neighborhood and even speak to some of the existing residents.
Before you fall in love with a location, find out what you can afford ahead of taking further steps in the condo-buying process. If you’re looking for some handy tips when purchasing for the first time, we have a list of condo-buying terminology and some critical considerations for finding the right property for you here.
2. Convenience and Ease
One of the most important things to look for when buying a condo is to find out as much as possible about the amenities available. Some developments offer access to swimming pools, gyms, restaurants, bars and even the beach — much better when compared to buying a detached single-family home outside of a resort community.
When you typically purchase a vacation condo, you’ll want to rent it out, contributing to its running costs. If you could make the hassle of renting, vetting tenants and maintenance easier, would you? Hotel condominiums are worth considering as many are operated by prestigious hospitality companies like Hilton that offer optional rental programs, making your life easier.
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.
A condo in a resort also creates a much closer community. Plus, there's added security as they often have CCTV and neighborhood watch schemes. Speak to your agent to determine exactly what you’ll receive if you buy a condo with them. Ownership convenience should be number one on your list.
3. HomeOwner’s Association
When buying a condo within a residential community, you’ll need to join and contribute to the Homeowners’ Association (HOA), so make sure to do your research. They exist to ensure all the shared amenities available at the condo are looked after and all homeowners contribute to the maintenance of the whole property.
Before committing to a condo, you should determine how much you’ll need to pay and what the fees cover. You can learn the ins and outs of HOAs here.
4. Upscale Amenities
You want to know exactly what you’re getting for your money, right? That’s why amenities should also be at the top of your condo-buying agenda. They make the difference between a good condo and a great condo.
If you’re aligned with the 81% of renters who think a pool is important, upscale condo hotel resorts will typically include one. If you decide to purchase a freestanding villa, you’ll likely be responsible for pool maintenance yourself, which is no easy task and can be expensive.
Resort infrastructure is maintained by the HOA and management company and covered by your HOA fees. When you aren’t in residence, these attractive services will make it easier for you to rent out your condo for other visitors to have the perfect stay. These are just some reasons you should consider a condo hotel for your first property.
5. Somebody to Answer All Your Important Questions
What does the insurance cover? What are the monthly association fees? Is there any litigation? We’ve collated the ultimate list of questions to ask when purchasing a condo. Bookmark this blog for later.
Consider working alongside an experienced agent, especially if this is your first time purchasing a condo. An agent can help you find the perfect property for you and ensure they address your requirements.
Buying a condo in another country requires specialized expertise to ensure everything runs smoothly. So, find an experienced, licensed real estate agent who understands the intricacies of buying a condo in this location. They can also answer any questions you might have.
6. Local Laws
You’ve found your dream location and your perfect condo. Now it’s important to get to grips with the local real estate laws. You’ll need to consider the documents and visas required, immigration laws, land and property taxes, and any local laws and customs.
While this may seem overwhelming, working with an experienced agent will make this process easier.
7. What the Buying Process May Look Like
If you’re new to the whole condo-buying process, you might have a few questions about what it looks like. Much like buying any property, there are several steps you need to follow to reach the result — your life in paradise.
Familiarize yourself with the process, including exploring financing options, booking inspections, working with an agent, the paperwork involved and finally, making the purchase.
8. The Benefits of Owning a Condo
Don’t worry; it isn’t all paperwork, regulations and agents — you’re buying your dream condo after all! That’s why it’s important to know the benefits of buying a condo.
Besides owning your dream property in the ideal location, there will be many more benefits you can experience. To give you a snapshot, you can experience superior security, top-level on-site amenities, a sense of community, outdoor space, local attractions and the condo itself. What’s not to love?
9. To Mortgage or Not to Mortgage?
It’s a question that can be difficult to answer; is getting a second mortgage for a condo worthwhile? To help make the condo-buying process easier, we’ve outlined the key pros and cons to help you decide.
Having a second mortgage on a condo creates a new place for you to spend your free time, but it also presents the opportunity for new revenue streams, freedom to holiday whenever you like, the ability to build home equity and build your property portfolio.
However, it’s important to keep the risks in mind. Having a second mortgage will mean committing to additional monthly payments. On top of this, interest rates can be high, so make sure to do your research.
10. Financing Options
A mortgage isn’t your only option. There are several ways you can finance your condo, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. First up, it’s crucial to determine what you can afford before reviewing your financing options. Although we all have our dream condos and locations, you need to ensure they’re attainable.
One financing option you should consider is your savings to purchase your condo. You could also opt for a conventional loan or buy in unison with family members or friends. Whatever route you decide to take, make sure it works for you and ensure you work with an experienced agent to help you along the way.
Purchasing a Condo for the First Time? We Can Help!
Purchasing a vacation condo is a serious commitment that requires a lot of thought. You must cover all bases and make sure everything is in order before you make the move and buy your dream home.
There are questions you need to ask yourself and resources you can digest before jetting off. So, if you think you’ll miss something out, don’t worry; we have you covered.
Download our guide below today for free and take one step closer to purchasing your first condo with these valuable condo-buying insights.