Condos – A few tips!

January 1, 2014 - 

I sell any type of property that can be sold. Buildings, condos, single families, land, commercial spaces, whatever! If It can be sold, I’ll sell it, done and done. However, many of my clients really are specific about their desire for a condo. Condos are a slightly different type of property than your classic single family or one owner property, so there are some things to take into consideration.

1. Condo Fees: Condo fees cover an assortment of things that pertain to the condo association (Landscaping, Maintenance, Pool etc.) . Depending on whether the association consists of many units (15 +) or a smaller association (let’s say a triple Decker converted into condos, 3 Units) can make a difference on how the association is handled and how much the condo fees are. Make sure you factor in the condo fees before even looking at a unit. A really high condo fee can either make or break your ability to afford a condo. Considering if the condo fee includes utilities (heat, hot water etc.) is important as well.

2. Condo rules, regulations, financials: Make sure to read these before purchasing a condo. The condo rules and regulations can give you an idea as to how the association is handled and how it is doing. Reviewing their reserves etc. will help give you and idea if something needs to be done to the building the reserves can handle it or if the owners will have a large assessment (bill they have to pay regardless as to if they agree with it or not). Requesting meeting minutes to review and asking if there are any pending or planned assessments is also a good idea.

3. Legal Action: Make sure before you fall in love with a unit to have your lender send their “condo questionnaire.” It’s a standard form that they have on hand that asks an assortment of things, one of the most important items on this list; ” is there any pending legal action against the association?” If someone is suing the association, you will have a much harder time getting financed and it could effect your property value. I’ve tried to sell multiple condos in this one particular building where one of the owners is suing the association for $400,000.00 because a light fixture fell on her. Every time I try and sell a condo there the lender won’t let it go through. I feel terrible for the other owners because nobody can sell their unit the legal action is resolved. Which leads me to tip 4 …

4. When buying a condo you need to understand that the other owners in the building can potentially effect the value of your unit. If your next door neighbor forecloses on their unit, it effects the value of your unit. If there’s a giant pit bull that barks all day in the unit next to yours it makes it hard to sell your unit. Conversely, a lot of people find comfort with the condo lifestyle. There is a maintenance team, the grounds are cared for, someone removes the trash and snow, you live without most of the hassle of a single family.

– Just a few tips to consider as you try to make the decision on Condo Vs. Single family.

Either way, make sure you do your home work! And if you have any questions, email me and I can help!