Have you been thinking about buying a condo? Perhaps the condo is in an up and coming neighborhood, and you want to buy before prices start to skyrocket. Or perhaps you’re tired of not being able to paint the walls of your apartment, and you’re ready to take the next step towards home ownership. Or, maybe you’re just ready to downsize your home.
Whatever the reason, many people very much enjoy condo living. You often get a pool and fitness center, as well as a security team and the opportunity to own a home without having to worry about all the caretaking responsibilities.
Although there are pros and cons of buying a condo, it’s not quite the same process as buying a house. There are important aspects to consider, and it’s important that you go in knowing the right questions to ask.
Questions to Ask Before Buying a Condo
So, what should you ask your real estate agent, your future neighbors, and the homeowners association before you buy your condo? Here’s an initial list that you can use as a guide to get started.
1. What are the biggest complaints?
What gripes are people airing at the condo board meetings? Get your hands on the minutes from the last few meetings, or talk to current owners. If the association isn’t quick about fixes, you want to know about it before committing to live there.
2. What’s the management team like?
You’ll want to interview the condo manager (i.e. the one who’s there full-time) personally. Also, talk to your neighbors about management. A lousy manager can make condo living a grueling experience.
Some condos manage themselves. That is, there are no property managers, and the residents meet to make decisions together. The good side to this is that it often means monthly fees are much lower than professionally managed communities. Although self-management works in some cases, think carefully before moving into a community like this. You have to live next door to all of these people…do you really want to manage a community with them too?