Buying a home is stressful under the most ideal circumstances. If you are thinking of a condo then there are some additional items you will want to take into account. Here are some basic tips for buying a condo.
What Is a condo
Condo or condominium is a house, which a family owns in a building or a community. Condos are mostly part of a building but detached condos are also available. The main feature of a condo is that they share common areas, which include garages, swimming pools, gyms, meeting or party rooms and more.
Determine if buying a condo is good
Before buying a condo, a buyer has to decide between a detached single home or the condo. If you would prefer to never cut the grass or remove snow then a condo may be the best choice for you. If you prefer to not live in a building with many families then a condo may not be the best choice. Financially, buying a condo is cheaper than a single-family house. In each, you will have monthly bills like electricity, water, cable, and phone.
Condo owners pay a monthly maintenance fee, the amount is set by the strata of the condo complex, and the complex is then responsible for all maintenance. If you like the option of having to not do repairs and maintenance then this is a bonus that you will not have in a single-family house. In the case that a major repair in a condo complex needs to happen, the strata can have a vote and ask everyone to submit a special levy to pay for the repair. Depending on the number of units in the strata this can be an expensive and surprise.
Condo Insurance, which is different than home insurance, covers your contents and your liability. The bonus on this is when buying a condo, your annual insurance cost will be much less than home insurance.
Hire a real estate agent
Buying and selling condo is different from a single-family house, vacant land, or a multi-family house. While buying a condo, a buyer has to sign a sales contract along with one more contract, which is given to him by the community. The contract given by the community includes the rules made by the association.
Getting finance for buying a condo
Obtaining financing for a condo is similar to getting financing for a house. It is not uncommon for the interest rates to be higher for condos due to the increased risk to the lender. Some financial institutions may also require a higher percentage of a down payment than a single-family house. Remember, that is is a good idea to shop around for your financing. The options you have are the banks, credit unions, and mortgage brokers.
Know what a condo includes
If a buyer is buying his first condo, then he will have to think about what he will find in it. A condo should have a reserved parking area for the buyer and for his guests. If there is a garage to park the vehicle, it is very good.
Know about association fees
There is an association fee, which a buyer has to pay. This fee can be monthly quarterly, annual, or bi-annual. The fees cover insurance and maintenance of the condo. If the community provides a bank statement to let the buyer about the contingency fund it is good. This fund can also be used for major repair. The buyer must have the information about the division and distribution of the fees.
You should also have the information about how much he has to pay along with what is included in the association fees. The main things included in the association fees are insurance, maintenance, lawn maintenance, landscaping, trash pickup etc.
If a buyer keeps all these things in mind, it will be easy for him to decide whether he should buy a condo or not.