If you’re in the market to buy a condominium, congratulations! Condos make a wonderful choice for potential homeowners looking to buy property without having to worry about the maintenance and upkeep of a house and yard. Condos are an especially popular choice in high-demand, high property value areas like vacation destinations and costly urban settings because they are usually more affordable than detached homes but, like all good things, condo ownership usually comes with a catch. Before signing on the dotted line, read through the below points to familiarize yourself with the potential pitfalls of owning a condo.
A condominium is usually a large property that is divided and sold as individual units. So compared to a single-family home, owning a condo means you own your unit and a portion of shared common areas, but you do not own the land on which the building is built.
The purchase price of your future home isn’t the only cost you need to consider. You’ll need to factor in the association fees that owners are responsible for, which cover maintenance of common areas and general upkeep of the property. Should there be a major repair needed and the funds to cover it aren’t in the existing fund, you will be asked to contribute additional money to cover the costs. Also, unlike renting an apartment, you will also be subject to the property taxes on the unit.
A well-organized management or orderly association are key to ensuring a positive experience when living in a shared building. Request a copy of meeting minutes or any pertinent documents that relate to the management of the property. Are there any ongoing maintenance issues you should be aware of that you’ll have to pay for down the line? When was the last time the association needed to dip into the reserve fund? How quickly are complaints and requests addressed? Research this information now, before it’s too late.