If you live in the city, a condo can offer an excellent living arrangement. Also, buying a condo is an excellent investment and often much safer than purchasing home. Oftentimes, condos don’t have some of the day-to-day issues as homes, like foundational sagging, leaky roofs, and outdated plumbing. All of those issues are dealt with by the building that your condo is in. Really, you are purchasing the space and you are carving out a little slice of paradise for yourself. Before you purchase a condo, however, there are a few things you should know. Here are five things potential condo buyers should know.
1. Know who the building is owned by. Before you purchase a condo, you want to do your research about the owner of the building, or the development company that owns the building. You don’t want to purchase a property from a development company that has done shady dealings in the past. You could easily lose everything if the building goes into foreclosure.
2. You will not own the land. When you purchase a condo, you won’t own the land – you will own the condo. Many people get confused by this concept- how could someone purchase a piece of property and not own the land? Well, even if your condo is on the first floor and is touching the ground, you still don’t own that ground – the development company owns the ground. You are merely purchasing the square footage of the condo and that is it. If you want to own actual ground, you may want to purchase a home or a townhouse.
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3. Delinquency rates may be different. When you purchase a condo, there may be different delinquency rates in terms of your mortgage. Depending on where you purchase, these rates may be more or less. It is important to do your research about this, because you don’t want to be sending yourself into a potential scenario where you are in debt and can’t climb out. Plus, understanding all the details of your mortgage is important before you purchase a condo.
4. Find out what the condo fees are. Many condos will have a condo fee. This is a monthly fee that you pay to the board of your condo. The money goes towards maintenance and other expenditures, like paying a doorman’s wages. Usually, these fees will run between a couple hundred dollars a month to a couple thousand dollars a month – it really depends on the size of your condo. You can usually ask your real estate agency, like Century 21 Cityside, what these fees are before you make your offer.
5. There is a board that decides the rules. With each condo development, there is a board. You can think of this board like a congress. They decide all the rules for the condo. For instance, there may be a pet policy – you may not be allowed to have a pet that is over a certain size. Before you purchase a condo, you want to understand what all these rules are.