Just like any home, buying a condo is a huge investment that comes with a lot of responsibilities. Before you make the leap, it pays to be informed. Here are 7 key questions to ask when buying a condo:
- How much is in the condo’s reserve fund?
The condo’s reserve fund is where a significant amountof your monthly association fees go. This fund is used to pay for major repairs and renovations like roof replacement or major landscaping projects. It’s worth knowing if a condo has a lot in reserve becauseit shows it’s in a good position financially. If it doesn’t have much, then every unit owner may have to pay a special assessment for big repairs.
- What do the HOA fees cover?
Homeowners’ association (HOA) fees are usedfor condo maintenance and repairs. This includes landscaping, the upkeep of common areas, and security. Knowing exactly what your dues cover gives you a clear idea of where your money goes – so make sure to ask about it. After all, you don’t want to pay for extra amenities you won’t be using. If the condo HOA won’t let you optout, look for another condo where you’ll only have to pay for the essentials.
- What does the insurance cover?
Get the condo association’s insurance policy to make sure it covers all of the necessary bases. This includes coverage for interior damages and your belongings inside the condo due to a fire or a leaking roof.If you don’t think the condo insurance is enough, consider getting a policy of your own.
- Who manages the building?
Some condo buildings are run by a homeowner’s association (HOA), while others are run by a third-party property manager. Either way, make sure that whoever is in charge is easy to contact, approachable, and well versed in the ins and outs of the building. Living in a condo includes a lot of responsibilities, so you want someone you can depend on to run it.
- Is it under litigation? If so, what for?
A tenant, owner, unit, or maybe even the condo building itself may be under litigation. This can have a negative affect on you, so ask about the details of the suit before making any commitments. Think long and hard about the seriousness of the case. Remember that it’s always safer to go for a condo with a clean record.
- What are the rules?
Each condo association follows a set of rules that lists your rights and responsibilities as a unit owner and identifies the common areas of the property. Restrictions typical of condos cover pet ownership, smoking, and the extent to which you can renovate the unit. Go over these rules to make sure you can stay compliant before you buy your unit.
- How many units are rented vs. owned?
Homeowners prefer having fellow homeowners as neighbors. This is because people who own their units tend to take better care of the property compared to renters. Whether you’re comfortable living next to renters or homeowners, ask about the ratio of owned vs. rented units before moving forward.
Looking for reliable a reliable Realtor in Kalamazoo, MI? The expert real estate team at Stirk Realty Group has you covered. Call them today at 269.207.7894 or email them at Team(at)stirkrealtygroup(dotted)com for assistance.