The Perfect Property

Four Special Considerations When Purchasing A Condo

by Zachary Thompson

Purchasing a condo can be a fantastic investment -- especially if you aren't interested in the upkeep and maintenance that owning a home will require. Condos come with amenities such as pools and gyms, and are often far more affordable and centrally located. But there are some additional considerations when purchasing a condo over a home, and these considerations may not be immediately obvious when you're going through the process.

1. Always review the association's by-laws carefully.

Condo associations tend to have more rigorous by-laws than most homeowner's associations. When living in close proximity to others, stricter rules may apply. Condo associations may govern how you can decorate your windows and balcony, which pets you can have, when you can make sound, and even when you can have guests. When condo by-laws aren't followed, there can be considerable fees enforced. 

2. Calculate your maintenance and association fees. 

Maintenance fees, association fees, and other condominium fees are incredibly important when calculating the cost of your condominium. A maintenance fee is going to reduce the amount of property that you can purchase, because it's part of your monthly payment. Maintenance fees are not deductible on your tax return and they can go up at any time, depending on the association's needs. Review how often maintenance fees have gone up in the past and whether they are comparable to other properties in the areas.

3. Look at current and future improvements.

Condominiums often need to improve and maintain common spaces, such as installing new elevators or repairing storm damage. These future improvements are paid for by the owners and charged through the association. If there are significant improvements coming up within the next few years, it's very likely that you will end up paying a significant part of them. Likewise, if the condo has recently gone through a period of extensive renovation, it's not likely that they will need more money soon. 

4. Pay attention to easements and parking spaces.

Because condominium owners need to share spaces, there are certain areas that may be considered shared property or easements. You will need to know how much of your own balconies and walkways that you own and whether you own a parking space or need to rent it. This can substantially impact the value of the property.

Don't be afraid to ask your real estate agent any questions that you have. It's expected that you not be aware of the intricacies of property purchases; that's what they're there for. A condominium gives you convenience and affordability, as long as you're well aware of any potential challenges that could arise. To learn more, speak with a business like Keller Williams Realty.