Buying a condo is much like any other home purchase. However there are some added features that not all agents are aware of when writing up their agreement of sale. Below are some quick tips and unexpected things that can arise when purchasing one of these homes.
Things to think about…
- Know that you will have neighbors and yes it can matter who they are. Condos usually offer more compact living arrangements and you’ll be more susceptible to their noise, but also you’ll have to be more aware of your own.
- It might be a good idea to knock on a door or two and ask them about their experience and whether they like living there.
- Condos are run by boards of residents and run by property management companies. During a buyer’s due diligence period, they receive what’s called a 3407 Cert which is all the documents for association including rules and regulations, declaration, by-laws, board members, budgets etc. Buyers should carefully review to ensure they understand all of this. In PA, the association has to disclose the current business of the board including special assessments or common (monthly)
- Buyers should know that condo associations have fees (usually monthly) to maintain the infrastructure and community as a whole. This will be on top of your mortgage
Things to keep an eye out for…
- Is the community embroiled in a lawsuit? Usually the lender or title will discover this if you haven’t received your 3407 cert before. This can give the lender pause because if the condo association is being sued for more than their insurance policy will cover, then they see that as a risk since the board will need to assess the residents for the difference.
- Make sure you understand what is covered and what isn’t. Many cover all water, gas, sewer, exterior maintenance and landscaping. But sometimes there are amenities which have added fees such as pool, fitness center, parking etc.
- It might be a good idea to knock on a door or two and ask the neighbors about their experience and whether they like living there.
As I said, not terribly different from a regular purchase but there are certain things that may come up. A good agent who has experience in condo sales (including hi-rises) can walk you through it. I happen to know one. 😉
Any questions, you know where to find me!