Tip Tuesday: Buying a Condo? Consider this…

canton condo
Our clients Erika & Eva in front of the Canton condo they purchased this summer.

Are you looking to buy a condo?  A condo is a great option for a first-time home buyer, empty nesters or those who simply don’t want the hassle of yard work and snow.  In the past year alone, Harrison Realty Team has helped clients in Wolcott, Plainville, Cromwell, Canton, Southington, Meriden, Newington and Middletown look at and buy condos.  Here are a few tips we hope help guide you:

  1. Know what’s included.  Is it 1 parking space or 2?  Is there storage space?  Is there a condo pool, clubhouse and fitness center?  If so, are there any restrictions on using them?  All good questions to ask and not just assume.
  2. Obtain Financing.  Know what type of mortgage you’re getting qualified for because there are some mortgages that may have restrictions on which condo complexes you can purchase.  For example, if you’re a Veteran and planning on using a VA Loan, not all complexes are VA approved.
  3. Know what the association fees are and what they include.  Association fees or HOA fees are a monthly fee that the condo association collects.  The majority of the time these fees go towards grounds maintenance, security, trash removal, and snow removal.  Sometimes, heat and/or hot water is also included.
  4. Ask about special assessments.  Sometimes if the condo is undergoing a large project such as repaving the entire complex, a special assessment will be done.  This assessment is an additional monthly fee that every owner gets charged to help the association cover this fee.  Some assessments are only a year long while some can go on for years.  It’s important to know if there are any current special assessment, what they’re for and what the terms of them are exactly.  Even if there are no special assessment, Harrison Realty Team will also try to find out the complex’s history on assessments to see how often they do one so our clients will know what to expect.
  5. Know the association rules.  When you get an accepted offer on a condo, you’ll have the opportunity to review the condo documents (which your attorney should do as well).  This will lay out all of the rules of the association.  One important thing to ask before you even place an offer is what is the condo responsible for and what is the tenant responsible for?  If the steps on the deck break, does the owner fix that or does the owner contact the condo maintenance department?  If there’s a leak in the roof, who takes care of that?  This way you’re ready to appropriately handle any potential issues.
  6. Think ahead.  How long will you be in this condo?  Do you think you’ll want to sell it after or rent it out?  If renting it out is even a thought, be sure that the association allows for investors.

 

As always, we’re here to help.  Need a referral for a lender to approve you for a condo?  Have more questions or want to start looking at condos?  Contact us today at harrisonrealtyteam@gmail.com or 860-539-9076.  You can even start browsing for condos at our website: www.harrisonrealtyhomes.com.  Hope to talk to you soon!

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