You should know what a townhouse is, along with a condo as well.
Did you know condominium owners only own the interior of their property? In the vast majority of circumstances with townhouses, you own the interior and exterior, along with the driveway and lawn but not the communal areas.
Whether you end up going with a townhouse or a condominium it is essential to know these nuances. Insurance is always a factor with condos and townhouses as well. Make sure you understand this aspect.
To help make your condo hunting easier, here are eight crucial things that you should keep in mind:
Speak With The Right Realtor
Everything starts with the right Realtor. Depending on the Realtor you get, your condo hunting experience can become good or bad.
As much as possible, look for a Realtor who's skilled, knowledgeable, and honest. The right Realtor will be able to get you a better price and will save you time.
But most importantly, they should not only be after your money and commission; they should be motivated to find you a home.
Conduct a Thorough Market Research
Next, you should conduct thorough market research to make things easier for you. But what should you research?
Demographics (age, income, population growth, etc.)
Overall Economy (GDP, employment data, manufacturing activity, prices of goods, etc.)
ROI Metrics of the City (average rental income, average CoC return, average median home price, etc.)
Neighborhood Amenities (access to good roads and transportation, proximity to schools, church, or supermarkets, etc. )
Now, why should you do your research? Well, this is mainly because it's one way for you to see if the condo you're getting would be a good investment. When buying a home or condo for the first time it is especially important to do your due diligence.
Consider The Location Carefully
Now that you have done your research, choosing the best location should be more comfortable now. After all, you can't just choose a condo in any place without knowing what's around that area. Here are a few things to consider:
Convenience: Think about what you do every day and try to visualize if you can do those things easily in the location you've chosen. If not, then maybe you need to find another alternative.
Safety: Try to check the surroundings and make sure that the security is tight. The last thing you would want is feeling unsafe in your own home.
Clean: As much as possible, you should be able to enjoy clean surroundings to protect your health.
Not Hazard-Prone: Check if the area is prone to flood, earthquake, and other calamities. You don't want to stay in a place that has a lot of risks.
Excellent Community: You would also want to be in an area with friendly people.
Address The Amenities You Want
Amenities are essential to make your stay more enjoyable and fun. Plus, this adds significant value to the condo you're getting.
For example, swimming pools. Who doesn't like swimming pools, right? There seems to be something in it that attracts people easily. It's one of the best amenities that will save you on hot days.
You would also want a greener environment, so the air is more breathable. You might also like to have a gym so you can stay fit without having to buy a gym membership nearby. If you have kids, you would want to have a playground in the community that they would enjoy.
Research About The Property Management Company
If you've found a great location with the amenities you have, make sure to research the property management company before buying.
You can search up the company and take a look at their services. Next, go to social media and try to look at what previews customers say about the place.
Facebook or Twitter are great places as you can often see rants or any comments from previous clients here.
Try to listen to people who are not related to the company but might know them well. These are the investors, realtors, and landlords because sometimes, what customers say may not be accurate.
Try to ask them a few questions so you can dig up more information about the company. The more you know, the better you can assess if you can trust them.
Ensure That It's FHA-Approved
An FHA-approved condominium means that it is eligible to get Federal Housing Administration loans. This is especially important to check if you're a first-time buyer, as this can be your most affordable option.
The best thing about these condos is that they offer flexible terms for owners, and you have more choices. However, mortgage insurance is required, there might be re certification needed, and units may be limited.
If the cons are no problem for you and you have found a great FHA-approved condo, you need to make sure you have a high credit score. And make sure that you've saved at least 3.5% down payment.
Know Your Financing Options
Getting a condo is not easy, especially if you're not buying in cash. So, you should set your budget already and get to know some loan options for you:
FHA Loans: You can get this if you're getting an FHA-approved condo. But, the condo property can only offer this if at least 50% of the units are occupied. Another thing to look at is whether only 15% of units at most have delayed association dues, and no more than 30% of units have existing FHA loans.
VA Loans: You can get this one if the condo is VA-approved, and it's usually given to qualified veterans with a minimal down payment.
Conventional Mortgage: This is the easiest financing option you have. You can purchase many condos with a minimum of a five percent down payment.
Ask About The Association Fees
Lastly, try to know about any association fees.
These are usually added on top of your monthly payment, helping keep the community clean and well-managed. Some of the most common fees are maintenance, security, pest control, insurance, and city services.
But, depending on the condominium you get, there might be more included. This includes operational costs for the gym and spas, parking, and other utilities.
These fees aim to help maintain the condominium, and whether you like it or not, you'd have to pay.
Final Thoughts on Buying a Condo
A home is one of the best investments we can have for ourselves, so you would want to make sure that you're investing in the right property. After all, it's not easy saving that money.
So, keep these things in mind to make your condo hunting much more comfortable, and there would be a high chance you'll find the best condo for you and your family. Hopefully, you have found this guide to buying a condo interesting and helpful.
About the author: The above article on what to keep in mind when buying a condo was written by Andi Croft. Andy is a freelance writer whose main interests are topics related to business, technology, and travel. This is brought about by her passion for going around the world, meeting people from all walks of life, and bringing along with her the latest tech to enhance her adventures.