If you're longing for a home of your own, but your busy lifestyle won't accommodate the time required for the upkeep of a single-family home, you might want to expand your search to condominiums for sale. Condominiums give you the satisfaction of owning your own home, without the time and work associated with owning a single-family home. Before you commit to the purchase of a condominium, it is important that you familiarize yourself with some issues of ownership that won't come up with single-family home ownership. Here are some steps you should take to avoid problems once you purchase your condominium.
Work With an Experienced Real Estate Agent
If you're in the market for a condo, don't try to work without a real estate agent. Purchasing a condo can be a confusing, and time-consuming process. There are some issues that will require the assistance of an experienced real estate agent. Your agent will be able to identify problems with the contract, which could come back to cause you trouble later. They'll also be able to identify any liens that the home owners association may have against the current owners. In some cases, those liens could pass on to you once you try to join the association. Your real estate agent will work to make sure those issues are resolved before you purchase.
Obtain a Copy of the Association Rules
Condominium communities have very stringent association rules. In fact, in most cases, there will be rules for just about every aspect of community living, including the number of guest vehicles you have parked in front of your condo, and how long your guests can stay. If you've found a condo that you're thinking about buying, be sure to request a complete copy of the association rules. Knowing what the rules entail ahead of time, will help you determine whether you could abide by those rules once you move in. For instance, if you run an at-home business, but the association rules prohibit home-based business ventures, you'll need to know that ahead of time.
Know the Financial Stability of The Association
Most condominium associations have reserve accounts that are designed to cover damages that occur on shared property, and community buildings. The reserve account should be sufficient to cover any type of damage claim. Before you agree to purchase a condo, ask the association management about the current reserve account. If the association doesn't have one, or has one that has been depleted, it may be a sign that shared property would not be repaired in a timely manner, if at all.
If you're going to be purchasing a condo, talk to a licensed real estate agent near you. They'll answer any questions or concerns you may have about the process.