Courtesy of FOX NEWS
Published August 2, 2015
OK guys and girls, listen up: Whether it’s in Trump’s
luxury buildings, a renovated downtown building or a suburban gated
community, buying a condominium is different from buying a house. To make
sure you love your new home – and your new neighbors – pay attention to
these special factors when considering condo life.
|Good walls make good neighbors.
Condo living can mean shared walls (and
floors and ceilings). Spend some time in the unit when your
future neighbors are home. Do they have a piano? Wear
platform shoes on floors without rugs? Listen to their
television at high volume? Have kids who sound like they’re
playing indoor basketball? Does the complex allow those
If you’re considering a freestanding
house in a condo development, take a careful look outside.
How close are the buildings? Do you have yard space? How
much distance from your neighbors do you need? How do the other yards look?
Are there rules about plantings, outdoor seating, barbecuing or garden
parties? Whether you’re looking at an apartment or a house, make sure to
talk to people who live in the building or the complex. Check out what
they’re complaining about. And most important: find out whether they think
the board responds to complaints in a timely and fair fashion.
Meet the manager.
Most condos have property managers; ask to meet the person who will be your
point of contact for questions, problems or repairs. Is this someone you
could work with? Does he have pride in his work? Ask your future neighbors
about their experiences with the manager and the maintenance team.
Get clear on the costs.
There’s what you pay to buy a condo … and there’s what you pay to live
there. If you hate mowing the lawn, trimming shrubs and making home repairs,
you will value the ease of living in a place that you own – and that someone
else maintains. But that convenience comes at a cost, so don’t be shy about
going over the association fees.
In addition to your personal homeowner’s policy, make
sure you understand the association’s insurance, especially when it
comes to common walls, common areas, etc.
Ask for a breakdown of the association’s financials.
Pay close attention to the annual expenditures and the repair fund.
Find out if there has been any litigation over things
like construction defects. Believe me, you don’t want to be paying
increased fees because you’re covering the hours a lawyer is billing the
Know what you are buying.
You may think you’re the owner of that adorable, shady patio. You’re already
picturing yourself lounging in your hammock while the grill heats up. Make
sure your daydream can become your reality. Believe it or not, the outside
of the property may not be included in the purchase price of the unit. It’s
not unreasonable to ask about all outside features: porches, terraces,
gardens. You may have use of them, but you may not be the owner. If having
full control over your home environment matters, you could be in for an