Considering Buying a Condo
About Purchasing a Condominium:
What is a condominium? Well, a condo is a multiple unit dwelling where each unit is owned separately and the exterior structure and common areas are kept up by each of the unit owners collectively. Everyone who has ownership contributes money to their association to keep up with the cost of maintenance, exterior upkeep, new roofing, if needed, etc.. Owners of condominiums do not own the land for which the condo sits and have no title to that land.
Advantages of Condo Ownership:
Ownership of the average condominium is much cheaper than that of a single family residence. Condos are usually within closer proximity of shopping centers, golf courses or other commercial dwellings. Condos have community tennis courts, pools, workout gyms which make the attractive because the condo owners don’t to do the up keep and can have the association hire someone to do it. In some cases, such as plumbing and electrical, the association manages the upkeep of those items. Condos are a great way to meet new people, too.
Disadvantages of Condo Ownership:
There are a number of disadvantages to condominium ownership. First, you give up some privacy in a condo community because of the shared walls, common area, joint car park locations, etc. Being an equal owner of the condominium’s association can often be political in nature. You may not agree with certain things that association agreed to do, collectively.
So, what do you look for in buying a condo? First, take a tour of the condo exterior and look at the roof age, ground maintenance, etc. to make sure it is well maintained. Take into account the location of the condo you want to purchase as related to the walk time to where you park your car. Does the car parking spot have some additional storage lockers? Walk around and talk to the current owner and get their input. Ask them about the association and get a fell as to if the owners get along. Decide if you want a lower unit or upper unit. Remember, upper units means that you will have to to walk up the stairs or take a elevator. The plus is that you will be upstairs above someone else and not hear people walking. Downstairs units are great because you do not have to walk up stairs, the downside is that someone is above you that you may hear making noises. Most of the time, this is not an issue. If you do decide to purchase above or below someone, you might want to knock on their door and introduce yourself to get an idea of your common interests and find out what kind of person they are. I know it’s basic, yet, it may be of value to get this type of info before you purchase.
Also, it would be wise to check the Megan’s Law data base to see if any of the current residents are on the list. If you have children, this is a must do before you purchase any property. Simply a wise move!