Everything you need to know about buying a condo

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Everything you need to know about buying a condo

You’ve probably seen some stunning photos of modern condos floating around the web, and maybe now you are looking to find a new place to live and the condo is what springs to mind. Before you take the leap and buy or rent a condo, there are a few things you need to know.

What is a Condo?

A condo is very similar to an apartment- it is a single unit in a huge building in which someone lives. The difference between an apartment and a condo is the fact that you can buy a condo. This means that essentially you own a home, but rather than it being on a small plot of land on a residential street, it is inside a building.


Pros of Renting a Condo

·         Because people actually buy condos and use them as their homes, you will find that condos are in great shape. The owners will put a lot of love and care into the design of the home, which is different to what you will experience if you are renting an apartment

·         Because condos are usually higher end than regular apartments, you will get better amenities within the building itself. These can include a pool, a gym, restaurant and a lawn in the back.

·         Because you will be renting from the owner rather than a landlord who owns lots of properties, you will be able to have much more one-on-one attention if you need it

Cons of Renting a Condo

·         HOA fees: You will have extra fees to pay because of the quality of the home you live in. The homeowner’s association will run the upkeep of the building as a whole, which will mean that you need to pay a small amount towards the upkeep of your communal facilities

·         Because you are renting from an individual rather than a company, you may find that they are less experienced in handling tenants

·         Like a homeowner, you will be responsible for the upkeep of your condo and any repairs which need to be carried out, this is why you must make sure you can afford it

Why Are They So Popular?

In terms of the quality of the property, condos are incredibly well-built, beautifully designed and are generally well looked after by everyone who lives there. You will find yourself in a building which has all of the amenities you could ask for, and a beautiful modern living space too.

What is the Condo board?

The condo board is in charge of the running of the whole building complex. They make sure that money is being spent in the right areas and that all of the amenities available to residents stay in tip-top condition at all times. If you are concerned with the way the condo board is conducting the business and spending the money, talk to your neighbours and get their opinion on it all before you take up an issue with the board themselves. You may be able to advise them on how to better spend money in order to please the people who live in there.

How Much Should You Bid For A Condo?

Buying a condo is very similar to buying a house. If you go for a viewing to a house a notice issues, you may believe that the home is worth less than the owner has priced it at, and as a result you might end up putting in an offer which is lower than the asking price to test the water. You can apply the same concept to a condo. If you feel that the seller is asking for too much, try going in with a lower offer to begin with and barter your way up until you both reach a price which you are satisfied with. Don’t panic if your first offer is rejected, keep trying until you reach the right price.

Avoid buying a condo in a building where a high percentage are rented out. This is because tenants won’t feel that same sense of love and care for the building because they don’t own it, this will mean that communal areas may not be up to scratch and maintained in the same way.

When you are doing your research on buying a condo, don’t be afraid to shop around with the fees for the building too. If you think that the money they are charging you is way too much, don’t pay for it- find somewhere else more reasonable. It’s all about knowing what you want and being confident enough to pursue it fully.

What is a special assessment?

A special assessment is an additional cost which you will have to pay the board for the upkeep of your condo and repairs in the building. Don’t worry though, it is highly unlikely that a special assessment will occur within the first 10 years of you living at a property. The reason for a special assessment will usually be large repairs in the building which cannot be funded for with the regular fees you pay. It could be that the roof needs completely re-tiling or maybe the lifts need to be repaired. It is something which will not happen very often, if at all, but it is still something you should be aware of as a possibility.

Should You Buy A Condo?

If you are still feeling on the fence about whether or not buying a condo is the right option for you and your loved one, here are a couple of extra reasons to consider it:

·         You don’t have a garden to maintain- looking after a house can be hard enough without thinking about maintaining your garden as well. Luckily, you won’t need to think about this because the people who run the building will sort all of that out for you.

·         It is cheaper than a house – In general, if you decide to buy a condo rather than a similar sized home, the condo will be cheaper.

·         Community -  one of the best parts of living in a shared building is that you will get to know the neighbours and really build that sense of community which you don’t have when you live on a busy street.

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Easily calculate and price your building work and home improvements

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Everything You Need To Know About Buying A Condo

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