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A Brief Condo Buying Guide
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A Brief Condo Buying Guide

While in residential real estate, we work with different property types, the most common of which are Lots/Land, Single Family Homes, and Condos. Each type of property have their own regulations, guidelines, and stipulations attached, but today we’re going to address how to approach the buying process with condos.
 
Condominiums have some unique qualities that have both pros and cons to the homeowner.  The primary thing that comes with buying a condo is just that: home ownership.  While the condo may be an apartment-style layout or even have a shared entrance, when you buy a condo, you OWN it, setting it apart from renting.  You have the right to paint however you like, put nails in the walls without fear of reproach, update flooring and more! Condo ownership also provides additional services that would normally be contracted individually at the sole expense of the owner, such as snow removal from parking lots and sidewalks, or leaf removal from green spaces.
 
These expenses are crucial to researching a condo property, because each month your condo fee—much like a Home Owners Association fee—goes to paying your share of association’s bill.  Before putting in an offer, an agent can request and present to you the association’s annual budget.  This can be in-depth and a little daunting at first, but going through it line-by-line can really help determine if you are joining a group of owners that are in a solid place financially.  This carries importance especially when unforeseen circumstances arise—such as hail damage, upgrades/repairs, or even parking lot resurfacing. When an association is in a good place financially, they will have a sizeable reserve and plan for these expenditures.  If they do not, you could be in for a surprise bill to cover the cost of these problems that pop up along the way!  In short, a small condo fee may seem like a better deal, since that’s a major part of your monthly payment that DOESN’T go towards the principal on your mortgage, but this only holds true if the association budget is fiscally sound.
 
Depending on the setup of your condo, you may need to pay for and maintain your appliances as you would in a single-family home. Your furnace, air conditioning unit, and all household appliances (refrigerator, washer/dryer, etc) are all your responsibility.  To ensure you don’t encounter these expenses in the first year of home ownership, a home warranty--like those UHP Home Warranties offers--will cover your appliances while you settle into your new home without worry of an unexpected large expense.
For More Information on Condo Buying
5 Tips for Condo Buyers
What Millennials and Boomers Need to Know About Condos
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