Are you looking at buying a condo but find yourself feeling overwhelmed by all of the options available? Do you struggle to know what a good condo at a great price actually is? Do not worry, as many others feel the same.
Condos are an excellent investment, but for the newcomer, there are some factors to consider before purchase. Below, we give 7 points to consider when shopping for condos.
The most important factor when deciding on your condo is the location. This is both where it is situated in the area or suburb, and where it is located in the building itself. Both can impact a condo’s livability and prices for sale and rental in the future.
Have a look at the local district. Does it have good access to main highways and airports? Is it near amenities like shops, bars, or maybe even the beach?
Next, look at the condo in relation to the building. Which way is it facing and how much sun does it get per day? Is it high up with sufficient access, or is it a ground-level apartment that could get noise from outside?
- Shopping for Condos by Size
Firstly, think about the size of the condo that you need. Even a large condo at a bargain price is a waste of money if you will not use the space. This money could be reappropriated and invested elsewhere.
In contrast, a condo that is too small will quickly outstay its welcome. You will find yourself tripping over belongings from a lack of storage, and have little room to move if you want homes for families to live in. Make sure you know the exact square footage of any condo you think of purchasing.
Finally, measure it up against any furniture you are thinking of bringing or buying. If you are buying from a pre-construction, make sure you check this against the floorplan provided.
- Common Condo Amenities
The amenities are the small extras shared by the people in your condominium plot. Generally, the more common condo amenities you have, the more expensive your common costs will be. Decide on what amenities you would like to have beforehand so you are not paying for facilities you will not use.
Popular facilities can include everything from parking to pools. You may find many upmarket places have a concierge service, gyms, and guest suites.
- What Are the Condo Rules?
The condo is a community of people living in close proximity sharing facilities, and as such, common rules have to be shared. It is important that you check these rules fit your aims and lifestyle. You may be wanting to hold parties until the early morning, but your tenants may be retirees looking for peace and quiet.
Rules can cover everything from smoking to pets. In fact, one of the most common rules is for pets, with some places only allowing small dogs and some condos having outright bans. They will also state some sort of behavior rules to be adhered to in the common areas.
Condos may also have specific rules regarding renovation and improvements that may impact the quality of life for others in the condo. Ask to see these rules before making any sort of offer on a property.
- What Is Your Goal?
Before you buy, think about your long term goals for the property. Will you be renting out the condo? Or will you be living in it with the aim of selling it later down the line and moving to something bigger?
Both of these factors will have an impact on the type of property you purchase. If you are thinking of renting, check rental prices in the area. Look at local amenities and decide if it is a rentable investment.
If you are thinking of selling later down the line, look at property prices in the vicinity. Is it in an area that people will want to live in? You can use online condo property services such as ClearCondos to help you make informed decisions.
- What Is the Reserve Fund?
Every condo will have a reserve fund. This is money collected from residents that goes into a large pot. This money is used to pay for any common maintenance or legal fees the condo may have.
Common problems may include new paving or common area maintenance. In fact, anything not related to the maintenance of your own personal condo should be covered by this.
If the money for maintenance is not covered by the reserve fund, you will be asked to make special assessments and cover any extra costs. It is important your condo has a healthy reserve, or you could be making regular special assessments, putting up your annual living cost.
- What Are the Monthly Fees?
Condos will always have a monthly set of fees called an association payment. It is important that you factor these into your monthly budget on top of any mortgage payments you may have. Part of this fee will go into the reserve fund.
The rest will then be put into maintenance and upkeep, amenities, and even utilities in some cases. Any real estate agent should be able to get you a breakdown of the monthly costs and what they are being spent on. This can enable you to decide if that condo block is for you, as you do not want to be paying large fees for things you will not use.
Making a Purchase
Once the factors are considered and shopping for condos has begun, you will soon see how many great properties are available. Shop around, and make sure you view a selection before rushing in to buy.
If you find yourself looking for more advice on property, from purchasing to renting or selling, then bookmark our blog. We have regular updates and articles on everything property related that you could want to know. Let us help you build a perfect property portfolio starting today!