Because condominium living includes shared resources and commonly owned property, condo developments institute governing rules to take care of the shared property and amenities. The condominium homeowners association exists to create and maintain those Homeowner Association (HOA) rules, with the purpose of maintaining the property and therefore, the property values of the development.
Along with the HOA come not only rules, but fees for the maintenance of the shared property. Are you interested in having no outside maintenance? Part of your condominium fees will go to regular outside maintenance, as well as common area maintenance, part will go into an account that will handle major upgrades, like roof replacement, siding repair, etc.
If you’re considering purchasing a Frederick Condominium, there are several questions you’ll want to ask yourself:
Pros to Condominium Living:
- Are you interested in the ability to travel for periods of time without worrying about your home?
- Are you happy with community life? Being in close touch with neighbors?
- Do you enjoy sitting by the pool without a care for the cleaning and upkeep of said pool? Same goes for lanscaping, parking and sidewalks.
- Are you ok with rules and by-laws?
Cons to Condominium Living:
- Do you like to putter in the garden? You’ll have to resign yourself to patio gardening, or a small spot of ground, if possible.
- Is it important to have some space between you and your neighbor?
- Are you annoyed at being told what you can and cannot do because of above-mentioned by-laws?
- Do you have lots of stuff that you don’t want to part with? Most condos don’t have a lot of storage. Apart from the occasional 5 X 8 space in the basement or garage, you’d have to rent a storage garage, or impose on that relative with the extra storage space in his garage or basement.
Things to Remember about Buying a Condo
In qualifying for the mortgage, the lender will figure in the monthly Condo fee, which will lessen the amount you actually can buy. Keep that in mind when you are comparing the sales price of a condo and a townhouse or single-family. (Also remember, the Condo fee is paying for the things you don’t want to take care of yourself.)
Generally speaking, during a “down market” condominiums can be a little harder to sell; more time on the market, less appreciation. You want to make sure that you’ll more than likely be there for a good 7-10 years to make sure you can re-sell, depending on the market.
Condominium communities often have units that owners rent out. In some communities, the ratio of owner-occupied units to rental units exceeds the limits for FHA rules. That means, in certain condominium developments, you cannot use FHA financing to purchase a condo.
Check Out These Important Issues Before Buying A Condominium:
- How much are the condominium fees? Naturally, you’ll want to add the fees to your budget. Remember, some of the items these fees cover might remove the costs from other items previously in your budget.
- What do the fees cover?
- Is the Condominium community professionally managed?
- What is the reputation of the management company? Are there any (gasp) lawsuits? A Google search will come in handy!
- What about the parking? How many spaces and where are they, and where can your
- What are the Condominium Rules? You will certainly want to get a copy and read them thoroughly. They will be a necessary contingency in your contract, but it is even a better idea to peruse the rules when you first start your home search, if possible.
- Condominium Associations are required to have money in a reserve fund to take care of major infrastructure improvements when needed over time. Find out how much is in the reserve fund.
- On a similar note, sometimes Condominium developments collect special assessments to cover unexpected expenses. Find out if there are any special assessments in the near future.
If Condominium Living is right for you, you will benefit from using an experience local buyer’s agent who is familiar with the nuances of a Frederick condominium purchase. You can save yourself considerable time and effort in your research with an agent who can guide you to the condominium development that fits your lifestyle… Contact Chris Highland to tour Condominiums in Frederick Md.