Top 5 Tips when looking for the perfect condo


You’re on the hunt for the perfect condo but you have a few concerns about cost of living, where the work is thriving, and what the neighborhood is like. You may have an agent or two in mind but haven’t solidified a realtor yet. You’re headed in the right direction, but there are still some aspects of purchasing a condo that could hinder you from finding what you’re truly searching for. These helpful tips will steer you towards finding the perfect dream home.

You still need an Agent

Just because you know the owner of the condo and are ready to give an offer, doesn’t mean you should dive in. Much like buying a home, buying a condo requires the professional hand of an agent to sort legalities and assist with pricing and purchase agreements that stem with the condo association. An agent can pair you with the owner of a condo that fits your needs and budget. Without an agent, you may end up missing important documents or forms or getting tied up with an owner that has a faulty financial background.

Association Rules

Not only would you need to understand the insurance policy and purchase agreements, condos also have association rules that they require the residents to adhere to. Most of the time you’ll get your average rules and regulations such as the appropriate noise level and pet policies although these rules often differ from condo to condo. You may find that the association has limits on what type of business you have in your home or how many guests are allowed. You may even find that the condo association has heavy duty security standards that each guest need to abide by. This can get wearisome in the long run. Either way, you need to follow these rules, even when you are the new owner of the condo. Allow yourself to become familiar with the rules and figure out if this is something you can adhere to before you sign the papers.

What’s the budget?

Most likely, the association will not dispense a copy of the budget. However, the seller can request one when you ask. This is an important step when considering buying a condo because it provides information as to who is not is paying their dues and any outstanding debt owed to the association.

Think realistically

Don’t be too quick to buy a condo that may, for example, resembles a childhood home or the seller may offer a better deal. You should seek only the aspects of the condo that will benefit you regardless of the aesthetic appeal or emotional draw you have.  It may be tempting to sign the papers, but if you haven’t performed a thorough inspection of property, considered the association rules, and what the necessary costs entail, you could be in for surprise. The owner may not be upfront about everything pertaining to the unit, but when you get a trusted agent involved, you can aspect to get all you need to make your decision. Your realtor can help you sort through what you need to budget while paying close attention to how the association is managed and if it is financially stable.

Condo Fees

You may or may not be aware of the fees that are associated with the condo. The condo payment may be lower than an actual mortgage, but they still charge an association fee. This fee is related to general area expenses such as lawn maintenance or security around your lot. Don’t forget to factor in these extra fees before your dive into a deal. Some condos may not be as understanding should you forget of are unaware.

Insurance is less

Depending on the master policy that is purchased from the association, you could end up with a reasonably priced insurance policy. Your local real estate and insurance agents can guide you if you’re unsure of the policy. Remember to read the association rules thoroughly to determine if the insurance break applies to you.

Condo Communities

As a condo owner, you will experience the closeness of the community. You will be able to rely on your neighbors and they will rely on you. This is the common experience in condo associations because it gives everyone the chance to get to know each other and become acquainted should you or they need assistance with house sitting or a ride to an appointment. If you’re interested in a particular unit, introduce yourself to the neighbors around you. This gives you a feel for who you will be surrounded by and if you are a good fit for that unit.

Responsibility and Affordability

Every condo has its aesthetic appeal and as you notice. Unlike owning a home, you share the responsibilities of insurance and repairs in your association community. This is what it’s like owning a condo and sharing the responsibility of the maintenance and upgrades. Should there be a change in the future, your association will send out a letter giving everyone a chance to do their part. A condo community may have separate fees and rules, but it’s actually more affordable to own a condo than it is to own a single family home.

Ask about the reserved funds

When researching a unit, you must be aware of any reserved funds that are attached to the condo. This fixed amount of money has been budgeted and set aside by the association for repairs and structural maintenance. Before you sign the purchase agreement, check the reserved funds to ensure that it’s within a range that covers any and all repairs or maintenance. You want to see that the association takes great care of their building, especially if the weather becomes troublesome.

Association Meetings

With all condos for sale in North Palm Beach, you’re required to attend meetings as they are vital for all residents. These vital meetings introduce you to what’s new with the community, allow you to hear the most common complaints, and explain how to handle the occasional pesky neighbor. Association meetings keep everyone informed on the happenings, changes in rules or policies, and are a great way to stay in the loop if you have questions and concerns.

Check for storage and porch space

Some condo associations offer the convenience of a porch or balcony but this doesn’t mean that it belongs to you. Read the master deed before you sign up for a specific unit that offers a balcony. You need to find out if the unit in its entirety is solely yours, meaning you take ownership of the repairs and maintenance. Some communities offer convenient and spacious storage units for condo owners to take advantage of but may not include an attic or garage. Should you need to store larger items, check if the association offers extra storage.

The History of the condo

In order to avoid litigation and become a middle-man with legal drama and association trouble, search the condos history. You may find that the previous owner is trying to sue the management team of other owners and that is simply not something that you, as new ownership, need to associate yourself with.