Did you know that over 5 million existing homes were sold in the United States in 2019? While most of those homes were traditional homes, thousands of them were condos, too.
There’s a lot to like about owning a condo, which is why if you’re in the market for a new home, you should consider going the condo route. With that in mind, if you don’t know a lot about the condo buying experience, you could make a poor investment, which isn’t what you want to do.
In this article, we’ll give you 7 tips and tricks that you can use to make sure that you end up with the condo of your dreams. We’ll help you get started finding condos and guide you all the way through the process so you can close out your purchase with confidence.
1. Be Patient
Unless you live in a major city, odds are there aren’t as many condos for sale as there are houses in your area. Because of this, it can be tough to find the exact condo that you’re looking for, as your choices are more limited.
That’s why our first condo-buying tip is to stay patient during the process. Don’t panic if you haven’t found the perfect condo for you after only a few weeks of searching. And when you start visiting condos in person, don’t feel obligated to buy the first one that you see.
Lean on the experience of your realtor and try to have fun with the process. That way, you don’t turn something that should be exciting into a negative experience.
2. Know Your Lifestyle
Before you start hunting for condos, it’s important to remember the key differences between condos and houses. Sure, a lack of a yard is a given, but there are some other things to keep in mind before you decide if a condo is right for you or not.
If you’ve ever lived in an apartment before, you know what it’s like to share walls with other people. Depending on the layout of your condo’s building, odds are you’re going to be sharing at least one wall with someone in another condo, which can be a negative for some people.
On a positive note, the ability to not worry about as many things, especially major repairs and maintenance, makes owning a condo appealing for many. This is especially true if you’re someone who is on the go often, and thus, can’t be home enough to take care of these things yourself anyway.
3. Know What Amenities You Want
Another huge positive to owning a condo is the ability to get some amenities that houses usually can’t give you. From downtown skyline views to access to a community gym, there’s a lot to like about owning a condo.
If you haven’t done so already, go ahead and write down some of the amenities you consider must-haves. Keep location in mind, too, as being close to shops and restaurants is another reason to go the condo route.
4. Find a Condo Realtor in Your Area
If you’ve decided that a condo is the best option for you, and you’re ready to start browsing, your first call needs to be to a realtor. More specifically, you need to find a realtor in your area specializing in condos; that way, you can have an expert on your side.
Trying to buy a condo yourself, without the help of a realtor, isn’t a good idea. So, do some Googling and find a few people in your area to call. After you’ve chatted with them, decide which realtor is right for you and then proceed forward.
5. Watch Out for Hidden Fees
Found the perfect condo for you? Happy with the price? Make sure that, before you make an offer, you’re aware of any hidden fees that most likely exist.
Things like HOA fees or other monthly or yearly fees may not be mentioned during the negotiation process. This is another reason to hire an experienced condo realtor in your area, as they’ll be familiar with the process and can help you find and prepare for these fees accordingly.
6. Know What Repairs You’re Responsible for
Sure, condo owners don’t have as much responsibility maintenance-wise as homeowners do. But there will still be a few repairs or replacements that, when the time comes, you’ll be responsible for paying for.
Again, your realtor should be able to help you understand and prepare for what you’ll have to handle in the future. Ask plenty of questions and get everything in writing so that you can check back with your paperwork in the future.
7. Get Your Condo Inspected Before Purchasing
Once you’ve put in an offer on a condo, one of the last things you’ll need to do is have your condo inspected by a professional inspector. This will ensure that your condo is in good condition before moving in, helping you avoid any major issues in the process.
A pro tip? Use an inspector who is, once again, familiar with working with condos. Your realtor should have plenty of connections, so finding an inspector in your area who knows condos shouldn’t be too difficult.
Need More Help With the Condo Buying Process?
Remember, if you’re getting ready to go condo shopping, try to have fun with the condo buying process. Lean on the expertise of your realtor, and don’t rush into a purchase until you’ve covered all your bases.
Looking for more real estate tips and tricks? Check back with our blog often for tons of useful information regarding the buying and selling property and homes.