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Buying a condo is quite different from buying a home.  When you purchase a traditional house, you own not only the home itself, but the land it sits on.  When you purchase a condominium, however, you are purchasing only the interior of the space.  The complex itself, as well as any land, features, and amenities, are cooperatively owned by all who have signed an ownership contract.  There are certainly many benefits to this, including amenities and features not found with traditional home ownership, but it also means that there are additional steps you will want to take before making a purchase.


Look at the Rules


Before buying a condo, you will certainly want to take a look at the contract.  The CC&R, or Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions should always be fully reviewed before purchasing any condo, as they dictate what you may do both inside and outside of the property.  These restrictions can influence everything from your ability to own pets to when and where you can have guests and parties, whether you are allowed to upgrade or paint, and many other things.  Pets are a major part of most households, and you will want to know in advance if a beloved family pet is able to make the move with you.  This contract is legal and binding, and you need to be certain that you are willing to adhere to any stipulations set forth.


Look at the Costs


When you purchase a condo, your expenses are not limited to mortgage, insurance, and property taxes.  Most condos include maintenance fees, homeowner’s association fees, and special assessment fees.  Look into the amounts of each fee, the frequency with which they are paid, the benefits that accompany each expense, and how often and how much they are increased.  This can vary widely from one complex to the next and should be carefully examined before signing any purchase documents.


Talk to Residents


A highly recommended step before purchasing a condo is to talk to prospective neighbors.  Inquire about any ongoing problems between residents or with the homeowner’s association and inquire about things such as timeliness when it comes to resolving maintenance issues or other complaints.  Ask about any downsides of the complex as well, such as noise problems, traffic issues, crime, or anything else that might be a factor in your decision.


Inquire About Financials


Before buying any condo, it is important to look at their financial history.  Remember that a condo is cooperatively owned, and look for things such as owners who are significantly behind on payments.  Make sure that the budget is balanced and that there is a large reserve fund.  Avoid condo complexes carrying a significant amount of debt.  Take a look at HOA minutes when possible, as this can give you an idea of any financial issues while also giving you a good idea about life in the complex.


As with any property purchase, buying a condo should be done with a great deal of care and attention to detail.  Following all of these steps can help you make the right decision.  Keep in mind that the steps involved in buying a home are still important when buying a condo as well, but make sure to add the above to your existing home buying checklist.  With the right strategy and help from our team, finding the perfect Northwest Florida Condo for your needs couldn’t be easier.  Why not give us a call today at 850-460-3235 to find out how we can make it easier to find your dream condominium?

Condos For Everyone, 701 Benning Drive Destin, FL 32541, Call:(850) 460-3235.