Tips for Buyers
Review what’s included in the HOA (Home Owner’s Association) dues.
Make sure you know what exactly is included. Are the level of amenities right for your needs, or will you be paying for benefits you don’t need or missing out on those you do?
What insurance is included? Two different HOA’s may charge the same monthly amount, but one may include earthquake insurance… a substantial difference since it can account for as much as 30% of the total dues.
Don’t ignore that thick stack of condominium documents.
Check the financial reserves. Are they reasonable for the area? Be cautious if they’re low; that could mean a special assessment against your unit for thousands of dollars in the future.
Check the HOA meeting minutes. Are there any past or developing issues you should take into account?
Review Sales comparable in the same building.
Every building is unique, with different amenities, style, management, and location. Make sure you’re comparing apples to apples.
Don’t just rely on the square footage of a recent sale in the building. Were the floor plan, views, upgrades, etc. comparable also? For example, the price of a one bedroom in a building can vary $100,000 depending on the view and floor.
Don’t forget to look at everything in person.
Make sure you actually see the amenities, parking space and storage in person. A quick visit can avoid any confusion or disappointment later on.
Work with a specialist.
Condos and single family homes are substantially different. Consider working with a Realtor® who specializes in condos.